Food Talk And Fabulous Finds - Stevia: alcohol vs. non-alcohol?

View Full Version : Stevia: alcohol vs. non-alcohol?

03-05-2008, 09:32 PM
I have much trouble with no-calorie sweeteners. A friend uses Stevia, so I thought I'd go and get some for in my coffee.

I get there, and there are TWO: alcohol-free and regular. :think: I asked the "clerk" what the difference was, aside from the fact that one has alcohol in it, and one doesn't. Her answer was that many herbal drops use alcohol as the base, and many people complain that those without the alcohol aren't as effective.

So, with this in mind, I got the cheaper ones: with alcohol.

I'm thinking I regret my choice. The stevia has this sharp bite to it, which I think is coming from the alcohol. I don't want my coffee tasting like medicine!!!

Is it the alcohol that's giving it this bite, or is the stevia got a bit of a bitter flavor to it? It seems silly that a sweetener would have a bitter taste, but the other non-calorie things have an aftertaste to me as well.


03-05-2008, 09:38 PM
What brand did you get?

03-05-2008, 09:40 PM
NuNaturals - it is the only brand in the store, and they're the only store I know of that sells it.

03-05-2008, 09:45 PM
I get my Stevia, when I buy it, in a powdered form...I've never even seen the liquid.

03-05-2008, 10:25 PM
I use the NuNaturals stevia--in alcohol form. The powdered stuff they had contained maltodextrin to make it "powdery"--and I didn't want the extra carbs. I'm sure that it's trace-amount, but I was trying to be more of a purist ;) I think that stevia (from what I've read and experienced) just naturally has a slight bitterness to it. I really only use the stevia in my teas, as I don't really notice the "bite" in tea so much. You get used it it ;)

03-05-2008, 11:37 PM
Stevia has a bitter undertone that when mixed with other bitter-ish things like coffee or chocolate just kind of amplifies it. This happens especially if you add too much! I find stevia works best in fruity type things.. It is excellent in lemonade.

03-06-2008, 12:53 AM
Well, that's good to know. I apparently have a very sensitive taste sense, because my friend thought I was crazy with the bitterness. It's better than NO coffee (even decaf) so I'll just get used to it. Maybe next time I will try the non-alcohol just to see if I can tell the difference.

I'll try it this summer in my sun tea... yummy!

03-06-2008, 12:56 AM
I purchased the powdered kind - found some called Only Sweet at the grocery store with the packages of Spenda, the Pink and the Blue stuff. I used it in tea and found it to be a bit bitter. I had read that if you use too much of it, it can get bitter so I experimented with a half a packet, just a small bit - no difference.

I also decided to try The Vitamin Shoppe brand Stevia Plus - with Inulin Fiber. This one does not have the bitter taste like the other did. It does have a bit of an "artificial sweetner" taste to it but it's minor and I'm sure over time as others have said you will get used to it.

Thank you Azure for your comment about the maltodextrin - the Only Sweet has it in there - less than one gram of carb but it's there. The SteviaPlus from the Vitamin Shoppe advertises that it contains no other sweetners - artificial or natural, yeast, corn, wheat, salt, soy, dairy, citrus, fish (FISH????), animal derivatives, preservatives, artificial colors or flavors added to it. Just stevia extract and the inulin fiber. And I think it tastes better than the other one.

After the big disclaimer on the SteviaPlus product, I kind of wonder what's in the Only Sweet that lists Other Ingredients: Natural Flavor. Fish??????

Sorry Fluffyk - I know you asked about the liquid form - I saw that at the store too but decided to go with the powder form.

Thanks for the tip Poohbear - will have to try it in lemonade.

03-06-2008, 10:08 AM
I buy Sweetleaf brand stevia drops. I agree it takes a little getting used to at first, but now I'd never use anything else!

Sweetleaf also makes flavored stevia, in chococolate raspberry, vanilla, etc. (also 0 cals) so if you can find that maybe it will ease the transition. I buy it at Whole Foods. It costs $12.99 but lasts a couple of months.

03-06-2008, 10:10 AM
We have used both. DH doesn't find any difference in taste between the powdered vs liquid, and the liquid is much easier to dose into stuff.
To help with the bitterness, try using less stevia. You really don't need very much, and too much will make it taste bitter.

03-06-2008, 08:37 PM
I use the Sweetleaf, Trader Joe's or the KAL brand.
I use the liquid in cold drinks like ice-tea, lemonade or my own version of kool-aid. I use the powder in coffee and tea.
I love stevia . I gave up artificial sweeteners 3 years ago and have been exclusively using stevia. It's not cheap but it last a very long time, you use very little.
Funny, but I have never detected a hint of bitterness! I guess we all have different taste buds!!