Ten alternative coffee additives

Whether you fancy trying something different in your coffee or you’re trying to cut down on processed sugar, give these ideas a try for a new twist on your daily caffeine.


Although it’s not what you might expect, adding salt to coffee can cut down the bitterness and create the illusion that it’s sweeter. The sodium ions released when you add salt to coffee will reduce any bitterness without masking flavours. You only need a little pinch, which isn’t enough to make the coffee taste salty.

Apple juice

Again, you don’t need to go mad! Just a tablespoon of apple juice will add natural sweetness and won’t affect the taste. Best in black coffee.

Maple, agave and carob syrups

These are marginally better for you than refined sugar, but should still be used in moderation! A teaspoon of any of them will add sweetness without affecting the flavour. Maple syrup also adds a subtle richness to milky coffee drinks like latte.

Black treacle (molasses)

Treacle has quite a strong flavour, so it will affect the taste of your coffee. It’s great for adding to black coffee, and perfect for spiced speciality coffees like pumpkin lattes. Be warned though, it does turn the milk a slightly odd colour if you use too much! Experiment with molasses as the amount you use is very much down to personal taste.

Coconut oil

Using coconut oil instead of milk not only gives a subtle, creamy flavour but also packs a nutrient punch. Make a fresh pot of coffee and pour it into a blender, then add a tablespoon of coconut oil (per cup), and a teaspoon of honey. Pulse the blender to combine the mixture, and drink.

Different milks

Almond milk, soy milk and coconut milk all have their own health benefits and will all make your cup of coffee taste subtly different. Experiment with different types of milk and you might find something you prefer to dairy!

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