It’s no secret that many of us want a nicely brewed coffee in the morning. Half of the American population takes their coffee sweetened. However, we are aware of the high sugar intake and its complications. So, why not try some sugar substitutes for coffee? Let’s explore them.
Some of the best sugar substitutes for coffee are honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, brown sugar, stevia, vanilla extract, molasses, and simple syrup.
So, if you want a sugar alternative to reduce sugar intake or a different taste, these 20 sugar alternatives will work best for your coffee.
In this blog, we will cover 20 different sugar alternatives for coffee. The list contains natural options as well as artificial sweeteners. We’ll also provide you with a list of the most suitable options so that you can find the perfect sweetener for your taste buds.
Honey can be an excellent substitute for sugar in coffee, and there are several reasons why it can be a better option. Honey adds a unique flavor to coffee that can enhance the taste profile of your beverage.
While sugar can sometimes make coffee taste overly sweet or one-dimensional, honey can add a subtle sweetness with hints of floral or fruity notes. On top of that, honey has a lower glycemic index than sugar, so it can provide a more balanced sweetness that doesn’t cause a sudden spike in blood sugar levels.
Looking at it from a health point of view, honey is also a natural source of antioxidants, enzymes, and other beneficial nutrients. These nutrients can help support your immune system, improve digestion, and even soothe a sore throat or cough.
Plus, unlike sugar, honey contains trace amounts of vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, calcium, and iron. So, you can try honey as a substitute for sugar in coffee.
Stevia is a popular choice among people looking to cut down on their sugar intake. It’s derived from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant and is often marketed as a natural alternative to artificial sweeteners.
Regarding taste and flavor, stevia is a bit different from sugar. Some people find it has a bitter aftertaste, primarily when used in larger quantities.
So, when you use stevia for coffee, be sure about the measurement. Some users have reported that it can add a bit of bitterness to darker roasts, so you may only need to use it less if you are making a strong coffee. But stevia is better for making medium or fine roast coffee.
3. Brown Sugar
Brown sugar is another fantastic option for coffee. The difference between brown and white sugar is that white sugar is refined. At the same time, brown sugar is made by combining white sugar with molasses.
There are two types of brown sugar: light and dark. Light brown sugar has a lower molasses content, while dark brown sugar has a higher molasses content. The molasses percentage in light brown sugar is around 3.5%, while in dark brown sugar, it’s approximately 6.5%.
Brown sugar is an excellent option because it adds a nice caramel flavor you can’t get with white sugar. The natural molasses in brown sugar gives it a caramel-like flavor, which pairs perfectly with the bitterness of coffee.
4. Coconut Sugar
For a few reasons, coconut sugar is an excellent substitute for regular sugar in coffee. The flavor is rich and caramel-like and goes well with coffee. Some people even say it has a hint of nuttiness to it.
Coconut has always been a favorite among people due to its limitless usage. It is enjoyed in the form of juice, milk, and now as sugar. It is also called palm sugar, which comes from the coconut palm sap.
If you want coconut sugar in your coffee beverages, add sugar to hazelnut or French vanilla coffee. The flavors will complement each other and go well.
5. Maple Syrup
If you are thinking maple syrup is only there to enjoy with pancakes. Then it’s not true. It is a great way to sweeten your coffee and adds a delicious and unique flavor to your morning cup of joe. It has a rich, complex flavor profile that enhances the taste of the coffee.
It’s not just sweet but also has a slightly earthy and nutty flavor that compliments the bitterness of coffee. This makes it a great choice if you want to add some depth to your brew.
Also, it goes well with cold coffee drinks, such as iced coffee or cold brew. It blends well with the coffee, creating a smooth, sweet flavor for a hot summer day.
Maple syrup is derived from the sap of maple trees, which is boiled down to create a thick, sweet syrup. It contains a variety of natural sugars, as well as vitamins and minerals such as zinc, calcium, and potassium.
There are various flavors of maple syrup available in the market. Try using dark or amber maple syrup for a richer, more intense flavor. Or, if you prefer a lighter taste, you can use light or golden maple syrup.
You can also try different grades of maple syrup, such as Grade A or Grade B, to find the flavor that works best for you.
6. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
Are you trying to reduce sugar but still want to enjoy your daily cup of coffee? Well, then cocoa powder will be the best option.
If you are a fan of mocha coffee, then cocoa powder is a great sugar substitute. It adds a rich chocolate flavor that pairs perfectly with the bitterness of coffee.
Using cocoa powder instead of sugar means you won’t have to worry about the added calories and adverse health effects of consuming too much sugar.
The unsweetened cocoa powder won’t have the same sweet taste as sweetened cocoa. But that’s the point. Unsweetened cocoa powder is an excellent option if you are trying to cut sugar from your diet. You can still enjoy its delicious flavor if you don’t add sugar to your chocolate.
