Stevia: Yay or Nay?

June 1, the Wall Street Journal reported that Coca-Cola is trying to bring a sweetener branded Rebiana to market: a derivative of Stevia Rebaudiana, the same South American herb that makes up SweetLeaf Stevia.

Inspired by the topic “Splenda: Yay or Nay?” that had its turn a while back, I wanted to take a show of hands among our members to see how do you feel about Stevia.

Any Stevia users around? Any people who highly mistrust it/are against its use for some reason?

I feel mixed about it. I think it’s probably safe, but sometimes the things I make with it taste like licorice. It might be that heating it brings out the strong taste.

I love stevia and have been using it for years, but it’s one of those things you love or hate, I think. It can taste like licorice depending on the brand and it seems to me that people who dislike licorice dislike stevia.

Personally, I have no doubt about Stevia’s safety. In fact, its only due to some FDA peculiarities (due in no small part to heavy lobbying by Monsanto, the original developer of aspartame) that it cannot be legally marketed in the U.S. as a sweetner, but as a nutritional supplement. But Sweet Leaf is routinely sold in the same packets as other sweetners in natural foods stores, but its technically considered a supplement, not a sweetner. Also, it is widely used by Coca Cola, Pepsi and Cadbury Schweppes in Japan and South Korea as a sweetner in soft drinks sold in those countries, in part, because artificial sweetners were largely unavailable (at least in Japan) until fairly recently.

Having tried it, however, I don’t care for the taste of Stevia, as it does taste a tad like licorice. I like licorice, just not in my beverages. Perhaps its due to years of artificial sweetner consumption on my part, but I do notice a more distinctive taste when I’ve used Stevia vs. other sweetners. I think Coca Cola’s move is part of a wider effort from food and beverage companies to sell products with added benefits (anyone notice how all the yogurt manufacturers are now selling probiotic enhanced products, even though these have long been standard in much of Europe?). I have no problem if they want to use Stevia, but I’d prefer to be given a choice in the matter, thats all.

It’s my understanding that how Stevia tastes has something to do with your genetic make-up. You know how there are “super tasters” who can taste certain flavors and others who can’t?

Stevia doesn’t taste good to me. I know other people who like it. But by the same token, roasted red peppers taste so disgusting to me I can’t understand how anyone could eat them. There’s some chemical I taste in them and in baked tomatoes that is revolting to me but obviously not tasted by other people.

A BIG “NO”. It tastes horrible. If it was so good people would have been using it a long time ago. Just my opinion.

Roasted red peppers taste bad to me, too. Also colored frosting on commercial cakes and arugula come to mind as things that taste too bitter to me to eat. It’s never been proven that I’m a supertaster, but it’s a good bet.

That said, the people I know that aren’t supertasters still think stevia tastes like licorice, so I don’t know.

I love stevia too, I’ve been using it on and off for 2 decades, literally.

I’m Going to vote a Yay. I have missed my sweet tea during the summer time and with sweetleaf stevia being zero calories,zero carbs,and zero glycemic index then being a natural plant not something made in a lab somewhere made of a bunch of chemicals. I get to feel good enjoying a few of the things i missed (Crazy sweet tooth)

I would SAY NAY…hehehe I am a little I am a Splenda Lover…lol

I’ve tried Stevia a few times and liked it quite well. Much more than Splenda or any other artificial sweetner I’ve tried. I don’t use it very often though, I just never think to. I absolutely hate other artificial sweetners and I’ve kind of decided that if it’s not sweetened with real sugar, it’s not worth it. Stevia tastes good to me, but it’s just not the same. I used to love sweet tea more than anything, but I’ve found that just ordering water makes everything so much cheaper, it’s not worth it to pay for something that just doesn’t taste as good as th real thing.

I have tried Stevia…and I hate the taste…reminds me of Sweet-n-Low. I love Equal but heard it’s not good for you. The Splenda is a step above Sweet-n-Low but reminds me of Stevia. I wonder will they come out with something that really taste like sugar without the after taste and is also good for you?

Going to say Yay as well. Not so much for the taste, as Splenda still beat Stevia in our testing at; but for the fact it provides another alternative to sugar for those of us who like all the options we can get!

apparently stevia comes from a natural source things like sugar twin are chemically made so i’m going to say yay haha

Yay. I grew up on sweeteners. I hated them since they were so bitter tasting. After I left home, I only tried a packet of different sweeteners maybe 6 times. I have been using Stevia for a few years now, but only a few times a week in beverages or in cooking some deserts(not baking). It doesn’t taste like licorice to me, just sweet.

I am a supertaster—not always a good thing–

it does definately taste like licorice to me–I use it sometimes – mostly in tea- I usually mkae earl grey so the licorice flavor is dimished

it is the only non-sugar sweetner that doesn’t make my blood sugar go whack

I usually just use real sugar

I’ve used Stevia for a little while and like it. I do not like splenda in tea, hot or cold, way too sickly sweet. And the packets of splenda are different than the liquid splenda… and the liquid has no sugar and the packets do, as I understand it.

I have found one sugar free soda with stevia but in the major grocery chains, they all have aspartame for the most part. I will check my local health food coop, as I’m guessing they will carry others with stevia as there is so much negative opinion about aspartame in print.


I have never tasted Stevia but got 3 samples in the mail the other day. Since I don’t like (black) liquorice (I take it that it’s black), then I don’t intend to try it.

I do like Splenda. I’ve even dipped strawberries directly into it. The funny thing is, I HATE Splenda in sodas. UGH!!

Lois La Rose

Please say more about growing your own. What kind of plant is it? How do you grow it? How do you use it?

I have been using Splenda for years. My Husband bought Stevia drops form a local Vitamin store. I used them only a couple of times. Mostly when I was baking Portuguese Sweetbread. They do have a new stevia based sweetener out called Nuivaia or something similar. I received it in the mail, but have not tried it. It has more carbs than splenda.