The Best 5 Sweeteners For Coffee

We’re all guilty of needing a pick me up throughout a long, working day.

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From refreshing iced drinks in the blazing hot summer, to a warming cup to escape the snow, there are a huge variety of ways to enjoy coffee, and there’s no denying that it’s a universal favorite.   

However, despite its popularity, coffee isn’t always the healthiest option.

Although black coffee is virtually calorie-free, when it’s packed full of sugar and creamer it can become calorific.

If you’ve got a sweet tooth like me, this sweetness could be a vice that is damaging to your health. So, what’s a better alternative that is somewhat healthier, but also still sweetens your drink?  

In this article, I cover the 5 best coffee sweeteners that I've found if you’re trying to cut down on your sugar intake throughout your daily life.

You don’t have to give up your daily energy boost, you just need to make a few changes to what you’re adding to it. 

Keep reading to find out more.

Drinking coffee black is a great way of cutting down your daily sugar intake if you’re used to drinking more than one cup of coffee a day, but I can appreciate that black coffee isn’t for everyone. I’m partial to a splash of creamer and vanilla syrup in my coffee, too.

However, I think we can all agree that although refined sugar sure is tasty, it isn’t the best thing for us. In fact, a high sugar intake can be terrible for your dental health, can lead to weight gain, blood sugar problems, and an increased risk of heart disease.

While too much sugar of any kind isn’t good for your health, there are refined sugar alternatives that bring a lot more to your life than sweetness.

Fruit is an excellent example of a food that is relatively high in natural sugar, yet it provides a reasonable way of providing sweetness as well as adding vitamins, minerals, and fiber to your diet.

However, fruity coffee is yet to take off. So, what are some other sweeteners for coffee?

Stevia

Stevia is one of the best choices for a coffee sweetener for several reasons. It’s a sugar substitute that is made from plants and comes with the benefits of plant products, such as added antioxidants and even anti-microbial properties.

Stevia has also been associated with several impressive health benefits, such as reduced calorie intake, lower blood sugar levels, and risk of cavities.

However, it is worth mentioning that although generally recognized as safe, stevia may cause adverse effects in some people.

Commercial stevia products vary in quality, and many varieties on the market are highly refined and combined with other sweeteners — such as erythritol, dextrose, and maltodextrin — which may alter its potential health effects.

As a result, if you have any health conditions such as diabetes, you should do your research. 

OUR TOP PICK

CCnature Stevia Powder Extract Natural Sweetener Zero Calorie Sugar Substitute 4oz

The CCnature Stevia Powder Extract Natural Sweetener is a high-quality, highly concentrated, natural sugar substitute.  

This stevia contains no calories, no carbs, no fillers, no chemicals, and no added ingredients, so you don’t have to worry about any hidden nasties upsetting your stomach.  

Stevioside (one of stevia's sweet compounds) helps to improve the function of the hormone insulin, helping people reduce blood pressure and lower blood sugar levels, making it ideal for people with diabetes or for those looking to manage their weight!  

Pros

  • Natural - No fillers, no chemicals, no added ingredients, just simply pure all-natural stevia extract powder. 
  • Easy to use – No need to worry about messy powders or difficult-to-measure liquids, this stevia tastes and looks like sugar. 
  • Non-glycemic response - Unlike other sugar substitutes, stevia is derived from a plant. As stevia has a negligible effect on blood glucose it is great for people on carbohydrate-controlled diets.  

Cons 

  • A few customers claimed that the packaging of this particular stevia could be improved. 

EDITORS CHOICE

Nature Nate’s 100% Pure, Raw & Unfiltered Honey; Squeeze Bottle; Award-Winning Taste, 32 Oz.

Honey is an ingredient you’re likely to already have in your pantry and is also a great sweetener for coffee, although it might take some getting used to the taste.  

Consuming honey on a regular basis has a plethora of health benefits. Namely, high-quality honey is rich in antioxidants, can help lower blood pressure, and can help improve cholesterol levels.

Nature Nate's 100% Pure, Raw & Unfiltered Honey is a sweetener as nature intended with only one ingredient: Honey.

With a purity guarantee and award-winning taste, Nature Nate's raw & unfiltered honey delivers a promise of the highest quality honey.

This honey is natural! Nature Nate's honey is the highest quality from the inside out: no additives, no preservatives, never pasteurized, pollens intact, crafted for exceptional taste, and no sticky bottles.

Pros

  • Great taste - This blend is crafted for exceptional taste, granting us an award-winning flavor through ChefsBest. 
  • Purity guarantee – Ensures that this honey is 100% pure and natural. 
  • Raw – This honey is raw & unfiltered meaning it is gently warmed for pourability and unfiltered to keep the natural good stuff like pollen intact

Cons

  • One customer experienced this honey crystallizing over time and therefore had to spend more time melting it when they went to use it. 

BEST VALUE

Coombs Family Farms Organic Maple Syrup, Grade A Amber Color, Rich Taste, 16 Fl Oz

If you’re a big fan of pancakes, then you’ll already have this ingredient somewhere in your pantry! Maple syrup is a great nutritious and natural sugar alternative to sweeten your coffee.   

Maple syrup contains numerous antioxidants, is low on the glycemic index, and can also help fight inflammatory diseases.

This alternative might also take some getting used to, as it has a stronger flavor than sugar itself, but it is delicious nonetheless!  

The Coombs Family Farms Organic Maple Syrup is 100% pure organic maple syrup.  

This maple syrup is entirely natural and free from artificial flavors, preservatives, and dyes that ensures a sweet, delicious taste.  

With a color and maple flavor that is more intense, this versatile grade is great as a topping, for cooking a variety of recipes, and for sweetening your coffee!  

