Sugar substitutes for coffee (What are the best sugar alternatives for coffee? + More information)

Cutting on refined sugars is the current holistic trend, as many try to stay fit and healthy. If you are a coffee lover, you might wonder how to sweeten your coffee without sugar. Read on to find out some sugar substitutes for coffee.

There are several sugar substitutes for coffee in the market. They include; honey, agave nectar, vanilla extract, dates, coconut oil, pure maple syrup, monk fruit extract, and spices, among others.

I dropped sugar from my diet a few months ago. However, I am a fan of sweet things, and I had to look for a healthy option to fill up the void space left by sugar. I settled for stevia because of its sweetness and its no-calorie content.

What I loved the most during this journey was that there were a variety of sweeteners for me to choose from. Additionally, how you brew your coffee will determine its sweetness. If you brew it to be sweet, there is no need to add any sweeteners. Therefore, if you are in the crowd of those looking for alternatives to sugar, stick around, as this article gives an in-depth analysis of how to sweeten your coffee without sugar.

What are the natural sweeteners for coffee?

Agave nectar

Agave nectar originated from Mexico and came to the scene of sugar alternatives in the 1990s. This nectar is extracted from the blue agave plant, a base for a Mexican import: tequila. Agave nectar has a low glycemic index and a consistency that resembles honey. The low glycemic index means it is an excellent option if you have diabetes or trying to regulate your sugar intake.

Agave nectar is more delightful with high fructose than the amount of fructose in high-fructose corn syrup. However, this does not make it unhealthy since fructose is from natural sources. It also has a mild caramel taste that enhances the general flavor of coffee and masks its bitterness.


Honey is a popular alternative to sugar mainly because of its anti-oxidants. Since the olden days, honey has always been used for medicinal purposes to lower blood pressure, fight infection, and even cure gastrointestinal diseases. Honey has minerals like magnesium and potassium, which contribute significantly to your health.

However, the only downside of using honey is that it contains more calories than sugar. Therefore, despite its nutritional value and properties, you should use it in moderation if it is your preferred sweetener,

Pure maple syrup

Pure maple syrup. Image source: Pixabay

Pure maple syrup has a thick consistency and has roots from Native Americans. This has always been their preferred sweetener, even before the arrival of European settlers to the East coast. The pure syrup is dark and contains anti-oxidant properties. It also has minerals like potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Though it is not low in calories, it is definitely more nutritious than sugar.


Dates can be used in different forms to sweeten coffee. You can either turn them into granular sugar, make date syrup or date paste, and use any of this as a coffee sweetener. This sweetener is healthy as it will give you fiber, iron, and vitamin B. It will also heighten the general flavor of your drink as it has a taste that resembles that of caramel.


Stevia is a sweetener option for health freaks. This sweetener is considered a natural sugar substitute and contains no calories. If you have diabetes, trying to lose some pounds, or just watching your blood sugar levels, this is a great option.

This sweetener has its roots in the stevia plant grown in South America. Paraguay and Brazil have used the sweet properties of this plant for medicinal purposes for over 1500 years. This sweetener is way sweeter than regular sugar; hence you should use it in regulation. Additionally, some stevia lovers posit that this sweetener might add some bitterness to your beverage depending on the roast level of your coffee.

Monk fruit extract

Monk fruit extract. Image source: Amazon

Monk fruit extract is a super sweet alternative to sugar and has grown in popularity over the last few years. Monk fruit originates in Southern China, where it is mainly used for medicinal purposes. When extracting the sweetener from the monk fruit, you remove its seeds and ground up the fleshy parts into a pulp.

The best thing about the monk fruit extract is that despite it being sweeter than regular sugar, it has no calories. Therefore, it is the best sweetener option for someone who has a sweet tooth but is watching their diet.

Not so sweet sugar alternative for coffee


Vanilla extract not only sweetens your coffee, but also heightens its flavor. It is widely accessible, and you can get it at almost any shop or grocery store you visit. However, this sweetener is not the perfect option for someone with a sweet tooth.


Adding spices like cinnamon, cardamom, or even nutmeg to your coffee might not add sweetness to your drink, but it might just be the alternative you are looking for. These spices cover the slightly bitter coffee taste in your drink and are great for those who love spicy drinks.

Unsweetened cocoa powder

Unsweetened cocoa powder is an excellent alternative to sugar for those who do not love sweet drinks. It gives your coffee a chocolatey taste and enhances its general flavor. When using unsweetened cocoa powder, consider using a handheld frother to get a perfectly-balanced mixture.

Coconut oil

Coconut is an excellent alternative to both table sugar and regular oil as it contains healthy fats. Though adding coconut oil to your drink won’t miraculously make your coffee sweeter, it will improve your energy levels and speed up your metabolism, which is a great alternative if you are on a weight loss journey.

Coconut cream

Coconut cream. Image source: Pixabay

Coconut cream has natural sugars which add a hint of sweetness to your coffee. It is also a great alternative to garnish your drink with, as it gives your coffee a slightly sweet, soft, and creamy texture. It is a great low-calorie substitute for whipped cream and sugar if you love garnishing your drinks.

Sea salt

Salt and coffee? When you read sea salt, I know what came to your mind was, “no way this can work.” But read first before you make a decision never to try this out. French sea salt neutralizes and cuts out the bitter taste in coffee. Though it won’t make your drink sweeter, it will make it tasty.

How to brew sweet coffee: tips on how to make sweet coffee

The best way to brew your coffee sweet is to cold brew at a high temperature and a relatively long time. This is because cold brews are widely known for their mellow flavors and reduced acidity.

  • So, to get sweet coffee, brew it for at least 12 hours at a high temperature to mute the acidity in the coffee.
  • Agitate your coffee grounds while they are brewing to ensure every ground has water.
  • You should get lightly roasted coffee as darker roasts tend to be bitter. This would result in a smooth and slightly acidic coffee.


Are sugar alternatives healthier than sugar?

Some sugar alternatives are not healthier than sugar, while others, like dates, are healthier as they will provide you with valuable nutrients like fiber.

Can I use cinnamon as a coffee sweetener?

Yes, you can use cinnamon to sweeten your coffee if you love a spicy flavor in your drink.

Does roast level affect the sweetness of coffee?

Yes, the roast level will affect your coffee’s sweetness, general texture, and acidity.

Leave a Comment

ABOUT CONTACT PRIVACY POLICY is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to