Ideally, coffee has several health benefits ranging from memory boost, keeping us awake and increasing our capacity to concentrate and focus. It has also been proven to protect us from brain diseases and aging fast. Moreover, people who take coffee tend to build up more endurance during workouts and have low risks of depression and heart diseases. However, adding sugar to your coffee can replace all these health benefits with health complications.
So, since sugar in coffee poses a danger to our health, what alternatives are out there to flavor our coffee without using it? Anything that claims to be healthy can be debated. I'm not promising that everything here is healthy for everyone. Age, health problems, personal preferences all affect what we view as healthy.
Using something sweet in your coffee other than sugar can have some benefits. For example, it may be lower on the glycemic index and therefore better for your blood glucose concentration. Some of the top natural sugar alternatives are maple syrup, honey, agave syrup, coconut sugar, date sugar, beet sugar, and stevia.
Using something to flavor your coffee that isn’t so sweet. This may be helpful for diabetic coffee lovers, and others watching the glycemic index. Some of these options include coconut oil, coconut cream, butter, vanilla, cinnamon, or cocoa powder. Just remember if these added flavors will not help very much with bitter over-extracted coffee.
Now, let’s talk about artificial sweeteners. Personally, artificial sweeteners taste funny to me, but for others they are a staple. These include aspartame, saccharin, sucralose. For those of you that do not know these artificial sweeteners, I will explain them. First, aspartame, it comes from the amino acids aspartic acid and phenylalanine. You've probably seen it as equal and nutrasweet. Next, saccharin, it comes from Chemicals o-toluenesulfonamide, and or phthalic anhydride. You've probably seen it as sweet twin, necta sweet, and sweet ‘n low. Lastly, sucralose, it comes from white sugar chemically processed by replacing some hydrogen-oxygen groups with chlorine atoms. You’ve probably seen it as splenda.
Now that we’ve covered all of these coffee flavor substitutes, let’s talk about the most important part of flavoring. Coffee itself, which is of course the best part. The kind of coffee bean and the way you brew it does make a difference. You may be asking yourself now, which beans taste sweeter? Well, let me tell you, when looking for a sweeter coffee here’s is what to look for, Arabica coffee, medium roast, or medium grind. Arabica coffee has sweeter flavor notes such as chocolate, caramel, berries, and nuts. With good quality, fresh arabica you may not need to add anything. Seriously, it can make that much of a difference. Next, we’ll speak about medium roast. It's best to go with a light to medium roast if you want sweeter flavor from your coffee because it's easier to avoid bitter results. Lastly, medium grind. If it's ground too fine it could over-extract (too bitter), if it's too coarse it could under-extract (watery, weak coffee). So a medium grind makes getting great flavor easier.
And of course water, temperature, and brew method are the last of the important things you need to know for sweetening your coffee without sugar. When brewing you should use filtered bottle water at the temperature of 195 degrees to 205 degrees Celsius. The temperature of the water may not seem like a big deal, but if the water hits the coffee at too high of a temperature your risking having lot’s of bitter notes, and if its too cold your coffee will be watery and weak. Finally, the brew method. These are personal favorites, but none the less great methods for sweeter coffee. French press, and pour over, hands down the brew methods I feel you need to get the job done!
However you drink your coffee, were for it! Just keep brewing, and filling your mug!