Why you shouldn’t put sugar in coffee

Why you shouldn’t put sugar in coffee

More than a habit, putting sugar in coffee is a tradition, but it would be better not to add it: we explain why.

Most Italians add sugar to their espresso . But, beyond the nutritional considerations, it would be better not to . Here because.


  1. Too much sugar and too little coffee are ingested. The classic sugar sachet has undergone some reinterpretations over time. Years ago, it was common to find only one type of sweetener in bars, white sugar, in a 7 gram sachet. Over time, the packaging has shrunk and the quantity inside has decreased, up to today’s 3-4 grams. Alongside these, however, sugars and sweeteners of all kinds have appeared: cane, coconut, honey, stevia, maple syrup and agave. There is a great choice, but all of them, some more, some less, alter the taste of the coffee which in the cup is very little, less than what we see. The drink contained in the cup usually weighs between 20 and 25 grams. But of these, how much is water? How much, on the other hand, are substances extracted from coffee? Very little, only 8-10% of the total. It means that our espresso is made up of 2.5 grams of coffee and 22.5 of water. Even if at the bar we had the smallest sachet, of 3 grams, by adding it all we would drink more sugar than coffee.
  2. Sugar hides the flaws . One of the arguments of those who use sugar in coffee is that otherwise the espresso would be too bitter. And how to blame him? Mostly, the espressos we happen to drink at the bar are very bitter. Many of these are also burnt, or have other negative aromas, related to the vegetable or fermented. It is difficult to find an espresso that is truly balanced, that is, that has the right acidity, a subtle bitterness and an underlying sweetness that must already be present. Adding sugar is not only an Italian habit, but also a way to remedy a raw material that is not perfect or treated with little grace.
  3. Sugar alters the aromatic profile of specialty coffees . Who among you would dream of making a sangria with a ’74 St. Émilion? Or a Panaché with a 2008 Don Quijote from Cantillon? They are gruesome images, and we would not want to go further, but they serve to illustrate the concept of a belly. When we are faced with an excellent product, the occasion is too greedy to alter it. Also because every phase of the coffee chain is focused on maintaining and developing the best flavor , adding sugar – although it is always part of those inviolable human rights – is at least a naive act.

No to fundamentalisms

A closed attitude pushes away the widest slice of consumers, no matter what product you are talking about. The elitism , the snobbery towards those who do not know, who approaches for the first time (yes, perhaps even in a clumsy way) or towards those who simply think differently, is an unjustifiable cold shower, as well as a shot in the foot of producers. To be horrified by those who sugar the coffee, let’s face it, is rather childish and useless. What is not useless is to understand why it would be better not to do it and to explain it , while letting free will take its course.

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