Add a teaspoon or two to your coffee grounds to use cocoa powder before brewing. You can also sprinkle it on your coffee for an extra chocolatey kick.
7. Simple Syrup
You have indeed experienced the frustration of pouring granulated sugar into iced coffee, and then it doesn’t dissolve well. At last, it leaves a gritty texture behind. Then simple syrup is the right solution.
It’s a sweetener made by dissolving sugar in water over heat until it forms a syrupy consistency. The best part of simple syrup is that it dissolves easily in hot and cold liquids. It gives nice classic sweet flavors of sucrose in the coffee.
Making simple syrup is easy. Take equal parts sugar and water and heat them in the saucepan. Dissolve them together and make a lovely syrup. You can store leftover simple syrup in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Consider molasses as an excellent option to add sweetness to your coffee. Not only does it provides a unique flavor, but it’s also a healthier alternative to refined sugar.
Molasses is made by boiling down sugarcane or sugar beet juice until most of the water has evaporated, leaving behind a thick, dark syrup. This process gives molasses a rich, complex flavor.
There are two main types of molasses: light and dark. Light molasses is a sweeter option that has more sweetened caramel notes. It’s a great choice if you are looking for a milder sweetness.
If you want a more acquired taste of sweetness, you can go for dark molasses. This type has a stronger, more robust flavor with earthy undertones. However, dark molasses is less sweet than light molasses, so you may need more to achieve the desired sweetness.
9. Date Sugar
Date sugar is a sweetener that is derived from dried dates. Essentially, the dates are ground up into a fine powder, which can be used instead of regular granulated sugar in various recipes.
Date sugar is made by simmering Medjool dates in water, blending them into a puree, and straining them. The result is a dark, silky, and viscous liquid that resembles the color of molasses. It is thicker than maple syrup in texture, with a unique, fruity bitterness and mild sweetness.
Dates are rich in vitamins and minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and iron, so using date sugar as a sweetener in your coffee can provide some nutritional benefits.
When you add the date to coffee, you get a caramel-like flavor which you will enjoy gleefully. The sweetness level is similar to white sugar, but it’s safe for coffee.
10. Monk Fruit Sweetener
If you’re looking for a healthy alternative to sugar to sweeten your coffee, monk fruit sweetener is worth considering. Monk fruit sweetener is a natural sweetener made from monk fruit. It is a small green melon native to southern China.
The monk fruit has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine. It has various health benefits. This sweetener is made by extracting the juice from the monk fruit and then processing it to create a concentrated powder.
The Monk fruit juice contains zero calories, so it becomes an attractive option for people on a diet.
When it comes to adding monk fruit sweetener to coffee, you’ll find that it adds a classic sweetness without any bitter aftertaste that some other sweeteners can have. Also, it has a fruity flavor, which can complement the taste of coffee nicely.
Agave is a natural sweetener from the agave plant native to Mexico. It’s been used for centuries by the indigenous people of Mexico as a sweetener and to make alcoholic beverages like tequila and mezcal.
Agave syrup is made by extracting the sap from the core of the agave plant, which is then filtered, heated, and processed into syrup. The resulting syrup is about 1.5 times sweeter than sugar, so you don’t need to use as much of it to get the same level of sweetness.
It has a mild, sweet flavor with a hint of caramel which will be great in your coffee.
12. Vanilla Extract
Vanilla extract adds a beautiful vanilla aroma and flavor to your coffee. Using a bit of vanilla extract in your coffee instead of sugar is a great way to enjoy delicious coffee.
The vanilla mellows out the bitterness of coffee and adds a pleasant vanilla undertone. Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract to your cup of coffee instead of a sugar packet.
The flavor of vanilla pairs well with coffee and complements notes of chocolate or nuts. Vanilla also enhances the taste of creamer if you like to add a splash of that to your coffee.
13. Lucuma Powder
Another substitute that you may have never thought or heard about is lucuma powder. Lucuma is a fruit native to South America that is dried and powdered. The powder has a maple-like flavor with caramel undertones and a hint of sweetness.
Adding a teaspoon or two of Lucuma powder to your coffee or espresso removes the bitter edge and enhances the flavor naturally without making it taste sugary.
Lucuma powder is versatile and works great in many foods and drinks. The flavor it adds is unique and delicious. Lucuma contains many nutrients, like beta-carotene, niacin, and iron. It’s really like that it’s an all-natural alternative that adds flavor to my coffee.
Lucuma powder can be found at most natural grocery stores that sell superfoods and plant-based ingredients. If you’re looking for a way to boost the flavor of your coffee without the sugar rush, try Lucuma powder.
14. Beet Sugar
Now let’s look at beet sugar as the sugar substitute for coffee. Beet sugar is extracted from sugar beets. Sugar beets are root vegetables explicitly grown for their high sugar content. They are one of the primary sources of sugar in the world.
