What Are the Best Sweeteners for Coffee?

Samanta Fryer
Samanta Fryer
Samanta Fryer is our senior editor and content writer, at CoffeeVibe. Apart from writing and reading, she’s fond of the coffee brewing process and enjoys tasting new coffe read more
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Ryan Hendricks
Ryan Hendricks
Ryan Hendricks is our tester, who puts products through their paces. He used to be a barista and is now a full-time coffee enthusiast. He’s always testing out new gadgets, read more
Last updated: August 17, 2023
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There are two kinds of people. Those who love to take their coffee black and enjoy the rich, bitter, full-bodied taste of the morning cup, and those who like to have something in their favorite drink. If you are fond of adding a large splash of heavy whipped cream, a cube of sugar or other sweeteners for coffee, this post is for you.

There is truth in the fact that coffee is great when dressed up. However, if you drink 4 or 5 cups of coffee every day, the creams and sugars start to pile up. If you care about your health, you must be interested in alternatives to make your coffee taste better. In this post, we will take a closer look at the most popular coffee sweeteners, help you to find the best one for your health, and so on. Stick with us to find out more!

Types of sweeteners

What Are the Best Sweeteners for Coffee?When you enjoy coffee at your local coffee shop, chances are you are getting some industrialized syrup added to your drink. In popular places like Starbucks, you will get coffee with a lot of sugar. We can’t talk about health benefits in that case. Other coffee shops provide only cubes of sugar (brown, white), or do not offer any sweeteners of any kind at all. At home, some people add artificial or natural sweeteners to their coffee to cut some calories.

While artificial sweeteners it is an arguable topic, the natural ones are good for your health.

There are, obviously, so many sweeteners out there. And this is one of the reasons why coffee is so popular. It is a very versatile drink that goes with a vast plethora of tastes.

Now let us consider the types of sweeteners we have. We will begin with the most popular type: sugar.


What Are the Best Sweeteners for Coffee?Whether you are drinking tea or coffee, sugar is the most common sweetener you will find. Did you know, though, that there are different types of sugar? Let’s see the types available.

White sugar

White sugar is the most common type of sugar used by coffee drinkers. This sugar can be found in different forms, from the regular grounded form (granulated form) to powdered and cube forms. White powdered sugar is not practical for coffee shops, while you can find the other forms there quite often.

White sugar provides sweetness without changing the flavor of the coffee, and it only serves to make the coffee taste sweeter.

Brown sugar

Compared to white sugar, brown sugar delivers a heavier flavor. It is made with molasses and clumps more often when white sugar. As a result, it will not come out of a shaker quickly. It is hard to find brown sugar in coffee houses since it can significantly change the taste of your drink.

Raw sugar

As the name implies, raw sugar has not undergone any processing. It is just like brown sugar, only more “original”. The molasses was not removed, and it is the most natural sugar you can find. It is coarser than the other sugars and causes only a small change in the flavor of the coffee.

Artificial sweeteners

What Are the Best Sweeteners for Coffee?

Aside from sugars, many folks, as we have already mentioned, opt for artificial sweeteners.

There are three popular options: Splenda, Equal and Nutrasweet, and Sweet’n Low.


Splenda is a sucralose sweetener, which is made from chlorinated sugar. The chlorination process involves the addition of chlorine to the sugar molecule. And what do we get in the result? It is calorie-free, hundreds of times sweeter than sugar, and remains completely unprocessed by your body. The artificial taste it has is quite noticeable.

Equal and Nutrasweet

This brand of sweeteners is made with Aspartame. Unlike sucralose that still has some natural sugar in it, Aspartame contains no sugars and is 100% artificial. It comprises of protein molecules, all of which can be found in meat and dairy products. Although it isn’t as sweet as Splenda, it is similarly calorie-free and features an artificial taste.

Sweet’n Low

This sweetener is produced from a mixture of dextrose and saccharin. Saccharin is widely known as an alternative to sugar and serves as the actual sweetener. The dextrose is needed to dilute the saccharin. This artificial sweetener has a noticeable aftertaste.

