The Sweet Ingredient That Will Change Your Tea Forever

A simple mug of hot tea provides a comforting warmth that is calming and soothing to the soul. It is delicate in flavor and often used as a substitute for coffee in case a caffeine boost is needed (fun fact: black tea has a caffeine range of 64-112 mg compared to coffee's 95 mg, per USDA, making it the most caffeinated type of tea, according to Medical News Today). And when it comes to variety, hot tea is kind of like a rack of spices. There are so many blends to choose from, ranging from a simple chamomile flower to a more complex chai recipe (which requires ingredients like cinnamon sticks, fresh ginger, and whole black peppercorns). 

When it comes to sweetening the deal, hot tea is typically limited to honey or sugar, as well as ginger, almond milk, and cinnamon (per Spoon University). But here's a little secret: There's another type of sweetener that adds richness and a golden hue to almost any type of tea.

It's used on pancakes

Even the most bland or bitter mug of tea has no choice but to succumb to the sweetness of maple syrup. It might initially seem like an odd choice to drizzle this pancake pairing into tea, but syrup is used in popular tea and coffee shops like The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, which features beverages like the maple latte and their maple ice blended drink. There are also delectable recipes like maple iced tea (thanks to Maple From Canada), maple cinnamon milk tea (per The Dairy Alliance), and a maple bourbon tea toddy (via Luzianne) to completely transform your tea.

But why do concoctions like these work? What kind of magic does maple syrup contain to really amp up those tea flavors? Well according to Butternut Mountain Farm, maple syrup imparts flavors that are rich and smooth on the palate. And despite its thick and gooey texture, maple syrup dissolves surprisingly well in either hot or iced tea, and won't settle on the bottom of the cup. Even better: It contains a trifecta of antioxidants, nutrients, and minerals, some of which are calcium, magnesium, and iron, according to the USDA.

Spoon University suggests pairing maple syrup with green, cinnamon, vanilla, and caramel teas, but black tea is also a suitable choice, per In terms of how much maple syrup to add to a cup, states that one tablespoon is sufficient, but you can certainly add a little bit more or less depending on how sweet you want the tea to be.