How To Make Green Tea Taste Better Without Sugar (With Infographic)

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20 ways to make green tea taste better without sugar pint image

This is going to sound a little weird.  But some people don’t like the taste of green tea.  Shocking I know, but it is true.  All joking aside, green tea can be very bitter for a lot of people.  It is unfortunate they would have to miss out on the great health benefits and even the great taste because of this.

But we are always here to help so I decided to sit down and think about what are some great ways to add some flavor to green tea, remove some of the bitterness but still maintain the health benefits. 

I came up with an even 20.  20 quick ideas on how to make green tea taste better without sugar.

There are plenty more ideas that you can use but I thought 20 was a nice round number, so I stopped there. 

You can expand on these pretty easily.  Ginger root is one that you can add so maybe try other roots, like licorice to see if they work for you.

The bottom line is that the tannin content in teas is what makes it bitter and what most people have the biggest problem with when it comes to drinking green tea or tea in general, to be honest.  For this list, though I am focusing on things that I have used to make green tea, only green tea, taste different.

I typically don’t add any other flavors to my teas but did try out each one of this for at least a few sips.  I used plain boxed Bigalow green tea for all these flavors so I had a decent baseline.

This is just my opinion. You might try some of these flavors and think they are disgusting. 

Some of the ones that didn’t make this list fell into that category for me.  These are merely suggestions for you to try and hopefully find something you like that makes green tea taste better for you.

Also, bear in mind that every type of green tea has its own unique flavor.  Adding one of these suggestions to a Sencha green tea might work out great while adding one to a gunpowder green might be a disaster.

One final thing I would add is that the first 3 suggestions are the ideal way to make green tea taste better. 

Adding new flavors is always nice but preparing the tea properly is the best way to get a truly great tasting green tea.

Be sure to check out the infographic at the bottom of the article.


1. Carefully Watch The Steep Time in order to get the perfect flavor for your green tea.  Over steeping and under steeping are two of the biggest reasons why your green tea might end up not tasting its best.

You have to check your green tea to determine the time range to use when steeping and then experiment with it to find your sweet spot for that particular green tea. 

Keep in mind that every type of green tea is a little different.  One might take 45 seconds the other a full 2 minutes, you might even need to do a little research to get that perfect cup.

2. Use The Ideal Water Temperature for steeping your green tea.  Water boils at around 100 degrees Celcius, give or take it depends on a few factors.  You almost never want to use water that hot or cold to steep your tea. 

It ruins the flavor.  Green tea is delicate.  Super hot water makes the green tea more astringent.  If the water is too cold then it might not draw out all the flavors from the leaves.  This one change alone might be enough for you to find green tea flavor much more satisfying and drinkable.

3. Always Use Fresh Spring Water to brew your tea.  Green tea has a delicate balance of flavors.  Using regular tap water can introduce some unwanted flavors into your green tea. 

No amount of boiling is going to take away those flavors.  Try and find the best-filtered water you can and use it to brew your green tea.  Some experimentation is going to be needed before you find the best water for your particular tastes.  Making your best cup of green tea is most definitely a process.

4. Add A Little Lime to your green tea.  Any part will do really.  A little lime juice or maybe a wedge of lime tucked on the side of your mug.  Lime will add a sour citrusy note to the tea and take away some of the bitterness from the green tea, in my experience. 

The acidity of the lime gives it that tangy familiar kick that we often associate with summer.  It brings this feeling to your green tea.  Try a bit of lime in your green tea for lunch in the afternoon sun and it is sure to brighten up your day with a satisfying layer of flavor added onto your green tea.

lime cut in half
Lime Adds A Citrusy Note To Your Green Tea

5. A Squirt Of Lemon Juice will have much the same effect as lime but with a bit of a different flavor.  Lemon has long been a standard addition to most tea. 

You’d be hardpressed to find a pitcher of iced black tea without a lemon lurking somewhere nearby. 

The same is true for green tea.  Just as it is used to cut some of the bitterness from the heavier black tea it is a great addition to green tea as well.  The citrusy notes blend well with the grassy flavor of many green teas.

6. Add A Bit Of Orange Peel to your green tea.  Another citrus note to add to the green tea.  This one is a little bit different as we are really taking the oils from the peel and infusing them into our cup of tea. 

Adding orange juice with the peel is fine, but it adds sugar and part of the criteria was no added sugar to the tea.  Adding orange peel really ramps up the fragrance of the overall experience. 

