13 Ways to Flavor Coffee Without Sugar

Here, we explain how to flavor coffee without sugar and propose some healthier alternatives.

Ideally, coffee has several health benefits ranging from memory boost, keeping us awake and increasing our capacity to concentrate and focus. It has also been proven to protect us from brain diseases and ageing fast. Moreover, people who take coffee tend to build up more endurance during workouts and have low risks of depression and heart diseases. However, adding sugar to your coffee can replace all these health benefits with health complications. 

So since the sugar in coffee poses danger to our health, what alternatives do we have to flavor our coffee without the sugar? Well, there is a wide array of flavors to replace sugar in coffee. The natural flavors include vanilla extract, cinnamon, maple extract to mention but a few. If you are looking to strike the balance between a healthy diet and not completely getting rid of your brew, then these natural flavors will come in handy.

Keep reading to learn more about the health dangers of too much sugar in your coffee, alternative flavors to put into your coffee and their health benefits and other coffee-related questions

Health Effects of Adding Sugar To Your Coffee

Before we jump into the idea of using natural flavors instead of sugar for your coffee, we need to understand the reasoning behind this. As mentioned above, coffee in your sugar can compromise all the health benefits of coffee and lead to health complications. 

A little amount of sugar is okay until you learn all the hidden sugars you take in the form of different foods like salad, bread, sauce, and butter. An adult take takes about 20 teaspoons of added sugar per day; in your coffee, tea and other beverages. These 20 teaspoons exclude the natural sugars you take; they are therefore three to four times above the recommended level of daily sugar intake. At the end of the day, you have taken excess sugar, which could be avoided right from cutting the consumption of added sugars.

This excess sugar has gradual health risks. For starters, excess sugar has been proven to accelerate the rate at which you age. The excess sugar also increases the chances of getting heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, tooth decay, fatigue, brain damage, and obesity. Notice, when taken without sugar, coffee can help you manage these complications.

Therefore, if you are looking to enjoy the maximum benefits of coffee, you need to drop your sugar sweeteners and adopt natural flavors for your coffee.

Ways to Flavor your Coffee without Sugar

Now that we understand the damage of sugar to our bodies, the following are flavors you should try to put when brewing your next pot.

1. Cinnamon

cinnamon, aroma, spices

If you are watching your calories, adding cinnamon to your coffee may be a great idea. Cinnamon is one of the best natural additives and has great taste. You can brew your coffee with a cinnamon stick; this is the best way to allow the cinnamon to infuse in the coffee fully. 

Alternatively, if your cinnamon is in powder form, you can mix it with the coffee grounds or add it to your cup before enjoying your brew.

Health Benefits 

What are the health benefits of cinnamon? Cinnamon comes from a tress known as Cinnamomum, which has been proven to have one of the highest antioxidant content. This content reduces inflammation and lowers sugar levels in the blood. The antioxidant content also helps in burning fat, and it soothes nausea.

Besides, Cinnamomum tress has antibacterial properties that boost your immune system and can protect you from catching a cold. The tree also contains other minerals like calcium, iron, and manganese that boost your health.

2. Vanilla Extract

Are you a fan of the creamy taste that sugar and creamers add to your coffee, yet you do not love the calories that come with it? Do not worry, using vanilla extract or a vanilla bean can help you enjoy coffee just as you want.

Add vanilla beans to your coffee grounds before brewing to allow the flavor to infuse into the coffee. The longer you keep the vanilla bean with the coffee the stronger the flavor you will enjoy. 

For vanilla extracts, you can add a few drops to your brew. However, remember a little goes a long away, the taste of vanilla can be overpowering. Therefore, you want to make sure you to do not add excess vanilla extract.

Health Benefits

Vanilla is known to be food for the brain; it enhances mental performance, mood, and general brain health. It can also be used to manage stomachaches, relieve stress and reduces pain in the joints.

3. Cardamom

Cardamom is a popular flavor in the Middle East. It is characterized by an exotic ginger-like taste. 

To use this flavor you can add cardamom seeds to your coffee beans before grinding. Alternatively, if your cardamom is in powder, you can sprinkle a pinch it in your coffee to fit your taste.

Health Benefits

Cardamom neutralizes caffeine addiction. 

Other than caffeine addiction, it is known to help control cholesterol levels in your body. It is also known for improving blood circulation, curing dental diseases and STIs like gonorrhea. 

The flavor is also said to cure premature ejaculation, impotence, and erectile dysfunction.

According to research, cardamom contains fibers minerals and cancer-fighting compounds with the potential to kill cancer cells and prevent the growth of new cancer cells. There are all the reasons why you should use cardamom in your mug of coffee.

