Best Specialty Coffee Sweeteners | Complete Guide to Coffee Sweeteners




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For many coffee drinkers and coffee enthusiasts out there, you will find that they have a strong opinion on how you should truly have your coffee.

However, with the growing rise in coffee drinkers around the world, not everyone enjoys just the classic black coffee, and some prefer to have something added.

What are the best coffee sweeteners? The best coffee sweeteners are either sugar, artificial sweeteners, or natural sweeteners.

Some coffee drinkers believe adding sweeteners will help enhance the flavour of their coffee.

Whatever type of coffee drinker you are, everyone will have a different opinion depending on their taste bud preferences.

So for those that do like to add a sweetener to their coffee, this article will walk you through the best coffee sweeteners to save you time and money.

We have come up with a complete guide to the best specialty coffee sweeteners.

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By far the most commonly used sweetener, sugar is now used in almost everything, however, there are a few types of sugar to be used in your coffee.

  • White Sugar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Raw Sugar

White Sugar

Most probably the most common type of sugar, this processed sugar is the crystallised sucrose extracted from sugar cane and/or sugar beets. It is also known as table sugar, granulated sugar, or regular sugar. 

From a nutritional point of view, white sugar does not contain as many minerals as brown sugar, however, the main difference is of course the white colour and less intense flavours.

You will find a variety of forms white sugar can be found in, including, coarse grain, granulated sugar, caster sugar, powdered sugar, and sugar cubes.

Brown Sugar

Another type of sugar, however, with a distinctive brown colour due to the presence of molasses, and a more distinctive caramel taste. You will find this produced as a natural brown sugar and a commercial brown sugar. 

Because of the presence of Molasses, you will find that brown sugar will have a stronger taste, with a more heavier and moist consistency, resulting in the sugar more easily clumping together. 

You will find a variety of forms brown sugar can be found in, including, light brown sugar, dark brown sugar, sugar in the raw and liquid brown sugar.

Raw Sugar

Raw sugar is often confused with brown sugar, however, it is slightly less refined, and has not gone through any type of processing, therefore, the molasses is left intact, which results in a lighter flavour. 

When the sugar cane is ground down to extract its sweet juices, crystals that form in the liquid are the raw sugar granules. Raw sugar has a much more coarse texture than the likes of brown and white sugar.

Artificial Sweeteners

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Due to the health risks that can come with consuming large amounts of sugar, and the efforts to cut calories, many people all over the world have made the switch to sweeten their morning coffee brew to an artificial sweetener, or at least be given the option when purchasing a coffee. 

However, the debate continues over whether artificial sweeteners are the ‘healthier’ option, and are indeed actually safe to regularly consume.

Due to the massive popularity of artificial sweeteners, which can be found in cafes, supermarkets, and within most peoples households, there is today a wide variety of brands and different types.

Therefore, we are going to check out a few of these options as it cannot be left out as one of the best ways to sweeten your coffee.

  • Saccharin
  • Aspartame
  • Sucralose
  • Advantame

Saccharin (Sweet’N Low, Sugar Twin)

This is a brand that uses a mixture of dextrose and saccharin in its products. Saccharin is the actual sweetener which is about 400 times sweeter than natural sugar.

However, contains zero calories as the body does not need to digest it. Dextrose is used to dilute the sweetness of Saccharin.


Aspartame is not like sucralose, as it is a fully artificial product. It’s base components are protein molecules that can be found in foods such as meat and dairy products. 

Not as sweet as Saccharin, Aspartame however is still 200 times sweeter than natural sugar, and also contains basically zero calories. 

Sucralose (Splenda)

Sucralose, or commonly known by its brand name Splenda, is actually made by a process using real sugar. 

The process adds chlorine to the sugar molecule, therefore, the sugar molecule becomes useless to the body and is not needed to be broken down which in turn, contains zero calories. 

Sucralose or Splenda is around 600 times sweeter than natural sugar. 

Advantame –

Advantame is considered a new high potency sweetener, with a clean sugar like taste. 

It is very cost effective and therefore, can be used to replace other high in calorie sweeteners such as natural sugars. 

