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5 Best Coffee Sweeteners in 2024

If you drink your coffee black, it has practically no calories, which sounds ideal. However, many people cannot enjoy black coffee’s bitter tastes, of course, we sweeten it, and we’re always trying to find the best coffee sweetener.

The most important thing is that you don’t use nasty white sugar, and with so many sugar alternatives for coffee on the market, it really wouldn’t make sense if you did. There’s honey, stevia, agave nectar… all kinds of healthier options that can make your coffee tasty. And not only is your coffee going to taste good, but you won’t have to feel guilty about consuming a sweetener.  

Let’s get sweet!

Our team of certified nutritionists and professional athletes tested 20 different coffee sweeteners, and they’ve picked their top for this list. The sweeteners were evaluated on 5 of the most important factors (flavor intensity, sweetness level, bitterness level, nutritional label transparency, price & quality), and we’ve spent 6 weeks testing them.

In addition to the extensive testing process, we have also analyzed hundreds of online user reviews to bring you the most accurate information. This list is updated on a regular basis, so leave a comment and share your experiences with us!

best coffee sweeteners

Top 5 Best Coffee Sweeteners Reviewed

  1. In The Raw Stevia – Top Pick
  2. Truvia Sweet Complete Brown Sweetener – Runner-Up
  3. Davinci Gourmet Natural Agave Syrup – Best Alternative Natural Sweetener
  4. Nunaturals Stevia Syrup – Organic Stevia Syrup
  5. Monin Organic Honey Sweetener – Organic Honey Sweetener
ProductTotalFlavor IntensitySweetness LevelBitterness LevelNutritional LevelPrice/Quality
In the Raw501010101010
Truvia49.510109.51010
Davinci Gourmet48.599.5101010
Nunaturals48101010810
Monin Organic47.59.5910109
TOP PICK

1. In The Raw Stevia

IN THE RAW Stevia
  • Item form: Powder
  • Item weight: 0.64 lbs
  • Ingredients: Dextrose, stevia leaf extract
  • Calorie per serving: 0
  • Suitable for vegans: Yes
  • Specialty: Sugar-free, gluten-free, non-GMO

In The Raw’s Stevia has 0 calories, it’s sugar-free, non-GMO, and suitable for vegans, so it’s pretty much all that we want from a sweetener. The main ingredient is dextrose and not stevia, but this one still trumps all the other options because dextrose is used as a bulking agent and contributes to the overall composition of the product.

Derived from the leaves of a stevia plant, this is the best natural sweetener for coffee, and it is packaged in a simple box that weighs about 0.65 lbs. It comes in individual packets, so it’s convenient for on-the-go coffee drinkers. 

in the raw stevia instagram
Photo by @musitalastra

If you’re wondering what you can use it for, the answer is – whatever needs to be sweetened. It goes great with coffee, of course, but you can also use it for tea (hot or cold), cookies, cakes… everything. It’s very versatile and some people even like to add it to their cereal, fruits, or barbecue rub seasoning. 

It contains no synthetic additives or genetically modified ingredients, so you can be sure you’re using something that’s healthy and won’t have any adverse effects, and since it has no gluten, it’s okay for people with specific gluten-free dietary requirements or preferences.

50 EXPERT SCORE

In The Raw’s Stevia has 0 calories, it’s sugar-free, non-GMO, and suitable for vegans, so it’s pretty much all that we want from a sweetener.


Flavor Intensity:0
Sweetness Level:0
Bitterness Level:0
Nutritional Label Transparency:0
Price & Quality:0

Positives:

  • No synthetic additives
  • 0 calories
  • Versatile use

Could be better:

  • The main ingredient is dextrose, not stevia
Runner-Up

2. Truvia Sweet Complete Brown Sweetener

TRUVIA Sweet Complete Brown Sweetener
  • Item form: Powder
  • Item weight: 14 ounces
  • Ingredients: Erythritol, Molasses, Stevia Leaf Extract
  • Calorie per serving: 0
  • Suitable for vegans: Yes
  • Specialty: GMO-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, plant-based, kosher

Truvia’s sweetener is made of erythritol, molasses, and stevia leaf extract, and it’s also plant-based and kosher. It’s packed in a 14-ounce bag, and it’s formulated with specific benefits for weight management and diabetes control.