4. Ginger 

cardamon pods, spices, cardamon

It is normal to think that ginger can be added to solid food only, however it is possible to have ginger coffee. If you like your food with ginger, you may love ginger coffee.

Add slices of freshly cut ginger into your coffee grounds to allow the flavor to mix well. If you are using ginger powder you can add the powder into your coffee grounds and brew you drink.

Health Benefits 

Ginger is used for calming stomach upsets; it is used to ease gas and bloating of the stomach. It can also be used to soothe colds, sore throats, reduce the pain of arthritis and reduce inflammation.

5. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

A mixture of cocoa and coffee is an epic combination since it enhances the subtle notes of coffee that you may have not noticed before. Moreover, cocoa has been proved to contain antioxidants that improve the quality of your coffee. With this combination, you are brewing mocha.

When mixing the two, you can choose to grind your coffee beans and cocoa beans together and create your special coffee grounds. You can also choose to add the cocoa to already prepared coffee.

Health Benefits

Cocoa helps to lower blood pressure and increase the function of blood vessels. As such, it helps to fight off age-related sickness such as heart diseases

Research has also shown that cocoa has anti-inflammatory contents that help in blood platelet functionand reduce insulin resistance.

6. Coconut Milk

coconut milk, milk, coconut

If you are looking to cut on your daily intake of dairy products, the coconut milk may be what you need. The texture of coconut milk is similar to that of normal milk making it the most suitable flavor for your coffee creaming needs.

You can also add vanilla extract to your coconut milk to make your homemade low-calorie cream coffee. Using coconut milk can also be useful to lactose-intolerant people or if you are looking to reduce the calories in your creamed coffee.

That said thou, be careful with the amount of coconut milk you use since it contains a significant amount of fat. When using the coconut and vanilla concoction, you can add it to already brewed coffee or coffee grounds before brewing.

Health Benefits

Coconut milk contains fats known as medium-chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs). These fats help in boosting your immunity. Unlike other fats, coconut fats are rapidly metabolized. It means that they are less likely to be stored in the body as fat, especially if taken in controlled amounts.

According to research, a specific fat among the MCFAs known as lauric acids is converted into antibacterial and antiviral compounds that help to fight diseases. 

Other than that, coconut milk contains magnesium, vitamin C, E and B, iron and antioxidants that promote a healthy heart, kidney, teeth, and bones.

7. Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne is a type of moderately hot chili pepper. Therefore, it is not a flavor for everyone and you have to use it in small amounts lest you get burnt.

To use it, add cayenne pepper to your coffee grounds before brewing.

Health Benefits

Cayenne pepper is manufactured from capsaicin. According to research, capsaicin is loaded with components that are useful for your health. The components can be used to prevent and manage obesity, high blood pressure, heart-related conditions, and type 2 diabetes.

Further research has shown that capsaicin can be used to fight ulcers and prostate cancer.

8. Peppermint Oil

If you are a coffee junkie, you may have noticed peppermint-flavored lattes. Did you know you could brew your peppermint-flavored coffee at home? Well, we got you covered with all the questions.

When using the flavor, add the peppermint oil to your already brewed coffee. Be careful when adding the extract since it can be overwhelming when added in high amounts. With this, you can enjoy your homemade peppermint-flavored coffee with suppressed calories, unlike the latte. 

Health Benefits

While peppermint oil may not be known for its health benefits, it is important to note that it contains vitamins and minerals that boost our health. These minerals include vitamins A and C, ion, calcium, and magnesium.

That said, the extract is known for easing irritable bowel syndrome and any gut-related problem For instance, the oil comes in handy to aid in stomach upset, ease digestion, nausea, and heartburn. 

It also contains anti-inflammatory compounds that work to relieve sore muscles. 

Looking at its antiseptic use, peppermint oil can be used to fight bad breath and germs.

9. Dark Chocolate

chocolate, bars, dark chocolate

Adding a bar of dark chocolate to your coffee should be added to the list of making magic. To say the least, trying this flavor for many, may mean having to say goodbye to any other flavor that you may have used in the past. Yes, it is that good

Depending on your taste bud, place a bar of dark chocolate in your mug. Pour your hot brew on the dark chocolate and stir the chocolate until it completely dissolves in the coffee. Voila! You have brewed a cup of magic, enjoy!

Health Benefits 

Research has proved the dark chocolate has several health benefits.

