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Is adding sugar lame?
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Discussions > Espresso > General > Is adding sugar...  
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mdf007
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Posted Tue Jan 25, 2011, 8:17am
Subject: Is adding sugar lame?
 

After three years of espresso exploration I have a question.  Let's just say I know a guy that puts sugar in his espresso.  What I have not read about or heard about is whether this is a horrible practice and viewed as offensive if done in full view of the barista.  So, is adding sugar lame?
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carlsilver
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Posted Tue Jan 25, 2011, 8:22am
Subject: Re: Is adding sugar lame?
 

mdf007 Said:

So, is adding sugar lame?

Posted January 25, 2011 link

Yes, if done in full view of the barista
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jkoll42
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Posted Tue Jan 25, 2011, 8:48am
Subject: Re: Is adding sugar lame?
 

Yes.
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TheLeftHand
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Posted Tue Jan 25, 2011, 9:40am
Subject: Re: Is adding sugar lame?
 

Taste is subjective. As a barista, I think it's most important that a customer be allowed to get whatever experience they prefer for their money. My role is foremost to be facilitative. Should there be an opportunity to expand a customer's taste— well, that's just gravy.

tl;dr: adding sugar isn't lame; it's just different.
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LavazzaBlue
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Posted Tue Jan 25, 2011, 9:43am
Subject: Re: Is adding sugar lame?
 

Hi! I am a newbie on this forum.  I noticed while in Italy that Italians often put sugar in their espresso, so I was surprised by the question and answers here!
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JCunningham
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Posted Tue Jan 25, 2011, 9:45am
Subject: Re: Is adding sugar lame?
 

it's lame, but enjoy it how you like it. unfortunately, most shops are not making good espresso, and most equipment is dirty, so you probably need the sugar. ask the barista if their espresso is sweet, if they think it is, give it a try without sugar.
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frcn
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Posted Tue Jan 25, 2011, 9:57am
Subject: Re: Is adding sugar lame?
 

I have often said:
 "Add sugar because you want to.. Not because you have to."

Sweetness and bitterness are to some degree cultural. If we generalize, Americans have raised themselves to expect sweet tastes in many foods and so sugar is an ingredient in a lot of foods. *1  
It doesn't help that a good percentage of served coffee is bitter and so Americans will generally add sugar to their coffee before even tasting it.

So as far as a customer adding sugar to their beverage - as long as their check doesn't bounce, and they keep coming back, it wouldn't bother me.


*1 - For an example - I taught at a school and was a bit curious about the energy level of the kids after lunch. I did a bit of dumpster diving in the trash behind the cafeteria and found a large, empty can of spaghetti sauce. The ingredients listed three different sugars.

 
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Johnathan
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Posted Tue Jan 25, 2011, 10:09am
Subject: Re: Is adding sugar lame?
 

I don't take it personally, but I do mock them inside my head.
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ilcaffedio
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Posted Tue Jan 25, 2011, 10:45am
Subject: Re: Is adding sugar lame?
 

A Counter Culture rep. once suggested that when trying to get someone new to espresso to try it, start them with shots, add sugar (and ween them off of the sugar), as opposed to starting them with milk drinks.

Even though we at CG know better; when it comes to coffee, there are a lot of pre-conceived notions that it is going to be bitter.  Add to that, for espresso the notions are that it will be very strong, and a have a lot more caffeine.  It's cultural (but worldwide), herd mentality.

To me, one of the tenets of specialty coffee is the progressive pursuit of producing coffee that is naturally pleasing to the palate, without sugar or any other additives.
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ilcaffedio
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Posted Tue Jan 25, 2011, 11:09am
Subject: Re: Is adding sugar lame?
 

I'll add to to that...

As described above, maybe someone is a self identified n00b and they are weening themselves off of the sugar.

However, if they habitually use sugar:
Is it an insult to the barista?  Yes, if their shot quality is up to par.  I see this like taking a rare steak of high grade grass fed beef, and slathering it in A1.
Should they be referred to as a certain slang for a female reproductive organ?  Yes.  Ask if they also have a baby blanket.
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