Agave Nectar - how sweet is it?

What is this stuff? I keep hearing about agave nectar as a sweetener for tea. I hadn't really heard about it until recently (other than its use in tequila production), but I'm learning it's no fad. I have the world's biggest sweet tooth, so I had to "investigate" this stuff to see what it's all about.

According to http://www.allaboutagave.com/, agave nectar is the sweet stuff found in spiky, cacti-like plants that grow in desert climates, particularly in Southern Mexico. Once an agave has grown to at least seven years old, the plant's leaves are cut off, revealing the pina of the plant - or the core. After harvesting, the pina resembles a huge pineapple and can weigh up to 150 pounds. (Yikes!)

Sap is then extracted from that pina/core, filtered and heated at a low temperature, which melts the carbs into sugars. There is light and dark agave nectars, but both can be made from the same plant.

All About Agave states that the taste is similar to honey. But I want to know from those of you who use agave nectar. What do you think? How does it taste? How would you rate it as a sweetener - for tea or otherwise?

Also, what is the best brand of agave nectar? Got any favorite places to purchase this pina puree?


1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    Agave is not quite as sweet as honey, and not as thick. Madhava Honey out of Colorado sells both the light and dark varieties as well as a vanilla flavored version (we carry them as well). When we had a brick and mortar store, it was the most popular sweetener.

    Matt Graham