1st Stevia purchase
The big stevia step
OK, so you are going to take the big step. You heard about Stevia. You read about it. Maybe you were told about it by a friend who is following a low carb diet, or you heard about stevia for diabetics, or candida. Maybe you saw some low carbohydrate diet stevia recipes. Your curiosity is up and you are ready to take the sweetest step in your life. You know in your heart of hearts that it is safe. You want to go ahead. But you stop......
You ask yourself
"Will I like stevia?"
" I heard some stevia tastes bitter, or grassy, or has a licorice taste."
"I wonder if it will work in my coffee"
"Where can I find recipes?"
"Should I buy white stevia powder form or liquid, or maybe crushed bulk stevia leaf?"
All legitimate questions. One thing you definitely do not want to do is throw away money. There is a lot of substandard product in the market. There are also a lot of scammers and their shills passing off altered product as high quality. Everyone seems to shade the truth preaching why theirs is "the Best". It is very hard to figure out what to believe so you don't get taken. Being a novice what should you look for?
What is Stevia?
There is a lot of confusion about what is stevia. It is a plant. It is not white powder, it is not a liquid. It is simply a plant. So when someone sells a bottle of white powder and calls it stevia, they are adding to the noisy din of confusion. The stevia leaf is either green or brownish in color. It can be used either whole or cut or chopped up. It can be used either dried (like leaves in autumn), or fresh. Stevia is a lot cheaper than the stevia extract known as Stevioside.
As you probably know, traditionally the best plants have come from Paraguay. The seeds and some of these plants found their way to China and other countries. Now just because the best plants have historically come from Paraguay, it does not mean that any product coming from there will be the best. Even if it is organic. There are several grades of Stevia Rebaudiana Bertoni plants grown. Within those grades there are different strains. Just like apples. Here in the USA Washington State is famous for great tasting apples. Does that mean that every apple coming from Washington is the best? Of course not. While I love a red delicious the macoun grown in New York has an incredible taste! The same goes for stevia. While Paraguay may be famous for stevia some product coming from other countries can taste even better.
Like coffee grades of plants grown fall into differing grades. The top grade is the rarest, and most expensive. There is very little of it produced in the world it is not generally available commercially. The next grade is also rare, but not as rare as the top grade. It is expensive to grow as it has a longer growing time, and requires more care. The most popular is low grade. This grows like a weed, fast and big. Unfortunately, it also has the poorest taste qualities of the three. It is known for it's bitterness, grassiness, and licorice taste. It does not produce good quality stevioside, (the extract of the plant). But almost every company selling stevia and/or stevioside sells low grade. Even if they are not aware of it. This is because they do not know what to ask, or they are buying strictly on price. They then charge you premium prices.
Don't be cheated
When buying stevia you should look for stevia leaf that is powdered. Take a look at the product, or get assurances that there are virtually no stems, or leaf veins in the stevia.
The stems and leaf veins are just bulking material. They contribute nothing but bitterness, grassiness, and licorice taste. Make sure you are purchasing stevia leaf only. If you get a lot of stem, and vein return it. Those parts are unusable.
If you want to buy top grade stevia leaf visit Emperor's Herbologist web site.
If you would like to get Stevia Extract — the white powder known as stevioside visit http://www.emperorsherbologist.com/stevia_extract.php