In a bid to reduce calories, many people avoid flavoring their coffee with sugar or syrups and stick to artificial sweeteners. Although many claim that these are better than the natural stuff, the debate and reports are inconclusive. Furthermore, over the years, many studies have linked artificial sweeteners with worsened diabetes, an increase in the risk of cancer, and other problems.

Natural sweeteners

Natural sweeteners are arguably the best type of sweeteners for your coffee. Not only they are healthy, but they also impart a sweet, excellent flavor to your coffee. Instead of sugars and artificial sweeteners, here are some of the most wonderful natural sweeteners to try.


What Are the Best Sweeteners for Coffee?Honey is one of the best natural sweeteners you can ever try. Although it contains many calories, it remains a healthy alternative to artificial sweeteners and sugar. It causes positive reactions in the body. It neither leaves you with a sugar crash nor does it increase your hunger.

Furthermore, it contains essential minerals like potassium and magnesium and also useful for your organism B vitamins. Additionally, honey is an antioxidant and can aid digestion.

If you want a sweetener that offers a pleasant taste and is also healthy, you can’t beat honey.

Agave Nectar

What Are the Best Sweeteners for Coffee?Agave nectar is a natural sweetener that is obtained from processing several species of agave. It contains a rather high amount of fructose and is considered to be a healthy alternative to other sweeteners. Firstly, it boasts of a low glycemic index, which is excellent news for folks with diabetes. Next, it delivers a mild caramel flavor combined with a full-bodied bitterness and some vegetal notes. The bitterness is less noticeable with dark roasts and more pronounced with lighter roasts.

Maple Syrup

Do you want to improve the taste of that hot cup of coffee drastically? Then try maple syrup. According to some reports, it contains antioxidants that have health benefits. It contains compounds that have anti-diabetic, anti-cancer, and anti-bacterial properties.

When buying syrup, carefully check the label. Some people can get pancake syrup by mistake, which is made from different components. Pancake syrup will not offer you all the benefits of natural maple syrup.


Stevia is a natural sweetener that is extracted from the stevia plant and contains zero calories. It is a wonderful choice, especially for folks with a sweet tooth. It is around 300 times sweeter than sugar. Moreover, even if you have diabetes, you can still enjoy this sweetener because it does not affect blood sugar levels.

It is a healthy option that reduces systolic and diastolic blood pressure. And like the natural sweeteners above, it also has antioxidant, anti-microbial, and anti-tumor properties.


Molasses have been mentioned earlier when we were discussing sugar. It is a byproduct of sugar, and reports show that it has antioxidant properties. It is an excellent and healthy sweetener; however, most folks admit that it takes some time to get used to the intense spicy flavor in coffee. If you are trying it for the first time, add it with small portions.


What Are the Best Sweeteners for Coffee?
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Cinnamon isn’t a sweetener itself. However, it makes anything taste sweet when added. It contains zero calories and comes with loads of health benefits. Although the taste in coffee might be odd at first, after time, you will relish adding it to your favorite drink.

Vanilla Extract

Instead of adding vanilla-flavored whipped cream, why don’t you opt for the purest form: vanilla extract. The extract is an excellent addition to your drink and will make your coffee taste better. Although it will not sweeten your drink as much as sugar, it will leave a pleasant aroma and taste.


Nutmeg is a common spice used for a variety of stuff. It is, therefore, not surprising that it can also be used as a coffee sweetener. This healthy choice is a perfect source of manganese. Don’t add much of it, too.

Cocoa Powder

Unsweetened cocoa powder is full of protein, potassium, and it is a perfect antioxidant. It can make your coffee sweeter and spicier.

A bit of a shocker

What Are the Best Sweeteners for Coffee?If your coffee is bitter and you do not want to add a sweetener, you can add a tiny (once again, very small) amount of salt. Salt will reduce the bitterness of your coffee without making it sweeter.

You can also think about putting some ice-cream or even butter in to change the taste of your drink.

Final Verdict

Whether you choose a natural or artificial coffee sweetener, moderation is the key to enjoying your coffee. An excess of any of the sweeteners above has the potential to affect your health negatively, hence don’t put that much of them in order to achieve the unique taste.

After reading this post, why not live a little and experiment with these flavors? We are sure you will love it and have an active, productive day with the energy you get from a cup of coffee!

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