It will provide your coffee with an opportunity to reduce calories while maintaining itself as a flavour enhancer, however, Advantame is still not a sweetener that is as commonly used as other brands above.

Natural Sweeteners

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  • Honey
  • Maple Syrup
  • Stevia
  • Molasses

Honey –

People of all ages love honey, which of course is a natural food substance commonly produced by bees. 

It has relatively the same sweetness and sucralose, and while it may contain more calories than sugar, it is considered a much healthier option to sweeten your coffee due to how honey is absorbed into our bodies and much easier digested. 

Unlike sugar, honey will not cause spikes in your blood sugar levels, and more importantly, honey contains amounts of many B-vitamins such as riboflavin, as well as vitamin B6 and Vitamin C. 

Honey is packed full of antioxidants, which can have anti-inflammatory effects on the body, as well as aid with digestion.

Maple Syrup –

Another natural wonder, maple syrup has been consumed for many years, and is made from the circulating fluid, commonly known as sap, of sugar maple trees. 

Like honey, maple syrup contains many vitamins and minerals, however, it comes in many different grades, therefore, when buying maple syrup, make sure to read the labels carefully, as you will want to use a pure form of maple syrup, artificial versions will contain none of these benefits.

Studies have found that maple syrup has the same amount of antioxidant compounds that are in fruits such as berries.

Stevia –

Stevia is a sweetener extracted from the leaves of a plant species found in places like Brazil. Stevia can be up to 150 times sweeter the natural sugar. 

Again as the body does not break down the glycosides found in stevia, it contains zero calories. Its taste has a longer duration than sugar, as it has a slower onset.

Some studies suggest Stevia may hold extra health benefits, due to its antioxidant properties.

Molasses –

Mentioned at the beginning of this article, molasses is the byproduct of sugar production. 

It is the thick brown syrup that will be left after the sugar has been removed from the liquid. It has also shown to have many antioxidant properties, which some would say, has the highest level of antioxidants than other natural sweeteners. 

Molasses comes with a unique taste and is very strong in bigger quantities, however, may be a game changer for you in regards to the coffee brew taste you are used too.

*Read: What Antioxidants are in Specialty Coffee?

Best Specialty Coffee Sweeteners F.A.Q’s

frequently asked questions

Q: Can I drink coffee with stevia while fasting?

A: You are free to put stevia in your cup of coffee. This is because it doesn’t stimulate your blood sugar or insulin levels.

Q: Is honey better than sugar?

A: Honey has a lower GI value than sugar, meaning that it does not raise blood sugar levels as quickly. 

Honey is sweeter than sugar, so you may need less of it, but it does have slightly more calories per teaspoon.

Q: Which is worse sugar or sweeteners?

A: For someone looking to lose weight, artificial sweeteners are probably your best bet.

Table sugar and modified sugars could be less safe than sweeteners if you consider that they increase calorie intake and increase blood sugar levels.

Q: Which sugar is best for coffee?

A: White sugar is the most common sweetener used in tea or coffee. You can get white sugar in regular granulated form, or finer ground as icing sugar or confectioner’s sugar.

Conclusion: Best Specialty Coffee Sweeteners

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So what is the best specialty coffee sweeteners?

Well, ultimately, that is up to you and what your taste preferences are.

Are you looking to achieve better flavours, or are you looking to choose a sweetener with lower calories?

Whatever goals you would like to achieve with your coffee addiction, you generally cannot go wrong with the options throughout this article.

When it comes to our own personal opinion, we always like to go with a more natural sweetener, it is hard to beat those natural flavours and health benefits that come with it.

Our winner for the best way to help sweeten specialty coffee would have to go to a quality natural honey.

However, if you are looking for a sweetener with zero calories, then you would be better off with an artificial sweetener, this is for you to decide.

Explore your options, and that are in line with what you would like to achieve with your brew.

We hope that this complete guide to coffee sweeteners will help you with your next coffee brew, and your specialty coffee journey.

Check out the No.1 Winning Sweetener Over On Amazon

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If you enjoyed this article, read more like this by checking our our Specialty Coffee Beginners Guides.

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