How To Start Drinking Coffee Without Sugar (Some Simple Tips)

Last Updated on June 26, 2023 by Barry Gray

Loads of people are starting to cut down on sugar, some even removing sugar from their diet completely. I have no personal opinions on sugar and health, as I am not a health expert. 

Common sense tells us that sugar adds calories, and depending on how much sugar you use daily, this can add up fast. 

It is possible to start drinking coffee without sugar. Add salt, look for sweeter coffee beans, and gradually reducing your sugar are different ways you can lower sugar consumption.

I have been known to throw a lot of sugar at a bitter coffee. That is just me.

I have many friends who like the bite of a dark bitter roast. It’s all a matter of taste on that score.

Some think sugar and milk are a cardinal sin when savoring their coffee.

drinking coffee without sugar

Why Reduce Sugar in Your Coffee?

It makes health sense to reduce sugar, mainly if you add it here and there throughout the day. It is like saving; before you know it, all the bits have added up into a lot. 

Or at least I try to tell myself that it is with saving money!

So, how do you manage to change your previous coffee drinking habits? Well, I have a few tips that I believe will make a real difference.

Start Reducing Your Sugar

sugar in coffee

Do you know what my first step would be? Cutting back gradually.

I don’t believe you can go from drinking coffee with lots of sugar to drinking coffee with no sugar overnight. It’s just not going to happen.

So, slow and steady is the best method.

You can start to drop the amount of sugar you use just by dropping it in quarters. I’ve also seen people go for the ‘smaller spoon option,’ which tricks the brain into accepting those two teaspoons are their required sugar hit in coffee. 

In a sense, it’s similar to the concept of using a smaller plate to lose weight. You trick your eyes into thinking there’s more on there compared to the reality.

It’s the same with this spoon. It may sound silly, but I promise it works.

But this isn’t your only option for cutting back on sugar.

Whether you are just stopping sugar because you feel it is unhealthy or you want to drop a few pounds, I have some great suggestions. 

At the end of the day, it is how the coffee tastes that counts, and there are a lot of tips and tricks to making sugarless coffee taste just as good. 

Over time you will get used to it. I promise. 

Add Salt

adding salt to coffee

I understand if you have just read my suggestion to add salt to your coffee and it has thrown you into a tailspin. After all, it’s not the first thing you think of.

But hang with me for just a second.

Salt will actually help sweeten your coffee without adding sugar. It’s all to do with how your tastebuds perceive sweet and sour/bitter.

Adding salt will neutralize some of the bitter flavor in the coffee, and it then enhances the natural sweet notes that were hidden away.

I’m not saying salt will drastically alter the taste and make it the sweetest coffee you have ever experienced. That’s not the case.

Yet, I think you will be surprised at how even a pinch of salt in your coffee will allow you to cut back on the amount of sugar you include.

Common Sense Tips To Reduce Sugar in Coffee 

I’ve already given you two fantastic tips by gradually reducing your sugar and adding salt. Yet, if that is not appealing to you, I have other common sense tips that I know can make a difference.

  • Use good quality coffee. The better the quality of your coffee, the less bitter it will be, making it easier to drink without sugar. Look for coffee beans that have been roasted recently and have a smooth, balanced flavor. Focus on the taste of coffee; if you are a coffee lover, you will find that simple act life-changing. 
  • Experiment with different brewing methods. Some brewing methods, such as pour-over or French press, produce naturally sweeter coffee than others. Experiment with different techniques to find one that you like.
  • Try a few sweeteners. Suppose you still find that your coffee is too bitter without sugar. You can add natural sweeteners like stevia, monk fruit, or cinnamon. Personally, I don’t like sweeteners. You might find them OK.
  • Try whole milk or cream. Milk or cream can help to make coffee milder and sweeter. If you’re lactose intolerant, you can use almond milk, soy milk, or another plant-based milk. You can also try different types of milk, like oat milk, almond, and hazelnut, but some have sugar in them. 
  • Add flavor enhancers. Flavor enhancers can be a game-changer; popular options include vanilla extract, cocoa powder, or salt. A good chocolatey coffee with salt can make that salted caramel flavor that people love.

You can also make wise choices; if you have flavored sweet milk or syrups, then leave out the extra sugar. If you are eliminating sugar, clearly, you won’t want to do this; this is more for watching your weight, for example.

Sometimes it is about compromise and adding the calorie content of the whole coffee, not just the sugar. 

I have a friend who rarely drinks coffee, but when they do, they go for it. Cream, sugar, flavored syrup, you get the picture. This means nothing in the bigger scheme of their life as they are very strict overall with calories. 

Extra Tips to Start Drinking Coffee Without Sugar

black coffee

The methods above all work. Countless people will testify to this, but I know some of you may require some additional help if you wish to transition to drinking coffee without sugar.

So, don’t worry. I have your back.

Now, I know these are only three additional tips, but they could prove to be decisive.

