Sweet or bitter: after all, is it wrong to add sugar to coffee?

Those who are more like an ant can rest assured – check out what experts say on the subject

They often say that taste is taste, everyone has their own. But, when drinking a cup of coffee, the question arises – or the controversy: to sweeten or not to sweeten? That is the question. In fact, would sugar in coffee be a habit condemned by experts?

The blog Coffee in the Press went after that answer. And you can say that it is neither sweet nor bitter – it is in between.

After all, in addition to depending on each person's preference, the practice of adding sugar to coffee is also linked to the type of roasting of the beans, for example.

Specialty coffees Well-roasted foods have a natural sweetness and, therefore, do not trigger the desire to use sugar to mask the bitterness of the flavor.

On the other hand, traditional coffees, which are the most affordable and generally found in supermarkets, they usually have a darker roast, which accentuates their bitter taste.

These coffees end up inducing more people to choose to sweeten the drink. And they make up the majority of cups in Brazil: the estimate is that 95% of Brazilians drink traditional coffees, even more so because special coffees are more expensive.

As a consequence, the team of those who sweeten the coffee is larger than those who do not sweeten it. Research by Abic (Brazilian Coffee Industry Association) shows that 56% of Brazilians put sugar in their coffee, whether it is with milk or pure.

There is another point to this story, as sociologist Carlos Alberto Dória recalls. According to him, the coffee habit grew in Brazil hand in hand with the consumption of sugar, which, by the way, gained momentum encouraged by the food industry.

In this circle of influences and circumstances, it makes no sense to point out what is right or wrong or simply to judge consumers who prefer coffee with sugar.

Natural sweetness versus sugar in coffee

Not even the most demanding baristas buy into this bitter radicalism. In the opinion of these experts, the addition of sugar really has to do with each person's taste.

One of the most famous experts in the world, Norwegian Tim Wendelboe, emphasizes that drinking coffee with sugar “is an acquired taste”. In this way, the appreciation of the natural flavor of coffee, more bitter, without additives, is something gradual, developed little by little.

Even this master says he uses sugar in some of his coffees, such as ice creams, to enhance the fruity flavors.

What Wendelboe and other connoisseurs highlight as a deciding factor in whether or not to use sugar is the natural sweetness of higher quality coffees. So, those who drink these specialties end up reducing the need to sweeten the drink.

By the way, reduce sugar promotes health, as pure coffee even helps prevent diabetes. This benefit is lost when it is sweetened.

An important tip for those who eventually want to minimize the amount of glucose they consume: before adding sugar to their coffee, taste the drink.

There are coffees that, depending on the type, don't even need additional sweetening. This is what happens in the case of light or medium roasts. As for the extra strong, well, this one is for the strong. And you'll end up asking for more sugar.

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