Brown Sugar In Your Coffee: Is It Healthier ? Let’s Find Out!

brown sugar
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Some coffee lovers don’t like to add anything to their coffee as they believe it takes the original taste of the coffee away.

However, people like me, who have a sweet tooth, keep finding different ways to sweeten their coffee.

Recently I came up with the idea of brown sugar in coffee. You never heard of it before, right?

Brown sugar has a toffee-like taste. It also has a more complex, fuller flavor, making it ideally suited for coffee.

So, where does brown sugar come from? How much brown sugar should you add to your coffee? What is the best brown sugar type?

This guide will answer all your questions regarding adding brown sugar to coffee.

What is Brown Sugar?

When sugar is thoroughly refined, we call it white sugar. But it becomes brown sugar when the sugar is not thoroughly refined.

A primary difference between table sugar and brown sugar is the presence of molasses in brown sugar, giving it its distinct color, flavor, and moisture.

brown sugar bowl

Where Does Brown Sugar Come From?

The process of making brown sugar includes boiling the juice extracted from cane sugar or beet sugar. Afterward, the fluid goes through centrifugation to crystallize the sugar.

After crystallization, this sugar combines with molasses and sucrose, which gives it a brown color.

Sucrose is the disaccharide found in the sugar we use in our foods. Sucrose is present in many fruits and plants, but cane and beet are the two plants that produce enough sucrose to prepare sugar.

Does Brown Sugar Taste Good in Coffee?

Avid coffee drinkers who rely heavily on coffee to boost energy usually dislike adding sweeteners to their coffee. However, some people do not like bitter and bold coffee, so they prefer adding sweeteners to their coffee drinks.

While exploring different coffee flavors, adding brown sugar can give you a distinctive taste.

However, everyone’s coffee preferences vary. So, You may end up loving brown sugar in your coffee or hate it.

While adding white sugar sweetens the coffee, brown sugar will produce a different flavor because of its molasses. Brown sugar will give your coffee a complex and deeper flavor while, of course, sweetening it.

Additionality. Brown sugar will also change your coffee’s color as it has its own deep brown color.

How Much Brown Sugar Should I Add to Coffee?

While experimenting with your coffee recipe, don’t go overboard with adding brown sugar. Adding too much sugar will make it too sweet, destroying its original flavors.

Consider adding a moderate amount, somewhere between a half to one teaspoon of brown sugar. If you don’t find it sweet enough, you can adjust the quantity according to your liking.

espresso made with brown sugar

What Are the Benefits of Brown Sugar?

I have raved enough about the deliciousness of combining brown sugar and coffee. But are there any additional benefits, or does it just taste amazing?

Here is a list of added benefits you can get by adding brown sugar to your daily coffee:

  • Whether you’re making espresso or drip coffee, brown sugar blends beautifully.
  • Potassium, iron, magnesium, and calcium are in small amounts in brown sugar.
  • As opposed to white sugar, brown sugar is full of flavor-enhancing molasses.

What are Different Types of Brown Sugar?

The different varieties of brown sugar available in the market might confuse you. Here are the types of brown sugar:

Light brown sugar

Compared to dark brown sugar, light brown sugar has a low ratio of molasses per sugar volume (around 3.5%).

Light brown sugar is more golden and does not have an intense flavor profile. Light brown sugar is common in bakery items like banana bread and cookies.

Dark brown sugar

The taste of dark brown sugar tends to be more complex, similar to caramel or toffee. Dark brown sugar contains 6.5% molasses.

Due to the higher level of molasses, it has a deep brown color and complex flavor. Dark brown sugar is common in rich and spiced recipes like Pecan pie and gingerbread cookies.

Raw Sugar

Unrefined sugar with less moisture and large sucrose crystals is raw sugar. It has a higher ratio of minerals than light or dark brown sugar.

iced coffee made with brown sugar

Is Brown Sugar a Healthier Option?

The health conscious people have switched from white rice and white bread to whole-grain foods. Some people assume brown sugar is a healthier substitute for regular sugar.

There is, however, no scientific evidence that suggests brown sugar is a healthier option.

Brown sugar contains some negligible amounts of minerals that do not contribute to good health. So, the only way to compare brown and white sugar is by determining their calories.

One tablespoon of brown sugar contains 17 calories, while one tablespoon of white sugar has 16 calories. Now these calories will add up as you increase the number of tablespoons.

So, it doesn’t matter if you switch from white sugar to brown sugar, assuming it is better for your health.

Brown Sugar vs. White Sugar: Which One is Better?

Which option is better if white sugar and brown sugar have the same nutritional value? Both are the most popular sweeteners globally and don’t have much difference, but their flavor sets them apart.

White sugar is just a sweetener with no taste of its own. When you add white sugar to your coffee, its taste will not have an influence but will have sweetness.

On the other hand, if you want some added flavor and texture to your coffee, brown sugar is the winner. Brown sugar, due to the presence of molasses, has a deep and robust flavor.

Adding brown sugar to your coffee will alter its taste, colors, and texture. As a result, your coffee will have a strong flavor of brown sugar, a deeper color, and extra richness. 

Eventually, it all comes down to your preferences. You might not enjoy brown sugar in your coffee, but you can always return to adding white sugar, so you should give it a shot.

What Are The Alternatives of Brown Sugar?

Suppose you got addicted to using brown sugar in your coffee but ran out of it; what would you do? Or are you finding alternatives to all kinds of sugar?

To not deprive you of your flavorful coffee, there are other ways of sweetening your coffee, which are:

Maple Syrup

Maple syrup is an excellent alternative to using white or brown sugar. However, it is higher in calories and much sweeter, so use a moderate amount.

Maple syrup will add hints of vanilla and caramel to your coffee. It is also full of 24 types of antioxidants, making it a unique alternative to sugar.


Stevia is a plant-based sweetener, which makes it the healthiest option on the list. It is a zero-calorie sweetener. So, it is suitable for everyone, especially people who have diabetes or trying to watch their calories.

You may not like its natural taste, which derives from the stevia plant.

cappuccino made from brown sugar


Honey is also another popular alternative to all other kinds of sweeteners. It is extra sweet but still loved by many because it is organic and healthy.

When taken in moderation, honey can help you regulate your blood sugar levels. It also has antibacterial and antifungal properties. You can try manuka honey, buckwheat honey, wildflower honey, etc.


Brown sugar and coffee make a delicious combination. Brown sugar isn’t healthier than white sugar but has a different taste. It will provide your coffee with an intense and rich flavor.

Brown sugar is an excellent option for people like me, who like to explore unique flavor profiles for their coffee.

So, If you are also bored with your regular coffee, here is your sign to tweak its recipe. Add half or one teaspoon of brown sugar to your next cup, and figure out how you like it.


What is raw sugar? 

Raw sugar, or turbinado sugar, is a crystallized form of sugar. It contains 96 to 99% sucrose and a low ratio of molasses. It has the same calories as white sugar but a different flavor and color. Most people use it in their teas, coffees, and baking recipes.

Where does white sugar come from?

Sugar cane and sugar beets are the most common sources of white sugar. The sucrose from sugarcane or sugar beets undergo crystallization to remove impurities and form sugar crystals.

Which is healthier brown or white sugar?

Both brown sugar and white sugar have similar nutritional value and calorie content. But you can’t consider any sugar healthier than the other, so it is better to consume it in moderation.

Is brown sugar good for weight loss?

Brown sugar has no unique properties that can aid weight loss. However, it contains some antioxidant properties and mineral content that can benefit your metabolism.

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