You'd like to sweeten your coffee with something other than sugar ? And you'd like it to be the most natural thing possible ? Well then let me help you out here.
There are quite a few things you can try, 5 of them actually. And these are the purely natural ones, with barely any processing at all.
Now onto the sweeteners, and I hope you do give them a try.
Table of Contents
1. Cinnamon adds a wonderful sweetness to coffee
Cinnamon in coffee has been a pretty ancient thing. But it still stands today, as a very beautiful option when sweetening your cup of coffee. There's just something about cinnamon that just makes the world go crazy over it, cinnamon buns being a very dear item for many people.
So what if you add cinnamon to your coffee ? Well, then you'd be getting less sweetness than if you added sugar. Keep in mind, cinnamon on its own is not sweet. It can actually get spicy, if you overdo it.
But remember that cinnamon leaves a very sweet and mellow aftertaste, and it will be different than with sugar.
You can expect cinnamon to be difficult to dissolve into your coffee. Actually, it doesn't dissolve at all. So you're going to need to get a bit creative, and use an empty tea bag and add you cinnamon in there. Then, steep your cinnamon in the coffee pot.
You can always just add the cinnamon in your coffee and ingest the cinnamon as you drink the coffee. This is safe, and is not a problem for the human body.
It's just much messier than using a tea bag.
2. Cocoa adds sweetness and depth to your coffee
Cocoa is another item that won't actively sweeten your coffee, since it contains no sugar, but it will leave a very sweet aftertaste.
You know the taste of chocolate, and how pleasant it is. That's what you're going to taste, every time you drink coffee with cocoa added as a sweetener.
Actually this is very much like a mocha coffee, especially if you do add some milk or cream.
Of course, you can add dark chocolate to your coffee as well. It will mix in a bit better than actual cocoa, but there is the added sugar in dark chocolate to talk about, and it will contain higher levels of cocoa butter.
Cocoa butter is not a problem, but the sugar might be. This is why I recommend you use 85% or higher dark chocolate. Yes, I know that's a very bitter chocolate but we're trying to stay healthy here.
If you add actual chocolate you will need to wait for it a bit to dissolve, and stir it in gently from time to time. This may take a few minutes, since your coffee isn't at boiling point (and it shouldn't be).
However when you add cocoa powder to your coffee, you should be very careful how you add it. Cocoa will make your coffee grounds very thick, and it will take water more time to be able to go through the coffee grounds.
This means that you can't use cocoa powder in your espresso, otherwise your machine will back up and there will be one hell of a mess to clean up.
You can however add cocoa powder to your coffee, but before you add the coffee itself. Add as much cocoa as you think you need, then start mixing in a few drops of coffee. You should have a sort of thick paste going on.
The start diluting that paste with the remainder of your coffee, slowly so as to avoid chunks of cocoa from forming in your drink.
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3. Honey or honeycomb are great alternatives
Adding honey or honeycomb in your coffee is going to be life changing. It's a very different experience than with sugar, I'll tell you that.
There is sweetness yes, but the honey in coffee will taste like nothing you've ever had. It can take some getting used to, and I know the first time I tried it I was kind of confused.
The honey taste is somehow more pronounced over the bitterness of coffee. So I only recommend you do this if you really love honey and would be able to handle the extra honey.
It will melt well enough in your drink, but you need to be careful when you add it. Adding honey to a drink too hot will ruin almost all of its benefits, and change it core composition.
Best to add honey to coffee that's already been standing for a couple of minutes. The coffee should be pleasantly warm, but not 'definitely hot'.
The same is true for tea as well. And adding honeycomb is a trick I learned from adding it to my teas in the first place.
It will look odd, with the small pieces of beeswax, but they are harmless for humans. If this is something you're not willing to drink, you can simply scoop out the wax with your teaspoon.
The thing about honeycomb is that the honey inside is pure, and it's not been exposed to anything other than the wax of the comb. It's the cleanest kind of honey you can get.
4. Add maple syrup to your coffee for a nutty flavor
Maple syrup is another wonderful thing to add to your coffee. Of course, its sweetness is less than honey, but its aroma is preferred by some.
Given how delicate of a taste maple syrup is, be prepared to have to add in a little more than you'd think at first.
This is because the nutty flavor of the syrup might be overshadowed by whatever else you add to your coffee. It does go wonderfully with milk and creamer though.
So for this reason I'd recommend you add maple syrup to milk-heavy drinks like lattes, cappuccinos, and even their iced versions since maple syrup will dissolve in liquids.
