I am curious about different natural sweetener options that might mix well with coffee. I know about stevia but it gives the coffee a different flavor. Is there anything besides stevia that I'm not aware of? My apologies, I meant natural non-sugar alternatives, I should have specified that.
The best natural options for sweetening are, in my humble opinion, actual sugar or sugar syrups. Options include, in general order from less to more distinct taste...
- table sugar (sucrose), including common refined white sugar or less-refined options like evaporated cane juice or turbinado;
- agave syrup;
- jaggery or similar minimally-refined sugar;
- malt syrup, from e.g., rice or barley;
- maple syrup or maple sugar;
Though I personally prefer my coffee black and unsweetened, I've used all of these in coffee. Any sweetener will change the taste slightly. The problem with stevia, for me anyway, is that the bitter notes of stevia are overpowering; I can't consume the stuff.
If you're looking for a non-nutritive or lower-calorie alternative, you can look at various sugar alcohols, which are (or at least can be) naturally-produced, lower-calorie variants of sugars. They are produced by various methods, including fermentation.
A good possibility is xylitol, which is somewhat lower in effective calories and nearly as sweet as table sugar with less off-tastes than other sugar alternatives. Another option is erythritol, but may be less-commonly available. World-wide, other options including mannitol, sorbitol, maltitol, and isomalt may be more common.
Note well: different sugar alcohols may have effects on your digestive system, including bloating and loose stool, especially when consumed in large quantities. Start slowly :)
Xylitol works really well as an alternative to sugar. I've made two coffee's, one with sugar and one with Xylitol, to taste test, and could only just tell the difference. No funny after tastes like many other alternative sweeteners.
Here is one Monkfruit! I find this sugar replacement to be very tasty without the negatives of stevia. It's expensive, but one of the best options if you are looking to be healthy.
Honey works the best. It smoothes taste and adds mild sweetness to your cup.
For the best experience and authentic taste please do not use generic pre-heated honey and go for organic already crystallised honey.