The Pantry Staple You Should Sweeten Tea With For A Fruity Kick

brewed black tea from pot
brewed black tea from pot - Guven Ozdemir/Getty Images

If you're a tea lover, besides being very careful about the kind of leaves or blends you brew, you're probably also very selective about what you add to your cup. Some prefer to drink their tea straight, others with a touch of milk and sugar or honey. Over the years, though, many trends have called for more "exotic" additives, like salt and butter into black tea as part of a keto diet. Well, salt and butter will have to step aside because there's a new trend on the horizon: fruit jam.

If you're a tea purist, the idea of adding jam to your tea might initially seem a bit odd. But give it a moment's thought, and it may not sound so bad. Jam is naturally sweet, so it'll work wonders as a sweetener in a pinch to take the bite out of a robust cup of builder's tea. Plus, unlike honey or the standard milk-sugar combo, you're not confined to a single flavor. From strawberry to grape to blackcurrant, you have tons of options to choose from. Simply spoon in a little of your favorite jam, and voila. The fruity taste that it will add to the malty tea will totally transform the flavor profile, giving you a whole new tasting experience to go with your daily cuppa.

Read more: 20 Tea Brands, Ranked From Worst To Best

Where Did The Trend Come From?

black tea cup on saucer
black tea cup on saucer - Urbazon/Getty Images

Surprisingly, adding jam to tea isn't a recent invention. Believe it or not, it has roots in Russian tea culture. Back in the 18th century, after tea was brewed inside a special brewer called a "samovar," you got a tea concentrate called "zavarka." Once it was diluted with hot water, people would opt to add not just sugar or lemon but also jam into their tea until the taste was to their liking.

An alternative to adding the jam straight into the tea is to simply take a spoonful and put it on the tip of the tongue. Then, the black tea is consumed and mixed with the jam in the mouth. This allows the drinker to savor the bitter first note of the pure tea, then enjoy the sweet aftertaste of the fruity mix as it comes down. This practice turns each cup of tea into a personalized flavor experience and even a personal ritual. This is such a quintessential Russian concept that, in Japan, there's the term "Russian tea," which is used to refer to the action of drinking black tea with jam.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.