What is brown sugar?

1024px-Brown_sugar_examplesEveryone has their own way of sweetening their coffee. Your preference might be for white lump sugar, loose brown sugar or sweetener, but do you know what you’re adding to your caffeine? Here are the facts about brown sugar.

The sugar gets its distinctive darker colour and flavour from molasses. The brown sugar that’s normally offered with coffee will be light brown sugar, with low levels of molasses and thus very little difference in taste to white sugar, although aficionados reckon they can detect a richer, fuller flavour. Dark brown sugar is heavily molassed and more normally used for baking. The sugar may be allowed to retain molasses naturally at the point of refinement, or may be produced by adding molasses to refined white sugar, which is the normal method when bulk-producing sugar for commercial sale. The added molasses mean the finished product is softer and moister than white sugar. Naturally produced brown sugar is less refined, and thus retains more minerals than white sugar.

Due to its softer consistency, brown sugar is prone to clumping once the packet has been opened, and should be stored in an airtight container. If you’re providing the sugar commercially, in a café or catering business, it’s most practical to use lump sugar or individual sugar sticks to prevent clumping and wastage. For cooking, putting a specialist terracotta disk in with the sugar will prevent clumping. Sugar that’s already reached the lumpy stage can be rescued for cooking by being melted in the microwave

At the Wholesale Coffee Company, we’re proud to supply La Perruche brown sugar cubes, a top quality naturally produced brown sugar that retains natural molasses for the best flavour. Prices start at £5.75 for 1 kg. We also supply individual sticks of Fairtrade brown sugar, for catering use. For more information on our range of sugars and sweeteners, please visit our coffee ingredients page.