Sugar in espresso?

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Postby aab1 » Dec 06, 2010, 11:01 pm

Is it considered ok to put sugar in an espresso?

We have renovations going on here and since the first time I made the renovation guy an espresso he told me I shouldn't have done that because now he'll be asking for at least one per day which has been the case but I'm more than happy to do it (after all it's just a button press away with my super auto). What surprised me was that he asked for 2 sugars, I thought in a tiny espresso that seems like an awful lot but he loves it.

Out of curiosity I made myself one with 2 sugars and it was like drinking hot maple syrup lol. I normally sweeten with natural calorie free stevia but in an espresso I reduce the amount of sweetener by the same as the amount is smaller (for example if I'd put 2 units of sweetener in an 8oz coffee, I put 0.5 units in a 2oz espresso).

So is it common to sweeten espresso and if so do you put as much as you'd put in a full size coffee, or proportionally reduce the sweetener for the smaller size?

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Postby Marc » Dec 06, 2010, 11:15 pm

Truly good espresso don't need sugar, it's like killing the nice balance..

But I see a lot of people still adding sugar in good coffee probably by habit, or some like oversweeten things. Too each is own taste.

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Postby HB » Dec 06, 2010, 11:41 pm

aab1 wrote:Is it considered ok to put sugar in an espresso?

My guests are welcome to drink their coffee however they wish. Most are used to bitter espresso from national chains like Starbucks, so they add sugar. I've successfully weaned a few from the sugary coverup, but they complain that I've "ruined" their enjoyment of national coffee chains.

When I lived overseas, I added 1-1/2 cubes of sugar to espresso to cover up the dull, bitter flavors. Today I'll add some out of curiosity, but invariably it throws the balance off, producing a monotonic sickly-sweet hot brew. That said, I find the natural sweetness of steamed milk compliments most coffees.

By the way, as I noted in What to do about newbie noise, I don't mind revisiting old arguments from time-to-time, but be aware this has come up many times. Even the "related topics" at the bottom of the page found several good matches:

The site features lots of articles, search aids, and FAQs. As suggested in the Guidelines for productive online discussion, this helps raise the discussion level; "newbie" questions are welcome, but they are more likely to receive thoughtful replies if some initial research is done beforehand.
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Postby cannonfodder » Dec 07, 2010, 12:10 am

The old sugar or no question. Depends on the coffee and personal taste. There is no right or wrong, just what you like.
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Postby zin1953 » Dec 07, 2010, 12:10 pm

aab1 wrote:Is it considered ok to put sugar in an espresso?

John, don't go overboard . . . is it OK to use ketchup instead of malt vinegar on your french fries/chips?

Personal taste is personal taste. If you like it with sugar, use sugar! Personally, I don't use it. My 16-year old daughter, however, always puts sugar in her lattes. Sugar will mask bitterness, but if a shot is that bitter, I generally toss it out.
A morning without coffee is sleep. -- Anon.

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Randy G.
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Postby Randy G. » Dec 07, 2010, 12:28 pm

Simple answer which I have used over and over:
"Add sugar because you want to.. Not because you have to."
Espresso! My Espresso!

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Postby Bluecold » Dec 07, 2010, 12:41 pm

zin1953 wrote:malt vinegar on your french fries/chips?

Why would you do that?!
This is how fries are meant to be consumed!
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"Though I Fly Through the Valley of Death I Shall Fear No Evil For I am at 80,000 Feet and Climbing."

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Postby zin1953 » Dec 07, 2010, 2:05 pm

Yes, well, personally i prefer that to malt vinegar -- which always seems to make the chips soggy . . . :mrgreen:
A morning without coffee is sleep. -- Anon.

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howard seth
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Postby howard seth » Dec 07, 2010, 2:40 pm

About a year or so ago I totally stopped putting sugar in my espresso: I wanted to judge the flavor of the coffee more precisely - I have become used to it without. I do not miss the sugar.

With cappuccino, however, I usually add 1/2 teaspoon - I like the way the sweet goes with the milk.

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Postby Grasshopper200 » Dec 07, 2010, 11:26 pm

Anyone ever add salt to espresso (pre brew)?

I've added a pinch to my french press/eva solo for years-- the Ideas in Food blog had a post on this yesterday:

Just wondering if anyone has tried this with espresso.

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