Is Brown Sugar Good For Coffee? (Quick Facts)

Last Updated on October 22, 2021 by John Moretti

Those of us who like our cup of coffee with some added sweetness probably use white sugar, artificial sweeteners, or maple syrup. Very few people consider using brown sugar in their coffee and use it exclusively for baking purposes. Can brown sugar be used in coffee, or is this a definite “no”? 

Brown sugar can be used in coffee. It has a deep, caramel-like taste that blends well with coffee and adds richness to the flavor. Brown sugar contains minerals that aren’t found in white sugar, but it isn’t healthier than white sugar and contains the same amount of calories. 

If you thought you should only use brown sugar in baking, think again. You can enjoy a new coffee experience by giving brown sugar a try. There are many reasons why brown sugar can be a better alternative to other sweeteners in coffee. 

Types Of Brown Sugar – Which Is Best For Coffee?

Although both white and brown sugar comes from the sugar cane plant, they have some differences. The main difference is that brown sugar contains molasses, giving it a darker color and richer flavor. There are different types of brown sugar containing different amounts of molasses.

Light Brown Sugar

light brown sugar

The fewer molasses sugar contains, the lighter it gets. Light brown sugar is white sugar that has all the molasses removed and a specific amount put back in. Light brown sugar contains approximately 3,5% molasses and is one of the most common types of sugar bought commercially. 

Dark Brown Sugar

dark brown sugar

Dark brown sugar contains double the amount of molasses found in light brown sugar, typically about 6.5%. The molasses in the sugar contribute to the difference in texture and the darker color. Dark brown sugar also has a more intense, deeper flavor than lighter sugar and contains slightly more trace minerals. 

Which one is better for coffee? 

Whether you want to use light brown or dark brown sugar in your coffee is entirely up to you. Due to extra processing, dark brown sugar tends to be a tad more expensive than light brown sugar or white sugar. 

There are no major differences in nutrition, except that light brown sugar will have fewer minerals than light brown sugar due to fewer molasses. 

The other difference will be in taste. If you want a richer flavor, then go for the dark brown sugar. If you’re looking to sweeten your coffee with something other than white sugar or maple syrup, then go for light brown sugar. 

Do I Use Less Brown Sugar Than White? 

White sugar doesn’t really have a unique flavor – it’s just sweet. The amount of brown sugar you need to add to your coffee depends on whether you use light or dark brown sugar. 

Because brown sugar has a different flavor, you can use less of it to achieve the same sweetness in your coffee that you would have with other sweeteners. If you’re making a stronger brew of coffee, for example, cold brew coffee, you may need to add a bit more sugar so that the sweet flavor can come through. 

Which Kind Of Coffee Tastes Best With Brown Sugar? 

brown sugar and dark roast coffee

Dark or medium-dark coffee roasts taste the best with brown sugar. The deep, chocolatey flavor of these roasts mix well with the rich flavor of brown sugar. Some dark roasts tend to have a caramel-like taste naturally, so be careful not to oversweeten your coffee and lose out on the earthy, nutty flavors of the roast. 

Lighter roasts have lower acidity and tend to be slightly sweeter, so you would need less sugar for these kinds of brews. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference. The only way to find out what tastes best is to experiment for yourself and find a unique flavor that tantalizes your taste buds with every sip of coffee. 

Is Brown Sugar In Coffee Healthier Than White Sugar?

Why do some people opt for brown sugar in their coffee instead of white sugar? It think it is because they believe it’s the healthier option when it comes to white sugar or other sweeteners. Brown sugar may seem more nutritious, but is it really better for you?

To put it simply – no. Sometimes the difference in color and texture may fool us into thinking that brown sugar is somehow healthier for us than white sugar, but this is a myth. Brown sugar will not give you more health benefits than other sugars and sweeteners.

Brown sugar goes through the same initial processing as white sugar, with the only difference being that molasses get added back into the brown sugar. This means that brown sugar contains trace minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium, and iron. However, these quantities are so small that they won’t have a significant impact on your health. 

The healthiest type of coffee would be coffee that doesn’t have any sweeteners or additives. But if you do decide to add some sugar to your coffee, then make your decision based on the flavor of sugar you like best. 

Make Your Own Brown Sugar Coffee Syrup – Easy Recipe! 

If you’re in the mood for a sweet Starbucks coffee but want to save yourself the trip, then give the easy recipe below a try to kick your coffee up a notch!

To make your brown sugar syrup:

  • Combine equal parts of sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a simmer
  • Stir continually until the sugar is completely dissolved
  • Remove the mixture from the heat and allow it to cool
  • Pour the syrup into a bottle (it will thicken more as it cools down)
  • Store your syrup in the refrigerator and use within 4-6 weeks

Pouring a caramel-like syrup into your coffee is so much more fun and interesting than just adding brown sugar with a teaspoon, don’t you think? Now you can have a Starbucks coffee dupe every day and savor the rich sweetness of molasses. 

The Bottom Line

Experimenting with different flavors makes life interesting, especially when it comes to coffee. Brown sugar is certainly not the most popular sweetener currently used in coffee and whether or not you decide to try it in your coffee is up to you. However, once you’ve tasted how delicious brown sugar is compared to other sweeteners, I doubt you’ll ever want to use something else to sweeten your coffee again.