Many coffee enthusiasts prefer to drink their coffee as it is without adding any sweeteners such as sugar. The perfect cup of coffee – brewed from the best coffee beans – can, after all, be exceptionally tasty, sweet and full of rich flavors without additional cream or sweetener.

However, for those who prefer to sweeten their daily brew, brown sugar is one of the available options.

Brown sugar is popularly used as a sweetener in a variety of foods including oatmeal, cookies, cakes, and sauces. However, it is only starting to capture the attention of coffee drinkers.

If you have been thinking about using brown sugar in your coffee but you’re not sure how it will affect the taste, you have come to the right place. Let’s take a look at the type to use and how it might alter your cup of coffee.

What Is Brown Sugar?

Brown sugar, just like white sugar, is extracted from sugar cane or sugar beet. However, unlike white sugar, it contains molasses. Generally, to obtain crystallized sugar, the juice extracted from the sugar cane or sugar beet is boiled until it is reduced to raw sugar crystals. Raw sugar is simply a crystallized mixture of molasses and sucrose.

To produce different types of sugar, including the brown variety, raw brown sugar undergoes further processing.

Now that you have a clear idea of how brown sugar is produced, read on to learn more about some of the different types available.

Common Types of Brown Sugar

There are different types of brown sugar, as determined by the level of refinement as well as the molasses content.

Raw Brown Sugar

Raw brown sugar, as previously stated above is simply a crystallized form of sucrose and molasses. Since it has not undergone additional refinement, raw sugar usually contains a higher quantity of natural minerals and molasses, the highest of all brown sugar varieties. However, limited refinement means that the exact molasses and mineral content is mostly unknown.

Dark Brown Sugar

dark brown sugar

Brown sugar can be made from white sugar. Dark brown sugar is made by adding back a known quantity of molasses to a known quantity of white sugar. Dark brown sugar has 6.5 percent molasses content, and is associated with a richer color and flavor.

Light Brown Sugar

Produced by adding molasses to refined white sugar, light brown sugar’s molasses content is set at 3.5 percent. As the most widely available type of brown sugar, it is commonly used in baking and has a weaker flavor.

How to Make Brown Sugar at Home

If you would like to make your own brown sugar at home, the process is actually quite simple. For this you will need molasses and some white sugar. Take a cup of white sugar and add a tablespoon of molasses. Mix the ingredients until you have a consistent color.

Can You Use Brown Sugar in Coffee?

While it’s common to find people who are opposed to adding anything to their cup of coffee, be it milk, sugar or flavorings of any sort, this belief is not held by everyone.

For those who cannot get their hands on top quality beans, known to be naturally sweet and flavorful, sugar can be used to mask any unwanted bitterness in the coffee.

Whether you choose to use brown or white sugar in your coffee is simply a question of preference. White sugar sweetens your cup without significantly affecting the flavor profile. Brown sugar on the other hand is known to enrich the texture profile of coffee in addition to sweetening it.

To summarize the above, brown sugar can be used in coffee. The best and only way to find out whether you should switch to using it on a regular basis is to try it out.

What To Expect?

As stated above, using brown sugar in coffee does more than sweeten it. Generally, your coffee will have a deeper color and richer taste thanks to the molasses in the brown sugar. The changes in the flavor and appearance of your coffee will depend on the type of brown sugar used.

Is Brown Sugar Healthier Than White Sugar?

In addition to flavor and texture, you might be wondering how else it affects your cup of coffee, and more importantly, whether it is healthier than white sugar.

Brown sugar is more nutritious than white sugar. It contains a variety of minerals including iron, magnesium, calcium and potassium, all of which are missing in white sugar. This makes for a more nutritious cup of coffee. It is also worth mentioning that brown sugar contains a slightly lower number of calories than white sugar.

In comparison to white sugar, brown sugar is more nutritious, even though the levels described above may not be as significant as some may want.

Other Sweeteners

For those who would like to sweeten their daily cup of coffee without having to deal with the calories contained in sugar, consider using artificial sweeteners. There are many artificial sweeteners available out there. It is however important to remember that very little is known about the long term health effects of using these products. Some of the known short term effects include changes in eating habits.


Every coffee enthusiast enjoys their cup in their own way. For the purest, unadulterated taste, some people prefer to avoid additional ingredients to their brew. However, for some, sugar is an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to hiding the natural bitterness of coffee.

Brown sugar does more than just sweeten the taste of coffee; it improves the taste and texture of this popular beverage. To find out whether brown sugar in coffee is for you, don’t take anyone’s word for it, instead try it in your next cup and decide for yourself.

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