It should be added in moderation or you might overpower the taste of the green tea.

orange peal
A Simple Orange Peel Can Transform Your Green Tea

7. Drop A Couple Of Leaves Of Peppermint into your steeping tea.  The next 3 suggestions are all mints.  Like lemon, this is a traditional addition to tea, especially black tea.  But it works just as well for green tea.  In fact, it gives the green an almost chilly bite to it. 

You can often find mint green tea prepackaged for you in many grocery stores.  However, I always feel like dropping a few fresh leaves of peppermint in is a much better way of handling the situation.

8. Adding Spearmint Leaves to you green tea has much the same effect as peppermint.  The biggest difference is that spearmint tends to be a little less strong. 

Spearmint has a cooling sensation that comes along with it.  Iced green tea with spearmint makes a truly wonderful drink on a hot summer day.  But the peppery spice is still very evident in the spearmint and a few fresh leaves while steeping is the way to make a great cup of spearmint green tea.

mint leaves
Mint Adds A Cooling Kick To Any Cup Of Green Tea

9. Mojito Mint is the last mint flavor on this list.  Mojito Mint is a tricky one.  Most mojitos don’t even use it.  But this mint has a bit of a different taste than the other two on this list.  It is much milder than both spearmint and peppermint and has a hint of citrus about it. 

This makes it ideal for a green tea as it adds a bit off minty coolness but also cuts through any lingering bitterness with its great citrusy flavor.  This was the first time I had tried this mint in a green tea and found it outstanding.

I did a little research to see exactly what it was and found this great little article about the mojito mint.

10. Lavender is our first flower on our list that you can add to your green tea.  Lavender is technically part of the mint plant family.  So I guess Mojito mint wasn’t the last mint on the list after all. 

Getting back on point, lavender’s mint taste is very subtle.  In fact, you will probably taste the floral notes much more than the mint ones when you add it to your green tea. 

When added to a steeping pot of green tea the transformation is magical.  When it is finished you have yourself a cool and refreshing drink that tastes great hot or iced.

lavender flowers
Lavender Brings a Soothing Floral Note To Your Green Tea

11. Rose Petals can be added to green tea to wonderful effect.  I would not recommend eating the ones from your florist.  The amount of fertilizer alone would put me off from eating them. 

Growing your own or finding some grown specifically for eating is the way to go.  The floral aromas alone are satisfying but when added to the green tea the fragrant notes fulling infuse with the green tea and you get the aroma of the rose in a cup to drink. 

It doesn’t overpower the green tea but adds its own distinct flavor.  In fact, you can make rose tea as an herbal substitute if you wanted, but that is another article altogether.

12. Add A Touch Of Jasmine to your green tea.  Whether it is fresh jasmine or part of the tea when you buy it this is a great way to add a little flavor and some unique health benefits to your cup of green tea.  The jasmine adds a slightly sweet floral note to your green tea. 

Its delicate flavor does not overpower the green tea instead it compliments it and tends to have a smooth fresh finish that can make the tea more drinkable, especially to someone who has issues with green tea, to begin with. 

Adding fresh jasmine to your steeping tea will and a wonderful floral aroma to your tea and make the experience that much more interesting.

13. Tulsi is also known as holy basil and is often used to brew a tea of its own.  Tulsi has a pungent aroma that can easily overpower your green tea if you use too much of it.  Experiment to find your sweet spot and start on the lower end and work your way up.  This leaf has a sweet almost spiced flavor with a hint of cloves. 

Tulsi is often infused with black tea where the flavors are not as delicate as a green tea.  It is very easy to turn your cup of green tea into a cup of tulsi tea so, again be very careful. 

This started out as an experiment that I thought went well enough to add to this list.  Not the best way to make green tea more drinkable but I thought it was an interesting option so here it is.  You might really enjoy it.

Tulsi plant
Holy Basil Or Tulsi Adds A Nice Complex Texture To Green Tea.

14. Chamomile is one of the most popular ways to increase the drinkability of green tea.  Chamomile green tea has a sweet, clean almost fruity flavor.  Too much chamomile will overpower the green tea if you are not careful.  Chamomile is renown for its ability to aid with sleep and that should be taken into consideration if you buy green tea with chamomile added to it. 

Drinking a cup of this satisfying green tea in the morning might not be the best start to your day.  It will certainly be delicious but you might fall asleep by noon. But, as An after-dinner green tea, this one simply cannot be beaten, however.

15. Rose Hips are another fantastic way to add some flavor to your green tea and make it a little bit more drinkable.  The history and uses for Rose hips are far too detailed to go into in this short little paragraph but you can learn more about them here

The flavor profile for these little red fruits is slightly sweet with a hint of citrus.  The fruit is dried and added to the tea leaves and steeped alongside the green tea. 

