Brown Sugar in Coffee: Should You Try It?

By Admin November 8, 2021

Starbucks recently came out with a new espresso beverage known as the Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso. My first reaction was, “Coffee with brown sugar?”. I wasn’t entirely sure I liked the sound of that. However, I gave it a try and must say I now understand the craze behind brown sugar as a sweetener.  

Can you use brown sugar in coffee? The answer on whether you should try it depends on how you take your coffee. I’ll cover everything you need to know here. 

Brown Sugar in Coffee

What is Brown Sugar? 

Knowing whether you’ll like brown sucrose in coffee starts with understanding what it is. This type of sucrose is simply white sugar with molasses. The molasses give it a more complex flavor which blends in nicely within coffee. 

White Sugar VS Brown Sugar 

White sucrose is a sweetener; however, brown sucrose is a flavored sweetener thanks to the presence of molasses. So, if you want to sweeten up your cup to reduce the bitterness, go for white sugar. If you want to add flavor to your coffee in addition to natural sweetness, the latter is the better choice. 

Let me also say that brown sugar is 95% sucrose and 5% molasses. It adds flavor and moistness to coffee but has no greater nutritional benefit than white sucrose. Neither should be consumed by diabetic patients or those trying to lose weight

Types of Brown Sugar 

Yes, there is more than one type of brown sugar, and we are here to explain the differences between each. Have you ever noticed how this sucrose is very soft? This is thanks to the moisture provided by the molasses. The more molasses in the sucrose, the more moisture there will be. 

Therefore, more molasses means darker sucrose and a stronger taste. Fewer molasses mean a lighter sweetener and a weaker flavor. You’ll often find yourself using light brown sugar in baking (think chocolate chip cookies). Dark brown sugar is more intense and used to give taste to food (think gingerbread). 

How to Make Brown Sucrose 

You don’t necessarily have to purchase this sugar from the store. If you have molasses and sucrose, you can make it right at home! You’ll need the following: 

  • Molasses 
  • White sugar 
  • Hand mixer 

Mix a tablespoon of molasses to a cup of white sucrose and mix. Use a hand mixer to achieve an even consistency and color. That’s it! You’ve got yourself some brown sugar. 

Does It Taste Good in Coffee?

A lot of coffee lovers don’t like adding sweeteners to their coffee drinks. They enjoy it bitter and unsweetened. If you want to add a little sweetness, chances are you’ll add some white sucrose. Now, if you want a more complex sweetness, add brown sugar. The molasses will give your brew a deeper color and richer taste. 

So, should you try it?

We don’t see the harm in giving this beverage a try. Adding it to your coffee will offer a heavier, more earthy taste, thanks to the molasses. It also tastes more natural than white sugar. And, it contains minerals not found in white sugar, such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, and titanium.

Brown Sugar in Coffee: A Recipe to Try  

Hopefully, by now, you’re a little tempted to give a coffee with brown sugar beverages a try. If you’re ready to take the leap, I highly recommend you try the Starbucks Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso. It’s been my personal favorite for the past few months. Or, just add a tablespoon of brown sucrose to your hot drink.  

Here is a quick recipe you can follow: 


  • 4 tbsp of brown sugar
  • ½ tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 6 tbsp of water 
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract 
  • 2 shots of espresso
  • Mason jar 
  • Ice 


  1. Combine the brown sugar, ground cinnamon, vanilla extract, and water in a small pan—heat on medium-high and mix to combine. 
  2. Lower heat to medium-low once it starts to simmer and allow the syrup to simmer for 3-5 minutes. Stir frequently until dissolved. Remove from the heat and set aside. 
  3. Next, you’ll want to make your espresso. If you don’t have an espresso machine, you can replace your double shot of espresso with half a cup of concentrated coffee
  4. Add the espresso to a mason jar along with your syrup and some ice. Shake for 1-2 minutes. 
  5. This concoction should make two drinks. Add ice to two glasses of your choosing and evenly divide the mixture between the two. 
  6. The final step is to add oat milk (as much or as little as you’d like).