Sugar in Market Spice?
September 13, 2011 8:40 AM   Subscribe

Market Spice tea is allegedly only sweetened with orange oil and cinnamon, but to me it tastes like sugar. Is there really no sugar in Market Spice? Does this vary by company/maker/country? Is the same for Decaf and Rooibos Market Spice? My wife is low-carbing and I'm pregnant - we both need to stay away from sugar, but love this tea. We buy it at a tea shop - no ingredients listed.
posted by arcticwoman to Food & Drink (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I drink all varieties of Rooibos tea, having lived in South Africa from where it hails. It's a very naturally sweet tasting twig, actually, and the red forms I think are much sweeter than the green varieties. If you drink it just plain (without milk or sweetner) it's actually been shown to lower blood sugar levels in diabetics and packs a mean antioxidant punch. It's naturally sweet and I believe it has to do with the needle to stem ratio, but should be fine for a low-carb diet if just drank plain.
posted by floweredfish at 8:47 AM on September 13, 2011

posted by Namlit at 8:57 AM on September 13, 2011

Rooibos does taste naturally sweet to many people (myself included).

The Market Spice website has ingredients listed for their tea blends.

Their FAQ states

3. What is the nutritional information for the signature MarketSpice Tea (cinnamon-orange)?

MarketSpice Tea contains no sugar, no carbohydrates, no gluten and no calories. It is also safe for people with diabetes.

So unless they are lying yes, the teas are sugar-free. Lots of natural calorie free plants have a sweet taste.
posted by nanojath at 9:01 AM on September 13, 2011

Response by poster: But does all Market Spice tea come from that company? Because it doesn't just taste sort-of sweet, it tastes like someone spiked it with simple syrup.
posted by arcticwoman at 9:03 AM on September 13, 2011

If it's got liquorice root in it then it can taste incredibly sweet.

It's also maybe not so good for pregnant types.
posted by elsietheeel at 9:15 AM on September 13, 2011

Do they advertise no sweetners at all, even no-calorie ones? Because stevia, which is a frequent ingredient in herbal teas, definitely has that "omg someone dumped a sugar syrup in here" taste, especially if there's too much of it. Stevia is, as far as I know (IANAH-- I Am Not An Herbalist and IANYH-- I Am Not Your Herbalist) safe for pregnancy and it's certainly low-carb.
posted by WidgetAlley at 9:23 AM on September 13, 2011

MarketSpice is a tea company based out of Seattle and their "signature" tea blend is the cinnamon orange. If another company makes a similar tea (which could not be called MarketSpice) then you need to inquire with the manufacturer to get the ingredients. For example, Good Earth makes a tea called "Original Sweet and Spicy" that is similar. It also has no sugar.
posted by coolsara at 9:28 AM on September 13, 2011

Can't you just ask the folks at the tea shop? They probably just fill up the bin that's in the main part of the store from a big bag they keep in the back somewhere. Said big bag should have the ingredients listed.
posted by Johnny Assay at 9:33 AM on September 13, 2011

It tastes sweet because of the cinnamon. It's a naturally occurring sweetness that comes from the cinnamon, not from added sugar. Market Spice is a brand of teas, not just a name of a type of tea. The Market Spice company makes it and the ingredients on their site are what you have in your tea.
posted by joan_holloway at 9:54 AM on September 13, 2011

Another vote for the cinnamon making it taste sweet w/o sugar. Espresso Royale has a cinnamon spice tea that I love for this reason.
posted by sbutler at 11:06 AM on September 13, 2011

I have never heard of Market Spice having sugar. I think the best suggestion is to ask to see the ingredient list from the tea shop. I can't imagine that would be an issue, especially if you explain why. If you must, you can of course test for the presence of sugar yourself with Benedict's solution.
posted by caddis at 11:52 AM on September 13, 2011

Response by poster: I know that there are different brands using the name (wrongly, I learn) "Market Spice" for their tea, because I've tasted some truly dismal blends. I guess the only thing to do to make sure is to call the tea shop and ask them directly. I really hope you all are right though, although my mind boggles at how it could be THIS SWEET (not just sweet-ish) without sugar.

posted by arcticwoman at 5:43 PM on September 13, 2011

A lifetime ago I worked there -- it's the cinnamon oil.
posted by susanbeeswax at 10:47 PM on September 13, 2011

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