Thanks to its composition, this low-calorie coffee sweetener is a cup-for-cup substitution for brown sugar and has a similar taste and consistency. It’s a tiny bit bitter, but when you compare the health benefits it has to ones of regular brown sugar, this one is a clear winner. It leaves no weird aftertaste, which is a common complaint when it comes to sugar substitutes, and has no calories. 

It's okay to use if you’re on a carb-conscious diet (like Keto), and its uses are not reserved for just drinks; you can use it for cooking, as well, and you don’t need to worry about it altering the taste. The only issue could be how it dissolves, which is not the best. It takes a while, and you really need to stir it if you’re using it in a drink (especially a cold one).

49.5 EXPERT SCORE

Truvia’s sweetener is made of erythritol, molasses, and stevia leaf extract, and it’s also plant-based and kosher. It’s packed in a 14-ounce bag, and it’s formulated with specific benefits for weight management and diabetes control.


Flavor Intensity:0
Sweetness Level:0
Bitterness Level:0
Nutritional Label Transparency:0
Price & Quality:0

Positives:

  • Suitable for a variety of dietary needs
  • Cup-for-cup substitution for brown sugar
  • Made for weight management and diabetes control

Could be better:

  • Takes a while to dissolve
  • Slightly bitter
Best Alternative Natural Sweetener

3. Davinci Gourmet Natural Agave Syrup

DAVINCI GOURMET Natural Agave Syrup
  • Item form: Syrup
  • Item weight: 25.4 fluid ounces
  • Ingredients: Cane Sugar, Water, Organic Agave Syrup, Organic Caramelized Sugar (for color), Citric Acid, Natural Flavor
  • Suitable for vegans: Yes
  • Specialty: Sugar-free, gluten-free, GMO-free, kosher

DaVinci Gourmet was established in 1989 during the specialty coffee market boom and they’re known for making excellent syrups using simple but high-quality ingredients. Their products don’t have high-fructose corn syrup and they’re kosher.

This healthy coffee sweetener has an agave flavor, and it’s a mix of water, cane sugar, organic agave syrup, organic caramelized sugar, citric acid, and natural flavor. Its main ingredient is water, so its texture is pretty watery for syrup. Syrups are usually rich and thick, but this one is different in that regard. 

It tastes a bit burnt, which probably comes from the caramelized sugar that's known to have a somewhat burnt taste, but it tastes good when you add it to coffee. It can also be used for cocktails and lemonades, and it complements citrus flavors perfectly. 

Apart from the slightly burnt flavor, you’ll also taste light earthy and honey-like notes in it, but overall, this is a mild-tasting syrup. It's a pleasant taste, but it would be great if it was a little more intense because it's marketed as a flavored syrup. There’s no bitterness to it, in fact, some people have even called it too sweet, but that issue can easily be taken care of – just use a little less and that’s it.

48.5 EXPERT SCORE

This healthy coffee sweetener has an agave flavor, and it’s a mix of water, cane sugar, organic agave syrup, organic caramelized sugar, citric acid, and natural flavor.


Flavor Intensity:0
Sweetness Level:0
Bitterness Level:0
Nutritional Label Transparency:0
Price & Quality:0

Positives:

  • Excellent for any citrusy drinks
  • Quality ingredients
  • Not bitter

Could be better:

  • Tastes slightly burnt
  • The taste is too mild for something flavored
Organic Stevia Syrup

4. Nunaturals Stevia Syrup

NUNATURALS Stevia Syrup
  • Item form: Syrup
  • Item weight: 16 fluid ounces
  • Ingredients: Vegetable Glycerin, Water, Stevia Extract, Vanilla Concentrate, Organic Acacia Gum, Organic Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum
  • Glycemic index: Low
  • Calorie per serving: 0
  • Suitable for vegans: Yes
  • Specialty: Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free, Low-Glycemic, Vegan, Non-GMO, Keto-Friendly

The NuNaturals Stevia Syrup is more of a desert syrup than just your basic sweetener. This review focuses on vanilla, but you can also get chocolate, cocoa mint, pumpkin or just plain syrup. It is very, very sweet, and you’ll only need a tiny bit to sweeten your coffee.