Pros 

  • Natural ingredients – This maple syrup doesn’t contain any artificial flavors, preservatives, or dyes, so you don’t have to worry about any hidden nasties. 
  • Chemical-free - For seven generations, the Coombs family has farmed and harvested without pesticides and chemicals, making organic maple healthier for the forest, healthier for the environment. 
  • Sustainable - Since the mid-1800s, the Coombs family has following a sustainable approach to agriculture to ensure that their maple syrup is the best it can be. 

Cons 

  • One customer claimed that this particular maple syrup arrived with a broken lid after delivery.

RUNNER UP

MADHAVA Organic Amber Agave, 11.75 oz. Bottle (Pack of 6), 100% Pure Organic Blue Agave Nectar, Natural Sweetener, Sugar Alternative, Vegan, Organic, Non GMO, Liquid Sweetener

Agave nectar is a plant-based food, harvested only from blue weber agave plants and is a natural alternative to processed sugar, making it great to sweeten your coffee!   

Agave nectar is low on the glycemic index, making it an excellent sweetener if you’re diabetic as a low-GI diet may help you control your blood sugar.

Alongside this, it contains vitamin B6, which can help your metabolism and heart health.  

The MADHAVA Organic Amber Agave is 100% natural, vegan, and gluten-free, making it the perfect addition to your daily coffee!  

Award-winning agave! This agave is the winner of the Clean Label Projects for Pesticide Free, Purity, and Antioxidant Superiority.  

This strong sweetener only requires you to use a small amount, so it is great value for money. It allows you to use 50% less organic agave nectar than other syrups!  

Pros 

  • Entirely natural - 100% Weber Blue Agave, direct from organic agave farms, is USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, Kosher, gluten-free and vegan, and is packed in BPA-free bottles. 
  • Multi-purpose – Great for a variety of uses, including adding to tea, coffee, and cereals. 
  • Award-winning - Every MADHAVA product is Clean Label Project certified and continuously tested for hundreds of toxins and contaminants.  

Cons 

  • One customer noted that the bottle tops could be tightened before shipping to ensure that the agave arrives without spilling. 

RUNNER UP

Jordan's Skinny Syrups Vanilla, Sugar Free Flavoring Syrup, 25.4 Ounce Bottle

Don’t get me wrong, I love a Starbucks vanilla latte as much as the next person, but syrups are packed with, you guessed it: sugar.

If you prefer to flavor your coffee with different coffee syrups, you could always try switching out the syrup with a sugar-free syrup to sweeten it. 

The Jordan’s Skinny Syrups Vanilla, Sugar Free is perfect for sweetening a variety of recipes, including coffee, lattes, tea, protein shakes, and more!  

This sugar-free syrup complements coffee perfectly. Simply add 1 oz of syrup to your beverage of choice for the sweet taste of vanilla!  

The Jordan’s Skinny Syrup is perfect for those trying to maintain a keto diet as it contains 0 carbs, yet provides you with enough sweetness that it doesn’t feel like you’re missing out on anything.  

Pros  

  • Indulgent without the calories - 0 Calories. 0 Sugar. 0 Carbs, meaning this is a great sweetener alternative if you’re trying to cut down on sugar. 
  • Packed full of flavor – Consistent results with a syrup that doesn’t compromise on flavor. 
  • Good value – 25 servings in one bottle will encourage you to make coffee before you head out the door, and stop you from buying coffee when you’re out on the go.  

Cons 

  • One customer claimed that this sugar-free syrup had been packaged poorly. 

Frequently Asked Questions   

How many calories are there in coffee?  

Believe it or not, coffee on its own is actually quite healthy. Aside from the effects that caffeine can have on the body, in terms of calories, coffee is extremely low.

That’s right, while a plain old cup of joe can provide an immense boost of energy, it contains almost no calories, crazy right?

However, common additions like milk, creamer, sugar, and other flavorings contribute further calories that can turn this virtually calorie-free drink into quite the treat.  

For instance, simply adding a splash of creamer as well as a flavored syrup that is packed full of sugar can increase the calories of a drink tenfold.  

So, to answer your question, how many calories there are in coffee will entirely depend on what you put in your coffee.

Be mindful of the nutritional value of the ingredients that you are using. Plain coffee, though, virtually has no calories. Who knows, you might be tempted to take your coffee black from now on!  

What is the healthiest sweetener for your coffee?  

The healthiest sweetener for coffee in my opinion is stevia. Stevia is a natural sweetener that comes from the stevia plant.

It can be 200-300 times sweeter than table sugar, so you only need a small amount to sweeten a cup of coffee. 

However, you need to do your research and make sure that you’re carefully checking the kind of stevia that you are buying.   

This is because some stevia products are highly processed. Stevia can be packed full of fillers that can actually make health conditions, such as diabetes, worse if you’re not careful.

Natural stevia has a lower GI than table sugar, and using it may be a healthy way to reduce your calorie and added sugar intake.

However, you’ll need to keep in mind that certain stevia blends may contain other types of sweeteners and fillers — including dextrose and maltodextrin — that can increase blood sugar levels.

It can be tricky to find a product that is 100% natural stevia, but they are out there, you just need to do your own research.

As a result, you will need to be careful to check the stevia that you are buying and read the ingredients list carefully to ensure none of them are going to affect any health conditions that you may have.  

What does stevia taste like?  

Stevia is a virtually calorie-free sweetener, and the most distinguishing flavor of stevia is extreme sweetness.

As I mentioned above, stevia is around 200 times sweeter than sugar, so it can be so sweet that it’s almost overpowering.

As a result, you only need a small amount of stevia, as a little goes a long way. Once your tastebuds recover from the initial shock of sweetness, stevia sometimes leaves a slightly bitter, almost licorice-flavored aftertaste. 

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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community.
She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
Cassie Marshall
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