Now, when it comes to using beet sugar as a substitute for regular sugar in coffee, there are a few things to remember. The flavor profile is one of the most significant differences between beet and regular sugar.
White sugar is relatively neutral in flavor, whereas beet sugar adds an earthy, caramel-like taste to your coffee.
Many people enjoy adding beet sugar to coffee drinks and adding excellent depth and complexity to their coffee.
15. Yacon Syrup
You have never heard about yacon sugar. It has one-third of the calories of granulated sugar. Yacon sugar is a natural sweetener from the yacon plant’s roots, native to South America. It has nutty and earthy flavors, with hints of molasses and caramel, which adds a pleasant taste to your coffee.
It contains a soluble fiber called fructooligosaccharides (FOS), which can help support healthy digestion and promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in your gut. FOS is also known to have prebiotic properties, which can help improve overall gut health.
When it comes to using yacon sugar in your coffee, it’s important to remember that it’s not as sweet as regular sugar, so you may need to use a bit more to achieve your desired level of sweetness.
Erythritol is a sugar alcohol often used as a substitute for sugar in foods and beverages. It’s a popular choice because it’s low in calories, doesn’t raise blood sugar or insulin levels, and has a similar taste to sugar without adverse side effects.
When it comes to coffee, Erythritol is an excellent alternative for those who want to cut back on sugar or avoid it altogether. It adds a sweet taste without calories and can help balance out the bitterness of coffee. Plus, it doesn’t leave an aftertaste like some other sweeteners can.
One of the great things about Erythritol is that it’s very versatile. You can use it in hot or cold coffee, which dissolves quickly and easily. You can even use it to sweeten coffee-based desserts, like tiramisu or coffee cake.
Another benefit of Erythritol is that it doesn’t have any of the adverse health effects that regular sugar can have. It’s tooth-friendly, doesn’t cause digestive issues, and doesn’t contribute to weight gain or other health problems.
Have you ever tried using Xylitol before? It’s a popular sugar substitute that’s becoming increasingly common these days. Many fruits and vegetables contain Xylitol, a naturally occurring sugar alcohol with a sweet taste.
When you use Xylitol in your coffee, you will find that it has a sweet, pleasant taste. Many people say that Xylitol enhances the flavor of their coffee, making it taste smoother and more enjoyable.
Xylitol is also a low-calorie alternative to sugar. It has the same sweetness as sugar, but fewer calories, so it can be an excellent option if you are trying to reduce your sugar intake.
Sucralose is a no-calorie artificial sweetener. It’s commonly used in various food and drink products, including coffee. It’s made by replacing three hydrogen-oxygen groups on a sugar molecule with three chlorine atoms, which makes it much sweeter than regular sugar.
Sucralose sugar doesn’t add a bitter aftertaste that other artificial sweeteners can leave. It has a similar taste profile as white sugar.
Sucralose, as a sugar substitute for coffee, is incredibly versatile. It dissolves readily in hot and cold liquids, so you can use it to sweeten your coffee, whether hot or iced.
Saccharin is a zero-calorie artificial sweetener used as a sugar substitute for over a century. It’s about 300-400 times sweeter than sugar, so a little goes a long way.
In terms of flavor, Saccharin has a bitter aftertaste, which some people find unpleasant. Saccharin has a slight bitterness or metallic taste.
It’s an excellent option for those looking to cut back on sugar or calories in their coffee. Since it’s a zero-calorie sweetener, it won’t add extra calories to your daily intake.
So some famous sugar substitutes can be used in coffee. We explored artificial sweeteners like vanilla extract, molasses, agave, maple syrup, etc.
After experimenting with different options, I have found that stevia, coconut sugar, and honey work the best for me as replacements for regular sugar in my coffee. Stevia is natural, calorie-free, and does not spike blood sugar levels.
Coconut sugar adds a natural sugar taste to your coffee with smooth flavors. Lastly, honey is raw, antioxidant-rich, and has just the right amount of sweetness to the coffee. You can explore other sweeteners, too, and try them out.
This post has given you some ideas and options to try different sugar substitutes in your coffee.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are some common sugar substitutes for coffee?
Some common sugar substitutes for coffee are stevia, brown sugar, coconut sugar, honey, monk fruit extract, molasses, date sugar, and agave.
Are sugar substitutes healthier than regular sugar?
Sugar substitutes can be a healthier alternative to regular sugar because they are often lower in calories. However, some artificial sweeteners such as maple syrup and vanilla extract are some not-so-healthy sweetener substitutes. So, Choosing a sugar substitute that works for your body and using it in moderation is essential.
Do sugar substitutes change the taste of coffee?
Sugar substitutes can change the taste of coffee, depending on the type and amount used. Some people find that certain sugar substitutes, such as stevia or monk fruit extract, have a different taste than sugar.
Can I use sugar substitutes in any coffee?
Sugar substitutes can be used in any coffee, including hot or iced coffee, espresso, and lattes.