  • Drink your coffee black first thing in the morning. Your taste buds are more sensitive in the morning, so you’ll be more likely to taste the natural sweetness of the coffee.
  • Take your time and savor the flavor. Don’t rush through your coffee. Take a few minutes to enjoy the aroma and the taste.
  • Find a coffee shop that you like. Sometimes, the best way to learn to love black coffee is to find a coffee shop that makes it well. They can wean you off your sugar coffee over time!

With a bit of practice, you’ll be able to enjoy sugarless coffee just as much as you do coffee with sugar.

Choosing the Correct Coffee

Some coffees are nutty, some are stronger, and some are fruity and sweet. Here are some sweeter coffees to try without sugar. 

  • Ethiopian coffee: Ethiopian coffee is known for its fruity and floral notes, which can give it a naturally sweet flavor. Some popular Ethiopian coffees include Yirgacheffe, Sidamo, and Harrar.
  • Central American coffee: Central American coffees are also known for their sweetness. Some popular Central American coffees include Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Honduras.
  • Colombian coffee: Colombian coffee is a versatile coffee that can be enjoyed both black and with sugar. It has a smooth, balanced flavor with hints of chocolate and caramel.
  • Sumatra coffee: Sumatra coffee is a full-bodied coffee with a rich, earthy flavor. It can be enjoyed in black or with a small amount of milk or cream.
  • Hawaiian coffee: Hawaiian coffee is known for its smooth, mellow flavor. It has a hint of sweetness and a touch of acidity.

These are just a few of the many types of coffees that have a naturally sweet flavor.

When choosing a coffee for sugarless coffee, it is crucial to consider your personal preferences. If you like fruity coffees, then Ethiopian coffee might be a good choice for you.

Or, depending on your tastes, Colombian coffee might be a better option for a more chocolatey flavor.

Extra Help to Sweeten Your Coffee

No matter what type of coffee you choose, you can do a few things to make it even sweeter:

  1. Use freshly roasted beans. Freshly roasted beans have more flavor and sweetness than beans sitting on the shelf for a while.
  2. Use a brewing method that produces a smooth, balanced cup of coffee. Pour-over and French’s press are two good options.
  3. Experiment with different kinds of milk and creamers.

Some milk, such as almond and soy, has a naturally sweet flavor. You can also add a small amount of honey or maple syrup to your coffee for sweetness.

This depends on your goal with sugarless coffee, though. 

Will More Expensive Beans Make a Difference?

You might have noticed I mention good quality beans a lot. That’s because the quality of the coffee beans can make a difference to the taste. 

Here are some of the reasons why more expensive coffee can cost more. 

  • The type of bean: Arabica beans are generally considered to be higher quality than Robusta beans, and as a result, they tend to cost more.
  • The growing conditions: Coffee beans grown in ideal conditions, such as those with high altitudes and consistent rainfall, will tend to produce higher-quality coffee.This then pushes up the prices of export, for example. 
  • The roasting process: The way that coffee beans are roasted can have a significant impact on their flavor. Roasted beans will produce a more complex and flavorful cup of coffee.
  • The beans’ freshness: Coffee beans start to lose their flavor as soon as they are roasted. As a result, buying beans that have been roasted recently is vital.

 There are always exceptions, and some really inexpensive coffees taste excellent. In contrast, more expensive ones just don’t hit the mark. 

To be on the safer side, expect to pay more for better-tasting roasted coffee beans. 

If you are willing to spend more money, you will likely be rewarded with a better cup of coffee. Good coffee beans will have a richer, more complex flavor and be less bitter.

They are just overall better quality and yield a tastier flavor. The growers and farmers have learned the best conditions for coffee beans to thrive in.

This pays off. 

However, if you are on a tight budget, there are still ways to enjoy good coffee. Several affordable coffee brands offer high-quality beans. 

I’ve reviewed many supermarket brands here on this website. 

Supermarkets will drop the prices of their more expensive brands if they have been hanging around on the shelf too long, so you could wait it out and get a nice discount.

Keep in Mind Brewing Methods When Changing to Sugar-Less

How you prepare your coffee can also influence the outcome of the flavor. I have four different brewing methods that I feel can make a difference when you are trying to reduce how much sugar you are adding to your coffee.

  • Pour-over: This method involves pouring hot water over ground coffee beans in a filter.
  • French press: This method involves steeping ground coffee beans in hot water for a few minutes.
  • Cold brew: This method consists in soaking ground coffee beans in cold water for 12-24 hours.
  • Aeropress: This method involves forcing hot water through ground coffee beans using a piston.

The best method for you will depend on your personal preferences. The pour-over process might be a good choice if you like a smooth, balanced cup of coffee. 

The French press method might be better if you prefer a full-bodied cup of coffee. And if you like a mellow, sweet cup of coffee, the cold brew method will work better for you.

My Conclusion

Ultimately, the best way to find good coffee beans is to experiment. Try different brands and different types of beans until you find one that you like. And don’t be afraid to spend a little more if you think it will be worth it.

With a bit of experimentation, you’ll be able to find a type of coffee that you enjoy drinking without sugar.