Artificial sweeteners often have a weird aftertaste or suspect ingredients. One alternative is stevia, a calorie-free sweetener extracted from a sweet herb grown in South America. But until recently, there were questions about whether stevia was safe, and the varieties I've tried have a different kind of weird aftertaste — not chemical or artificial, but sort of herbal, almost like anise. I prefer my sweeteners a bit more neutral.
But I just got my hands on some Truvia and decided to give stevia another shot. Recently, this brand became the first stevia sweetener not labeled as a "dietary supplement." It's sold online in individual packets, each of which is equal in sweetness to two teaspoons of sugar. To find out how sweet it is,
According to Truvia's website, this product is made from rebiana, an ingredient made from the sweetest parts of the stevia leaf. The leaf is then purified, which may explain why Truvia tastes better than any other stevia I've tried. Though it still has a slight aftertaste, I didn't notice it until I got to the very bottom of my coffee cup. It wasn't overly sweet, and it didn't interfere with my coffee's flavor.
The only thing that bugs me is that rebiana is actually an ingredient created by Cargill in a lab, so it's hard to know how natural it really is. So I still don't know if stevia has won me over; as a sugar substitute, I still prefer agave nectar. But if you're looking for a zero calorie sweetener, Truvia definitely tastes better than the other stevia I've sprinkled into my coffee and tea.