This organic stevia syrup is made of vegetable glycerin, water, stevia extract, vanilla concentrate, and organic gums, and it supposedly has 0 calories. The issue is, the first ingredient is vegetable glycerin, which has a little over 4 calories per gram, so the nutritional information on the bottle is misleading.

With that being said, the actual product is good – it tastes great but not too strong where it’s going to overpower your coffee. It just adds sweetness and a little bit of taste and that’s it, your coffee still tastes like coffee. It’s ideal for cookies and baked goods in general because you can play around with different flavors.

As far as the serving size goes, you need 1⁄4 of a teaspoon to replace 2 teaspoons of regular sugar, so that shows how potent this is. It’s gluten-free, non-GMO, low-glycemic, and vegan, so even though it tastes like dessert, it’s a lot healthier for you.

48 EXPERT SCORE

The NuNaturals Stevia Syrup is more of a desert syrup than just your basic sweetener. This review focuses on vanilla, but you can also get chocolate, cocoa mint, pumpkin or just plain syrup.


Flavor Intensity:0
Sweetness Level:0
Bitterness Level:0
Nutritional Label Transparency:0
Price & Quality:0

Positives:

  • Packed in a convenient squeeze bottle
  • Very potent
  • Desert-like taste

Could be better:

  • Misleading label
Organic Honey Sweetener

5. Monin Organic Honey Sweetener

MONIN Organic Honey Sweetener
  • Item form: Syrup
  • Item weight: 0.01 ounces
  • Ingredients: Pure natural honey, filtered water, potassium sorbate (preservative)
  • Suitable for vegans: No
  • Specialty: Certified Organic, Allergen-Free, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Kosher, Low Calorie, Non-GMO, No Artificial Colors, Flavors, Ingredients, Preservatives, or Sweeteners

For those of you looking for a real honey taste, Monin’s Organic Honey Sweetener is a great choice. It is USDA Organic certified and its ingredients are super simple – honey, filtered water, and potassium sorbate, which serves as a preservative.

This sweetener dissolves very quickly in both cold and hot beverages. It has a true clover honey aroma that’s not as sweet as you would expect, and it leaves a bit of an aftertaste, but it still serves its purpose. It’s free of allergens, dairy, and gluten, it’s low-calorie, non-GMO, and kosher. There are no artificial colors, flavors, ingredients, or sweeteners, making it a very health-conscious product. 

MONIN Organic Sweetener instagram
Photo by @bar.media

Monin also cares about supporting bee populations and they have a syrup recycling initiative, which has contributed to feeding over 374 billion bees! Basically, the bees have been fed waste syrup since 2008, which combats the Colony Collapse Disorder that affects global bee populations.

The packaging is also eco-friendly and uses BPA-free bottles and 100% recyclable boxes with 30% recycled content. Overall, this is a product that’s good for both you and the environment. 

But not everything can be perfect, and the packaging needs some work. The bottles are very prone to leaking, which is a big deal when you order products online.

47.5 EXPERT SCORE

This sweetener dissolves very quickly in both cold and hot beverages. It has a true clover honey aroma that’s not as sweet as you would expect, and it leaves a bit of an aftertaste, but it still serves its purpose.


Flavor Intensity:0
Sweetness Level:0
Bitterness Level:0
Nutritional Label Transparency:0
Price & Quality:0

Positives:

  • Sustainable packaging
  • Certified USDA Organic
  • No artificial ingredients

Could be better:

  • The bottle is prone to leaking
  • The taste is rather weak

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What is a Good Substitute for Sugar in Coffee?

If you’re used to regular sugar, you may find it hard to even think about replacing it, but there are so many different healthy options (both flavored and unflavored) that it really isn’t hard to find a substitute. 

One popular choice is stevia, which is derived from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant, has no calories, and has a sweetness that’s much like the one sugar has. Many people consider stevia the best sugar substitute for coffee, and its popularity has been rising recently.

