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Omnipresent in our diet, sugar is hidden in many everyday products. Natural or added, it allows flavors to be better measured and even combats the bitterness of certain preparations. Although it can easily be replaced in cakes and other culinary dishes, it remains difficult to find an alternative when we think of hot drinks like coffee or tea.

A true anti-bitterness ally, the square of sugar in a cup of tea is essential for many consumers. Fortunately, if you’re looking to reduce your sugar intake, we have the solution to help you. You will only need one ingredient that you already have in your cupboards. Here is the very simple technique to follow to make your cup of tea less bitter.

The bitter side of theine drinks is generally due to the presence of polyphenols, also called tannins, which are also found in wine. These cause a chemical reaction when in contact with hot water and become astringent. This is why drinking unsweetened tea can seem unpleasant to some palates.

If many tea consumers tend to give in for a cube of sugar in their cup, it is to limit the astringent side of the tea leaves. Indeed, despite the infusion times or the varieties of tea chosen, the bitterness of the leaves can prevent you from fully enjoying the flavors.

In her book Steeped: The Chemistry of Tea, published on January 24, 2024, Michelle Francl, an American chemist, revealed her secret to replacing sugar in hot drinks. Ideal for masking bitterness without denaturing the tea, a pinch of salt is according to her the perfect ally to block the chemical reaction responsible. As she explains, “the sodium ion in salt blocks the chemical mechanism that makes tea bitter,” she explains in her book.

To limit bitterness, you can opt for adding a few grains of salt, but be careful not to overdo the quantities used!


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