Sugar to cut acidity in coffee

in Serving Coffee

Question: Does adding a little sugar to coffee reduce the acidity? It works for tomato sauces, so I wondered about coffee. — Sharon

Answer: Hi Sharon, using sugar to cut an acidic taste in tomato sauce definitely offsets using one of the other four basic tastes: sweetness. While it can make something taste less acidic, it doesn’t actually neutralize the acidity. The four basic tastes are bitter, salty, sour, and sweet. Sourness is the basic taste that picks up acidity, and sugar cuts that with another countering basic taste. Sugar is purely a personal taste for coffee drinkers, and why not? It’s as popular a drink because it can be seasoned.


  1. I also find flavors like mint, and hazelnut cut the acidity of coffee

    Comment by Chetan — April 24, 2009 @ 1:40 am

  2. That works too, Chetan. The flavors are usually (but not always) sugar-based so that act the same way that sugar does.

    Comment by Marc — April 25, 2009 @ 8:12 am

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