Another thing you can use instead of sugar is monk fruit extract. It’s widely used and comes from monk fruit, which is similar to stevia. It’s another zero-calorie option that makes your coffee sweeter but doesn’t increase the blood sugar levels, so if you’re monitoring your glycemic intake, this might be just what you need. 

coffee beans with sweetener capsules

Erythritol is another option and it’s classified as a sugar alcohol. The thing about erythritol is that it tastes almost the same as sugar and has minimal calories, but like monk fruit extract, doesn’t affect blood sugar levels. You can also go for xylitol, which is another sugar alcohol, but it gives a cooling sensation, which may not be ideal for everyone because hot coffee doesn’t really pair well with a cooling effect. 

Coconut sugar is yet another low-glycemic option (compared to regular sugar) from coconut palms' sap. The choice ultimately depends on you, of course, but all of this shows that there’s no reason for you to be continue consuming regular sugar, because there are more than enough healthy alternatives available. 

7 Natural Substitutes for Sugar

When it comes to replacing sugar, you can choose between natural and artificial alternative sweeteners for coffee. Natural options make your coffee sweeter but don’t have any of the drawbacks refined sugar has, and they have additional nutritional benefits. Let’s take a look at the most popular natural sweeteners. 

1. Stevia

Sugar is sweet, sure, but it’s nothing compared to stevia. It’s significantly sweeter than refined sugar, and it’s suitable for people managing diabetes or those on a low-carb diet. Stevia has no calories and does not affect blood sugar levels. 

2. Monk Fruit Extract

This sweetener has natural compounds that are called mogrosides. Mogrosides give sweetness without calories or spike in blood sugar levels. Its taste is close tosugar’s but, of course, with monk fruit extract, you can enjoy a sweet cup of coffee without the guilt. 

3. Erythritol

This one has about 70% of the sweetness sugar has and unlike some other sugar alcohols, it doesn’t cause digestive issues. It occurs naturally in some fruits, and it’s known for being low in calories

different types of sweeteners

4. Xylitol

Xylitol is another sugar alcohol, and it’s found in fruits and vegetables. Its sweetness is much like the one you get from sugar, but it has a lower glycemic index and doesn’t promote tooth decay. You’ll often find it in sugar-free gums and dental products. 

5. Coconut Sugar

You can use it in your coffee, sure, but coconut sugar is particularly good for desserts because it can be used as a 1:1 substitute for sugar in many recipes, which makes baking a whole lot easier. It has a small amount of nutrients like zinc, calcium, and potassium and boasts a lower glycemic index score.

6. Maple Syrup

You probably already know that distinct maple syrup flavor. It also contains antioxidants and minerals like manganese and zinc, and it has fewer calories than honey. A lot of people use it as a topping or in baking, but you can also use it to sweeten your coffee. It won’t overpower your coffee’s taste, but it will make it sweeter and it will add that rich maple aroma. 

7. Honey

Honey has a lot of health benefits, and it has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. The calorie count is pretty high, and it has quite an impact on your blood sugar levels, but its taste is unique, and its components are natural. 

Benefits of Natural Sweeteners

The sweet taste is a benefit, of course, but when it comes to natural sweeteners, the benefits go beyond the taste. One of the best things about natural sweeteners is that they have a lot fewer calories than refined sugar, and a lot of them have hardly any impact on blood sugar levels. They’re suitable for people with diabetes, those who want to lose or manage weight, or those who just want to lead a healthier lifestyle. 

Some of them come with added nutritional value and contain antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Take honey and maple syrup, for example – they have antioxidants and trace elements. Coconut sugar is another good example because it has zinc, iron, and potassium. 

cup of coffee

Since their origin is natural, they don’t have artificial additives or preservatives which means they’re good for people who want their diet to be clean and free of processed ingredients. 

5 Artificial Substitutes for Sugar

Going the natural route sounds better with almost everything, but not everyone likes natural sweeteners, so it’s great that there are artificial options available, too. All of these are synthetic or chemically derived, and they make your coffee sweeter but have no calories. You won’t see any of them being called the healthiest sweetener for coffee, but they have their good sides. 

1. Aspartame

You’ll find aspartame in a lot of diet sodas and sugar-free products. It has practically no calories, and it’s about 200 times sweeter than sugar. If you want to use it with cold coffee or tea, it’s fine, but you can’t use aspartame with anything hot because it loses all of its sweetness when you heat it. 

