Bubble Tea Sweeteners 101
What makes your day sweeter than treating yourself to a cup of bubble tea? But have you ever wondered what goes into making this drink just so sweet? We’ve already talked about the Key Components of Bubble Tea, but let’s take a closer look at the sweeteners today.
Every store uses their own type of sweeteners, from syrups and sugars, to fructose. But from so many options, how do you choose? Not all sweeteners are created equal, here is a breakdown of a few popular options.
Fructose, not to be confused with High Fructose Corn Syrup, is an inexpensive option to flavor bubble tea. Fructose is produced from the juice of fruits and it is good for longer storage. Fructose tastes sweeter than regular sucrose, so it that means more flavor for less money.
Pros: Cost, Storage Life
White Sugar, the most common form of sweetener found in a standard kitchen, is synthesized and refined sugar cane. The granules of white sugar are difficult to mix into cold beverages and are better suited for stirring into hot teas and coffees. In order to properly disperse white sugar into a cold drink, it has to be converted into a simple syrup first. This is done by heating equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan over heat until the sugar is melted. The resulting syrup can then be stored for up to 4 weeks in the fridge.
Pros: Cost, Common
Honey, one of the first sweeteners ever used by humans, is not only delicious and natural, but it is thought to have some health benefits if used in moderation. Honey local to one’s area is said to alleviate allergies, since it is produced from the types of flowers and plants causing the allergies. Additionally, honey is said to contain enzymes and minerals that help the body digest and heal.
Pros: Health Benefits, Unique Taste, Storage Life
Golden Cane is a minimally-refined form of sugar cane that still has a bit of residual molasses, which imparts a light caramel flavor on the resulting syrup. Golden Cane is less processed than white sugar and this product is already in syrup form which makes it easily soluble in any type of beverage, hot or cold. It especially enhances the flavor of tea! It doesn’t have preservatives, artificial flavorings or chemicals and has a shelf life of one year.
Pros: Convenience, Versatility, Flavor, Storage Life
Though a bit more expensive than our Golden Cane Syrup, the process of “Hand-frying” is a special technique that gives this sugar syrup an extra layer of caramelized depth and, as the name implies, this process is still done by hand! It is a very unique sweetener that adds some nuance to the flavors in your tea. It’s especially good in classic Milk Tea.
Pros: Convenience, Ready-to-Use, Unique Caramel Flavor
- Elsa Lu