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11 Best Ways to Sweeten Coffee Without Processed Sugar

Some people drink black coffee, others add cream, while others like it sweet. For those with that sweet tooth, luckily, there are multiple ways you can sweeten up that cup of joe, which we’ll cover below. 

While refined sugar is the classic coffee sweetener, we’re going to avoid it for this list. Processed sugar is associated with many different health risks, so we’re going to provide you with the best ways to sweeten coffee without it. Let’s get started.

Cane Sugar

While processed sugar is widely considered bad for you, cane sugar is an excellent alternative method of sweetening your coffee. Cane sugar comes brown, white, powdered, or raw. 

However, even though cane sugar is considered a better way to go than processed sugar, it’s still far from healthy. You’ll need to practice moderation. Fortunately, cane sugar is quite sweet, and a teaspoon or so will do wonders for sweetening your coffee.


Honey is usually combined with tea, but it can be used with coffee as well. There’s more sugar in it than most people tend to think, and it will definitely do the trick. However, honey certainly adds a unique flavor in addition to sweetening your coffee, so try adding a small amount at first to see how you like it. Next time, you can add a bit more until you find the perfect amount for your tastes.

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All-natural honey also brings plenty of health benefits to the table, including several vitamins and minerals. If you appreciate the taste of honey in coffee, then this is likely the best way to go. As with almost everything on this list, it’s well worth going for an organic option.

Maple Syrup

People who are looking to cut calories at every opportunity love using maple syrup to sweeten their coffee. Take note that not all syrups are the same. You’ll want to find a syrup that has a sweet flavor but doesn’t have too much sugar. 

Ideally, you’ll be able to use maple syrup to sweeten your coffee without using too much. Just like with honey, try a little bit and increase the amount slowly. Adding too much will create a cup of joe that’s far too sweet for most people.


Due to the increased popularity of veganism and the paleo diet, coffee drinkers are starting to discover the value of using dates to sweeten coffee. Their flavor is similar to some types of maple syrup, but they have their own unique twist. Date syrup is what’s typically used to sweeten coffee. It can also be used in baking or making smoothies.

You can put raw dates directly into your coffee. Alternatively, you can make a sauce out of them and use that to sweeten your coffee. The only downside of dates is that they might not be readily available due to growing seasons, which isn’t ideal for something you consume every day.


As one of the world’s most popular alternative sweeteners, stevia has been used for decades to sweeten coffee. The taste is quite similar to cane sugar. However, there are no calories. It’s been adopted by millions as a “miracle sweetener,” and you should definitely try it out.

Stevia occurs naturally in plants that are found in South America. It’s believed to contain antioxidants, and regularly ingesting it may even prevent certain diseases. 

You can find stevia in many different forms in your grocery store. It comes in tablets, liquid, and powdered forms. For use with coffee, liquid or powder is going to be the best option. All you have to do is add it the same way you’d add sugar, and you’re ready to go. It’s quite a potent sweetener, so start small and increase the amount as you go.  


This naturally occurring sugar alternative has no calories, yet it’s just as sweet as sucrose (sugar). It’s not typically associated with any adverse health effects as well. However, Xylitol only works as a powder, not in liquid form. This means you can’t buy creamer sweetened with Xylitol, but you can buy the powder and add it directly to your coffee.

Xylitol is also sometimes known as birch sugar. It’s a type of sugar naturally present in many vegetables, fruits, and even barks, although typically in small quantities. The Xylitol that you’ll be buying is typically from straw or bran. 

One of the reasons why Xylitol has gained so much popularity is that it tastes very similar to sugar but with decreased adverse health effects. You can also use Xylitol for cooking.

Coconut Sugar

It seems like coconuts are invading every aspect of our lives these days. Well, they’re about to work their way into your morning cup of coffee. Coconut sugar, along with coconut fat, is a great way to enhance and sweeten your cup of coffee. Neither of these coconut substitutes will be as sweet as what you might be used to, but they’re quite the healthy alternative.

Coconut sugar isn’t obtained from the coconut itself but from the leaves of the coconut tree. After a refinement process is complete, sweet sugar with a particularly fruity taste is produced.  While coconut sugar is a new entry into the coffee sweetener contest, many coffee drinkers have started gravitating towards it as an interesting and delicious way to sweeten their morning cup of joe.

Vanilla Extract

Do you love French vanilla roasted beans? If so, sweetening your coffee with vanilla extract might be exactly the right choice for you. It will sweeten your coffee along with adding a robust vanilla flavor. Be warned, however, that using too much of it will completely overpower your coffee. Adding a few drops to each cup will be plenty.  


Every coffee shop and diner will have Splenda packets available, and you can buy them at grocery stores for home use. It’s made of sucralose, which contains no calories and has a similar sweetness to sucrose. However, it does contain chemical additives, and that’s quite off-putting to many coffee drinkers.


Want to trick yourself into thinking your coffee is sweeter than it is? Butter is the way to go. This recent trend has skyrocketed since it’s an excellent way to consume positive fats, depending on the type of butter you use. It can actually have a much better effect on your health than sugar.

Bulletproof coffee, blended with organic butter and MCT coconut oil, best ways to sweeten coffee

Butter is an interesting choice because while it doesn’t technically sweeten your coffee, it will add volume and body to your coffee, which can often satiate your sweet tooth without using any sweetener.

What kind of butter for coffee is the best? Unsalted, grass-fed butter is highly recommended for its improved consistency and nutritional properties. Grass-fed, unsalted butter brands include Ghee and Kerrygold. Both of which will give your coffee the nutrients you want and a smooth texture.

Agave Syrup

Did you think we were going to forget about agave? It’s nothing more than the sap of the agave plant, but it can do wonders in sweetening your coffee. As if that weren’t enough, it’s also rich in certain minerals that are beneficial to your health.

Agave has risen in popularity in recent years, but it’s been used for quite some time as a sweetener. This is due to its high fructose content. However, just like most things, if it’s heavily treated with chemicals, it may be harmful to your health. Purchasing organic agave is well worth it. 

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for new ways to sweeten your coffee, you’ve got plenty of options to explore! Try out each of the items in the above list and see which ones you like. You might be surprised to discover that adding dates to your coffee is the right decision, or perhaps you’ll become a fan of honey. Either way you go, there are plenty of options for sweetening your coffee.