Lifestyle: No Sugar Neccessary
Do you reach for the sugar spoon before you take that first sip? Barista Brendan Cooper, from specialty brew house Bar 9, begs us not to - and explains why we really should think twice (if not for the calorific benefits).
W H Y Y O U T H I N K Y O U N E E D S U G A R
Everyone likes a little sweetness; ice cream, chocolate, cake. Are you a self-confessed sweet tooth? A closet Kit Kat biter? Whatever your poison there is always room for dessert and we won’t argue that for a second. However we will argue that there is a time and a place; and your coffee break isn’t one. Why? Let this coffee nerd tell you why.
One very well renowned professional barista, Matthew Perger, sums it up on his personal blog for the specialty coffee industry. To us, the perfect tasting cup of coffee is complex (layers of flavours), acidic (that bright uplifting flavor that pops in your mouth), and is above all, sweet. A coffee with hints of chocolate, malt, caramel or whichever delicious combination we choose on the day. I’m not talking about those awful mix-in syrups kids stir in at Starbucks style coffee chains either. I’m talking about what you get from that oh so exciting chemistry between filtered water, those ground coffee beans, and sometimes milk - if that’s your thing.
Still craving the sweetness your barista can’t give you? That sweet delicious cup of caffeine on your morning break? Well the thing is, your coffee should be just that, before you even get a chance to stir through those golden granules of sticky delectability. We don't buy a garment expecting to make our own alterations with a pair of scissors and a sewing machine, do we? Same thing in our world. So you don’t actually need sugar in your coffee, but you want it still. It’s not your fault; in fact, it’s probably your barista's, or the café you’re purchasing your brews from.
If you settle for convenience of the big heartless coffee chain to save yourself a couple hundred metres, maybe just try taking a different route. Down that buzzing little laneway in that up and coming neighborhood you pass by every day. Adelaide - and Australia - has one of the most forward specialty coffee cultures in the world, so chances are around the corner from that chain sits a cool little coffee joint that sells a cup at the same price, but probably tenfold of the quality.
You’ve found the café, and you’ve got your coffee, but before you’re first sip muscle memory has you reaching for the brown sugar in that little recycled jam jar. Don’t do it. Please. Drink that coffee and taste what you’ve been missing. At first you’ll probably be like, ‘why the hell did I bother listening to that coffee nerd in that oh so well curated fashion blog?’ and that’s a fair call. It took this coffee snob less than two weeks to completely cut sugar from my coffee and start really enjoying my lattes.
I’m not saying that it’s for everyone. Like a good wine, coffee has so much going on with it that it really is a shame for us baristas to see sugar being dumped into your paper cups without even a second thought. To use the wine comparison again, we’ve all had our beloved few years with the infamous goon sack, drinking for the sake of drinking. Now we’re all grown up and are drinking delicious reds from McLaren Vale, and craft beers from some microbrewery run by bearded hipsters. Try doing the same with your coffee, demand good product from your local brew house - it actually won’t cost you any extra.
All else aside, all those calories saved can go towards the organic, gluten free brownie staring at you.
Words: Brendan Cooper
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