  • It lowers your blood pressure while raising good cholesterol in your body
  • It helps to boost your focus and brainpower
  • It helps to lower your body mass index
  • It has been probed to protect your skin from UV rays

10. Coconut Sugar

Unlike its name, coconut sugar is not extracted from coconuts. It is extracted from the sap in flower buds that grow on coconut trees.

Usually, the sap is boiled to evaporate all its water, leaving the coconut sugar. Coconut sugar is brown resembling brown sugar.

To use it, add the coconut sugar to your coconut grounds before brewing your coffee. A tablespoon of this coconut sugar will work just fine.

Health Benefits

As seen above in its extraction process, coconut sugar is unrefined sugar. Therefore, it contains minerals such as iron, zinc, and antioxidants. It also contains rare fibers such as inulin, which are responsible for its health benefits.

Inulin has been proved to help prevent colon cancer, enhance the health of your gut, balance sugar levels in the blood and prevent obesity and fatty liver diseases. That said, note that coconut sugar is a type of sugar, it, therefore, should be taken in moderation just like any other sugar.

12. Maple Extract

Other than on your pancakes, you can use maple extract as a flavor in your coffee

Add the maple extract to the coffee grounds before brewing your coffee. Maple syrup is sweet but its sugar levels are reduced making it the perfect sweetener for your coffee

Health Benefits

According to research, maple extract can help fight infection-causing bacteria. This helps to boost the effectiveness of medication and minimize the impact of drug-resistant bacteria.

13. Cloves

Clove is one of the spices that has existed since time in history and continues to be used to date. Adding cloves to your coffee brings out a musky classic vibe, and who does not want their coffee exotic?

It is recommended you buy your cloves as a whole, to ensure that they are fresh. Therefore, for the whole cloves, mix them with the coffee beans and grind them together. Once the grounds are ready, use them to brew your coffee.

However, if you are using already grounded coffee, place the cloves in the coffee grounds and brew your coffee. Do not use excess cloves since it can suppress the flavors of coffee.

Health Benefits

Clove Cloves are highly loaded with antioxidants, which help in the followinghealth benefits including

  • Cloves help to improve the health of your liver
  • Studies show that it can protect one from cancer
  • Cloves help to reduce stomach ulcers
  • It may help regulate the sugar levels in the blood
  • Hazelnut Oil

Hazelnuts are one of the most common coffee flavors. The best part about hazelnut is that you can use it at home.

Add the hazelnut oil in your already brewed coffee. Be careful with the amount you add since this extract can be powerful.

Health Benefits

Hazelnuts are known to be loaded with healthy fibers, fats, and antioxidants. Its vitamin E is known to reduce the risk of heart disease while a type of acid is believed to protect one against cancer.

Moreover, hazelnuts are believed to help in balancing sugar levels in the blood as well as cholesterol levels. It is also believed to protect one from heart diseases and aging.

Flavor Coffee Without Sugar: The Final Word

These are only 13 flavors you can add to your coffee instead of sugar. The list is endless; you just need to find what floats your boat. When it comes to amount, be careful since some flavors are strong enough to suppress the coffee flavors. This is especially for extracts. Therefore, you want to experiment first in small amounts before going all in. What is the fun in knowing everything anyway?

That said though, most of these flavors are sweeteners, as such it is recommended you use them in controlled amounts and frequency unless you are looking to run from sugar-related health complications to other flavors health complications. Remember that too much of something is poisonous.

Related Questions

Is coffee good or bad? 

As we started, we highlighted the benefits of coffee. That does not mean that coffee does not have its share of negative effects. The thing is, using coffee is a matter of balancing it’s good and bad. If you use coffee as recommended the good will overwhelm the bad. 

Looking at some of its negative effects, when taken late in the day, coffee may lead to a lack of sleep. Lack of enough sleep, in turn, results in various health complications. It is recommended that you avoid coffee after 2-3 p.m. Therefore, if you put this guideline into consideration, you may not have to worry about poor sleep due to coffee intake.

Excessive consumption of coffee may reduce its health benefits. As such, it is recommended that you take coffee in balanced amounts to avoid addiction. Coffee contains cafestol, which may increase cholesterol levels in the blood. However, to counteract this effect you can use paper flirter when brewing coffee. The paper filter traps the cafestol but allows other coffee components to pass through.

Can you take coffee without any sweeteners? 

Yes, you can. How you choose to take your coffee is dependent on your taste buds. If you can stand the traces of bitterness in coffee go ahead. Coffee is healthier when taken without any additives. 



  • Aisling O'Connor

    Aisling is an Irish food and drinks writer and journalist fueled by coffee and herbal tea. She followed up her journalism degree with nutrition studies. Find Aisling on LinkedIn.