The fruits themselves may have some sugar content but you are using them to steep in your tea so I am not sure how much of it is transferred to the actual green tea.  Therefore, I feel ok about adding them to this list of sugar-free alternatives to add to green tea.

16. The Lovely Hibiscus Flower is another superb flavor to add to your green tea.  This beautiful tropical flower is loaded with health benefits of its own. 

In fact, hibiscus tea has really started to enter the mainstream in recent years and may one day challenge green tea for the hearts of healthy tea drinkers everywhere. 

But for now, combining it with green tea adds a slightly tangy almost lemony note to your green tea.  This is one of the most satisfying cups of tea that I have had in a while.  Even those that are new to tea or find it incredibly bitter might want to try out this remarkable combination.

hibiscus flower
Add Hibiscus For a Unique Floral Flavor

17. Sarsaparilla is a curious addition to this list.  For this little experiment, I used sarsparilla tea with my green tea.  About a ratio of 30-70 to make a full cup of green tea.  Green tea is the higher volume of the two.  I was not expecting much. 

I like sarsaparilla tea, but I don’t love it.  So I figured it would just take away from my enjoyment of the green tea, but I was wrong.  I won’t claim that it is my favorite way to make green tea more drinkable but it was pretty good. 

The biggest reason I wanted to include it in this list is that it demonstrates a great way to cut the bitterness of green tea.  Simply mix it with a different flavored tea.  But be careful not to overwhelm the green tea or you might as well just drink a full cup of the herbal tea you added to it.

18. Ginger is fantastic.  A cup of ginger tea is so satisfying and delicious that adding it to green tea makes a ton of sense.  There are dozens of ginger green teas that you can buy ready-made from just about any store.  But I like to make it myself. 

Just add a slice of ginger root, maybe a quarter-inch across to your pot of water.  Then pout the lightly flavored water over your green tea leaves as you normally would. 

Then that familiar taste of ginger will hit at the same time as the green tea.  Cool and refreshing, slightly sweet and hot and spicy all rolled into one.  There a few things that can rival ginger for its uniqueness and flavor.

19. Add A Little Cardamom to your green tea to help make it more drinkable.  Like many of the other flavors on this list, you can find cardamom green tea prepackages and bagged for your convenience. 

Most of them are decent but making your own is always the best course of action in my opinion.  simply pop a few green cardamom pods into the steeping green tea and let the magic happen. 

The result is an added citrus and herbal flavor to your green tea.  There is also a bit of spicy flavor that this wonderful spice brings to the occasion.

20. Cinnamon, Tried and True. This wonderful spice might seem an odd addition to this list.  But the spicy woody flavor adds a beautiful new texture to your cup of green tea. 

The fragrance alone makes it worth your time to add a stick to your boiling teapot.  The cinnamon stick can be used multiple times for quite a few cups of this outstanding flavor combination. 

Even using the cinnamon stick and a stirrer will bring some of that legendary flavor to your cup of humble green tea.

cinnamon sticks
Cinnamon Is A Great Way To Add Flavor To Your Green Tea

The Big Finish

This is just a small list I think.  But I can only drink so much tea in one day and I tried over twice as many flavors as listed here and many just didn’t make the cut or needed more research before I felt comfortable enough with them to put them on a list like this.

That being said I will almost certainly revisit this little experiment and add more ways for people who don’t like the taste of green tea to be able to drink it.  Because that is the goal here, make green tea more palatable for more people.  And hopefully, bring more people into our little tea universe as a whole.

Because the one way I didn’t mention to make green tea more drinkable is to drink a different tea.  Yes, green tea gets most of the health plaudits but all teas are good for you.  All true tea and many herbal teas have a huge array of health and wellness benefits that you can take advantage of.

The bottom line here is green tea is just one of many.  The others are explored and reviewed and discussed right here at Tea in Abstraction and I hope you check them out because the universe of tea is expansive and wonderful. 

So don’t close yourself off from new tea experiences whether that means adding lavender to your cup of green or finding a brand new herbal tea that you hadn’t even thought of before.

make green tea taste better infographic

I thank you for visiting us here and hope you have enjoyed this article.  Be sure to check out the related posts to see if there is anything else that tickles your fancy.

And as always have a wonderful day.

M.Edward

Thanks for stopping by. My name is Edward and I am the lead writer here at Tea In Abstraction. When you think of Tea we hope that you will think of us first and we are working every day to become your most trusted source the wonderful things to enjoy about tea. Thanks for Visiting.

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