October 28, 2021
Sweeteners: How do they affect the flavour of your coffee?
While many of us enjoy drinking our coffee with no milk or sugar, there are plenty of people out there who add something to sweeten their cup. This might be sugar, honey, or artificial sweeteners.
There are so many options for people looking to add sweetness to their cup of coffee. But how exactly do these substances affect cup profile? And how does sugar differ from its alternatives?
To learn more about the science behind adding sweeteners to coffee, I spoke with three experts. Read on to find out what they had to share.
WHY DO PEOPLE SWEETEN THEIR COFFEE?
There’s plenty to be said for unsweetened coffee. However, it’s not uncommon for people to find the flavour of coffee to be too intense or acidic, especially for lower-quality coffee. For some people, the solution to this is to add something sweet.
Jamie van Dam and Les Kuan are administrators and instructors at the Canadian Barista Institute. They say that because drinking coffee is such a subjective experience, there’s no right or wrong way to enjoy it.
“For most people, coffee is bitter because they are drinking poorly roasted, prepared, and brewed beans that are also stale,” they say. “These factors lead to an extremely bitter cup, which most people drink for [the caffeine].”
Putting sweeteners into either hot or iced coffee makes the beverage smoother and more palatable for many coffee drinkers – especially those who don’t drink lots of coffee.
They add: “There are some people who get used to it and drink coffee black without sugar. However, this tolerance doesn’t change the fact that any stale or poorly roasted coffee is still likely to be flat, intense, or bitter.”