The question is a “burdensome” one, a serious issue that can generate real feuds: Espresso Coffee, with or without Sugar?
Sometimes the question becomes even more twisted in its variable: “Better the Sugar or the Sweetener?”
It would be a bit like asking a sommelier: “Is it better to add lemonade or cedrata in red wine?”
Let’s joke about it, a smile always helps to improve the day!
Joke aside, let’s try to approach it from a technical point of view.
It has to be clear that altering the original flavour of the espresso can’t be considered as a taste or an evaluation of the quality of the coffee. Therefore, as a purist, espresso should definitely be tasted without sugar if you want to have a professional taste of coffee.
Some customers, however, prefer it sweet, so it is good to wonder how sugar alters the taste of coffee, because, it should be pointed out, the reaction is not the same for any type of coffee.
Sugar over the “cream”
Let’s immediately dispel the myth of sugar “floating above the cream”.
Rumour has it that pouring sugar over coffee, the longer the sugar itself remains suspended, the “better” (quality) the espresso is.
The foam of the espresso is given by the oils emulsified with carbon dioxide, enhanced by the espresso machine. It follows that the more carbon dioxide is present, the more foam we get.
The factors that characterize the quantity of CO2 in the espresso are 4:
Those listed are all technical characteristics and not qualitative. Among other things, generally, the high content of robusta provides a lower variety of positive aromas than the more noble arabica.
Sugar and Bitterness of Espresso
Sugar is the antidote to bitterness, i.e. it directly affects it by lowering its perception: the bitter the espresso, the more sugar we will add.
Sugar and Acidity of Espresso
The effect that sugar has on acidity is different: it can make it sweet or even cloying.
Let’s take 3 specific examples:
>> By the way, are you interested in learning how to recognize flaws of espresso coffee during tasting? <<
The significant differences between brown and white sugars are:
I give you a piece of advice: if you are used to adding sugar in espresso, I suggest you start using the above mentioned quantities.
It is important to know that sugar packets in coffee bars often contain 6, 8 or even 10 grams of sugar.
Therefore, if you don’t impulsively spill the entire content in your espresso, you will be able to enjoy a pleasantly sweetened espresso and not “a coffee-flavoured sugar”!