Sunday, 3 June 2007

It's my coffee. Leave me alone.

I vary enormously in how much sugar I put in my coffee. The first hit of the day is often strong and sweet. The maintenance cups during the day are usually unsweetened but weaker.

But not always.

Occasionally some smart-arse will see me putting two spoons of sugar in a coffee and make either a snide comment or 'tsk-tsk' sound of disapproval. More often or not they are clutching a soft drink or, the more virtuous ones, a bottle of fruit juice. For some reason they are nearly always in bottles larger than a coffee mug (300ml). Bottles of soft drink are usually 600ml, cans are usually 375ml and fruit juices 500ml.

"OK", says I. "You have there a 500ml bottle of drink . What does the nutrition panel say about the sugar content? Ten gram per 100ml? I thought so."

Most drinks (soft drinks, fruit juices, flavoured milks)are about 10% sugar. There is a point of optimum sweetness - too much sugar and they taste cloying and syrupy, too little and they taste watery. That point (depending on acidity) is about 10% sugar. Sports drinks are 5-8% but have a high salt/mineral content to compensate.

"OK, so your drink is 10% sugar. That means 50g of sugar in 500ml. The average teaspoon is 5g. So you are holding a drink containing ten teaspoons of sugar."

Now, how many did I put in my coffee?


  1. lee, i take the same kind of sugar in my coffee... i'm seldom given grief about the sugar by coworkers, but if they ever do, i'll now have a smart rebuttal, thanks to you.

    you'll be happy to know i'm in the mac store preparing to meet with a "genius" about my NEW MAC!!!!

  2. I often think of that when people use sugar in a drink of tea or coffee. Those fruit drinks are just loaded with sugar.

  3. Same here I always count sugar content in the nutrition panel as 4g per teaspoon. My friend loves her low fat yoghurt until I told her it contains 16g sugar which is about 4 teaspoons full, she still doesn't believe me. Oh well. I like my coffee bitter other wise it just doesn't taste like sugar.

  4. I don't take much sugary drinks because I get loads of it in chocolate instead!

  5. I'm always bewildered by people who like their coffee the same way every time. I'm wildly inconsistent.

  6. here here! I also use the one dark chocolate hersheys kiss in my mouth as I drink the unsweet coffee method - super yum! give it a go!

  7. To each his own, I always say..... I like sugar in my tea, but not my coffee. I drink far more coffee than tea, so I guess my sugar intake would be okay if I would leave the butter scotch candies alone. haha

    Why is it if someone puts two or three teaspoons of sugar into something someone always gives them the evil eye. When did sugar become the "white death." If eaten in moderation I doubt it is any more detrimental to ones health than anything else. All things in moderation works best, sugar is wonderful for quick energy, or to keep one awake on a long trip.....


Moderation cuts in six days after posting.