There's A Correct Order To Add Sugar And Cream To Coffee

A person's coffee order is something of a caffeinated fingerprint. At first glance, everyone's may look more or less the same, but if you look closer, you'll see all the little variations that make each one unique. Perhaps you prefer to sweeten your cup of joe with a mix of honey and maple syrup, or maybe you refuse to drink anything other than coffee made with tap water. If you're a frequent coffee drinker, then you know that even the smallest tweak — from the type of water you use to your grinder's cleanliness to the shape of your mug — can greatly alter the drinking experience.


For many folks, the most important part of coffee customization is achieving the correct sugar-to-cream ratio. The former brings out coffee's sweetness, while the latter makes the beverage smoother and less bitter. But the amount of these additions isn't the only factor that makes a difference — the order in which you add them matters, too. For the best results, always add sugar to your coffee before the cream. By stirring sugar into hot coffee first, you ensure that the liquid is still warm enough to properly dissolve the sugar before the cream cools everything down.

Always add sugar first

Unless you take the time to heat up whatever milk or cream you're using, this liquid will always make your cup of coffee colder, regardless of whether you add it before or after the sugar. While sugar will eventually melt over low heat, it melts faster in hot liquids, so the sooner you add it to your coffee, the better. Otherwise, all of the sugar may collect at the bottom of your mug. Your coffee won't be properly sweetened, and you'll be left with a final sip of grainy sugar. This problem is even more common for sugars with large crystals like cane and turbinado sugar. To ensure that all of your additions get thoroughly mixed, try adding sugar to your mug before you pour in the hot coffee.


Of course, these factors don't really apply to iced coffees since everything is already cold. For a well-sweetened iced coffee, add sugar (and then cream) to hot coffee before shaking it with ice instead of after. Alternatively, if cold is your preferred coffee temperature, you may consider investing in a bottle of simple syrup or making your own. Even instant coffee can be made to taste artisanal with the proper steps, so step up your own java routine by always adding sugar first.