2. Sucralose

You know it as Splenda, and it’s another calorie-free option. It’s approximately 600 times sweeter than sugar, and it can be used for cooking, baking, or with any hot beverages because it remains sweet even when you heat it up. 

3. Saccharin

Saccharin is one of the oldest artificial sweeteners, and it’s 300 to 400 times sweeter than sugar. You’ll find it in diet sodas, baked goods, and canned fruits, but some studies have linked saccharin to potential health concerns. 

liquid sweetener for coffee

4. Acesulfame Potassium (Ace-K)

Ace-K is usually used with other sweeteners (mostly sucralose and aspartame) to mask potential aftertaste and it’s roughly 200 times sweeter than sugar. 

5. Neotame

Calling neotame sweet would be the understatement of a century because this sweetener is about 7,000 to 13,000 times sweeter than sugar. Wow! If you look at it from a chemical perspective, it’s similar to aspartame, but it remains stable when you heat it so it’s good for cooking, baking, and pretty much anything hot that needs sweetening.

Risks of Consuming Artificial Sweeteners in Coffee

In short – health experts don’t really like artificial sweeteners. Some studies have shown links between artificial sweeteners and harm to the gut microbiota, adverse effects on metabolism, and even negative effects on weight management, which is kind of crazy when you think about how many people think an artificial sweetener is the best coffee sweetener for weight loss, not to mention how many of them use these to instead of sugar because they’re trying to lose weight. 

coffee with sweetener

They’ve also received a lot of hate because of the reported health concerns, but also because they can potentially make you crave sweet food more. Keep in mind, that the risks related to artificial sweeteners are constantly being researched and vary among people. Still, it’s best to use them in moderation. 

Difference Between Natural and Artificial Sweeteners in Coffee

You probably want to know which of these options is better, but “better” isn’t really a good word to use in this situation. Natural sweeteners come from plant-based sources, and they make your coffee sweeter without adding as many calories as sugar would. A lot of times, they also have added nutrients antioxidants, and they can potentially be beneficial to your health. 

The downside can be that they usually leave a bit of an aftertaste, even if they’re not marketed as flavored, so they can influence the taste of your coffee. Overall, they’re a safer, more wholesome choice because they’re minimally processed, and their origins are natural.

Now, artificial sweeteners are a completely different story. They’re synthesized chemically, and their sweetness levels are through the roof, sometimes being up to 13,000 times sweeter than sugar.

sweetener capsules in spoon

They’re popular because they have hardly any taste and don’t alter the way coffee tastes. They don’t add significant calories to your coffee, but they do come with some health concerns, and health professionals aren’t really crazy about them. 

The difference between these two isn’t just in their origins, but also in their potential health implications, which are minimal to none with natural sweeteners. Natural options aren’t nearly as sweet as artificial ones, but the issues regarding the safety and long-term effects of artificial sweeteners are more than enough to make a lot of people choose the natural way.

AspectNatural SweetenersArtificial Sweeteners
SourcePlants or natural sourcesChemically synthesized or processed compounds
CompositionOften have additional nutrients, antioxidants, or natural compoundsManufactured chemicals with intense sweetness
CaloriesVaries – some have minimal to moderate calorie countFree of calories or low-calorie
TasteMay have distinct flavors and alter the way coffee tastesUsually have no taste
Health ConsiderationsSafer and may have potential health benefitsSome studies link them to metabolic and gut health issues
Regulatory ApprovalSubject to less stringent regulations because they’re considered saferThey need to go through strict regulatory evaluations and approval processes before going on market

FAQ

What Is the Best Coffee Sweetener for Weight Loss?

If you’re trying to lose weight but want your coffee to taste sweet, try stevia or monk fruit extract. They have no calories, and their effect on blood sugar levels are minimal to none, so they can help you reduce the number of calories but still satisfy your sweet tooth (up to a point).

What Is the Most Popular Coffee Sweetener?

Sugar and artificial sweeteners are superstars, but a lot of natural options have become more and more popular because people are becoming more health-conscious and they’re looking for ways to have a cleaner, healthier diet.