If you add a bit of nutmeg to the mix, and/or cinnamon, this is turning into the most beautiful cup of latte or cappuccino ever made. It would be reminiscent of winter, or late autumn, and I think many people would fall in love with this combination.
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5. Vanilla extract is always going to be a favorite for coffee
Vanilla extract is another ingredient that is on many people's minds when thinking of how to sweeten a drink. Well, it happens that vanilla extract goes very well with coffee as well.
One thing to remember though, whether you're using vanilla extract or pure vanilla beans, you're not going to get actual sweetness. Like with cinnamon and cocoa powder, it's the aftertaste and flavor we're going after here.
Vanilla will round up you cup of coffee beautifully, and make it a very perfumed drink to boot.
Who doesn't like the smell of hot coffee ? Or warm vanilla ? What about both ?
This is actually something I do with my morning coffee every now and then. I have several vials of vanilla extract I used when baking or making other sweets, and in some mornings I add a few drops to my coffee.
It's actually a great way to start the day, especially a slow and relaxing weekends, along with some avocado toast.
There's just something about adding little touches to your most ordinary rituals. It makes everything a little more magical, and it just screams self-care.
Back to the vanilla extract, make sure you get true vanilla extract, whether it's bourbon or simple vanilla. Do not get vanilin ! This is the cheaper, artificial version of vanilla extract.
It's what gives things that fake, overly perfume-y taste and you'll be very unhappy with the result. This is why I stick to the vanilla vials, since these are actual vanilla extracts.
Look around your grocery store, and try out several brands and types. Buy a small amount, until you find the one that works best for you.
As a quick sidenote, you can always add rum extract with some coconut milk and get a ridiculously delicious drink. That's another thing I do with coffee in some mornings, yes.
Make your cup of coffee need less sugar to begin with
Alright we've talked about what to add to your coffee to sweeten it already. But how about we make things easier for ourselves and start off with a cup of coffee that doesn't need that much sugar to begin with.
Most of the time people need a pinch of sugar in their coffee because it's too bitter, or a very poor quality coffee. I add a lump of sugar to mine too, because I add a bit of milk as well.
What I've learned is that not all coffee types need as much sugar. So for example if you're using Robusta, or mostly Robusta coffee, you might be tempted to add a whole lot of sugar to your coffee.
But if you were to brew 100% pure Arabica then you would get a lighter, less bitter coffee. That means you won't need as much sugar in the first place, and that whatever natural sweeteners you add will shine through much stronger.
Do be warned though that Arabica is a weaker coffee than Robusta, so if you're looking for flavor and kick, you'll need to find a coffee brand that blends both in various percentages.
Another thing to try, aside from which kind of coffee you use, is to gradually reduce the need for sugar in your body. Let me explain.
When we eat or drink sugary foods or drinks, our body gets used to that level of sugar. And in a short amount of time it will need a bit more sugar to be able to notice that whatever you're tasting is sweet.
This can have very bad consequences for your health.
However there is a flipside to this. If you body gets used to how much sugar you give it, it will also get used to less sugar. Things will taste off for a couple of days, but you can definitely go down from 4 lumps of sugar to just one, in a few days.
This means that the natural sweeteners in this article will taste even stronger to you, once you reduce the sugar levels in your body for the long term.
Aside from sweeteners add creamers or plant-based milk
If you want to really help yourself, you can skip the sweeteners altogether and just stick with a creamer or a milk. These can be plant-based or dairy, but they all help your coffee taste amazing.
My personal favorite is coconut milk, full fat. Add a couple of drops of rum extract to the whole thing and I've got myself a Caribbean party in the morning. Rum extract, not actual rum though. That would be a very different morning.
Of course, if you really want to make things more palatable and not add sweeteners, you will need to add a whole lot of milk. For this I think any milk will work, whether it's plant-based or not.
Though to be fair dairy seems to work a bit better, plant milks tend to be rather watery. If you find a good one, use that instead.
I hope you found a good deal of natural sweeteners for your coffee here. I used each of these, in turn, and I'm very partial to vanilla extract and maple syrup.
The problem is that maple syrup tends to run out very quickly in our house, so it's not always on hand. Ha, good thing I have almond extract for that. Not the same taste, I know, but close enough.
Sweetening your coffee with natural flavors is going to save you a whole lot of literal heartache (in terms of health). And there's just something very wholesome about putting something nature-made in your cup of coffee, right ?
I do hope you try out each of these sweeteners, and see which you like best.
If you want to know more about coffee or tea, feel free to check the related articles below. Who knows what else you might find ?