Are there any limits in sweetener dosage you can use when drinking coffee?

You won’t find information on specific limits, so it’s best to use common sense. Go for a moderate amount, and you’ll be fine, especially when it comes to artificial options. If you go too far, a sweetener (of any kind) will change the taste of your coffee.

Conclusion

Who knew there’s so much to say about how to make your coffee taste sweeter? If you can’t imagine drinking pure black coffee, that’s fine because you have a lot of options to choose from, and none of them require using refined sugar. You can go for natural or artificial options, syrups, powders, little tablets… Just remember to do your research first. 

If you really don’t feel like sifting through reviews and trying a bunch of different sweeteners, go for the In The Raw Stevia

Now it’s your turn, coffee drinkers! Share your tips and tricks on the best way to make your coffee sweet and your votes for the best and healthiest coffee sweetener!

Also read:

References:

  1. Anne Christin Meyer-Gerspach, Jed O Wingrove, Christoph Beglinger, Jens F Rehfeld, Carel W Le Roux, Ralph Peterli, Patrick Dupont, Owen O'Daly, Lukas Van Oudenhove, Bettina K Wölnerhanssen, “Erythritol and Xylitol Differentially Impact Brain Networks Involved in Appetite Regulation in Healthy Volunteers,” Nutrition Neuroscience 25, no. 11 (2022): 2344-2358.
  2. Geoffrey Livesey, “Health Potential of Polyols as Sugar Replacers, with Emphasis on Low Glycaemic Properties,” Nutrition Research Reviews 16, no. 2 (Published online by Cambridge University Press: December 14, 2007).
  3. Hong Wang, Lantao Li, Xiaohui Lin, Weidong Bai, Gengsheng Xiao, Gongliang Liu, “Composition, Functional Properties and Safety of Honey: A Review,” Journal of Science Food and Agriculture 103, no. 14 (2023): 6767-6779.
  4. Marjan Ajami, Maryam Seyfi, Fatemeh Abdollah Pouri Hosseini, Parisa Naseri, Aynaz Velayati, Fahimeh Mahmoudnia, Malihe Zahedirad, Majid Hajifaraji, “Effects of Stevia on Glycemic and Lipid Profile of Type 2 Diabetic Patients: A Randomized Controlled Trial,” Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine 10, no. 2 (2020): 118-127.
  5. Rachel Bordoli, “Aspartame—Friend or Foe? Here’s What the Research Says,” Center for Nutrition Studies https://nutritionstudies.org/aspartame-friend-or-foe-heres-what-the-research-says/  (accessed December 19th, 2023).
  6. S L Tey, N B Salleh, J Henry, C G Forde, “Effects of Aspartame-, Monk Fruit-, Stevia- and Sucrose-Sweetened Beverages on Postprandial Glucose, Insulin and Energy Intake,” International Journal of Obesity (London) 41, no. 3 (2017): 450-457.
  7. “Why artificial sweeteners can increase appetite,” ScienceDaily, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/07/160712130107.htm  (accessed December 19th, 2023).

Why Trust Us?

With over 20 years in Olympic Weightlifting, our team does its best to provide the audience with ultimate support and meet the needs and requirements of advanced athletes and professional lifters, as well as people who strive to open new opportunities and develop their physical capabilities with us.

All products we select are primarily approved and tested by the Olympic Weightlifting Champion Oleksii Torokhtiy. Under his guidance, we provide honest and reasonable assessments of the products we review by checking their characteristics, packaging, design, comfort and durability features, and general product rating. We select products from only high-quality and trusted sports brands, thus vouching for their quality.

The product testing process is described in more detail here

Justin Estes

Author: Justin Estes
Coffee Consultant

Experience: 7 years

Justin Estes is an acclaimed finance writer, coffee consultant and fitness enthusiast based in Charleston, SC. He holds BS degrees in Finance and Accounting, fueled by several daily espresso shots.

Over 7+ years, Justin has cultivated specialty coffee expertise through roles spanning barista, trainer, roaster production assistant, competition judge, and brand strategist for leading companies. He thrives when connecting people over amazing coffee experiences.

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