Blackstrap Molasses In Coffee: Great Sugar Substitute Or A Bad Idea?

Blackstrap molasses is a thick, dark syrup made from boiled-down sugarcane. It has a strong flavor and is sometimes used as a sweetener in baking recipes and to flavor sauces, glazes, and marinades. 

But can you or should you use blackstrap molasses in coffee?

Some people argue that blackstrap molasses is better than regular sugar because of some added nutritional benefits and it gives a sweet, warm, and slightly smoky flavor while others say it is overrated and can actually make coffee taste bitter.

Here is everything you need to know about using blackstrap molasses in your morning cup of coffee.

What’s The Difference Between Blackstrap Molasses And Regular Molasses?

blackstrap molasses vs regular molasses

Although both blackstrap and regular molasses are the byproducts of either sugarcane or beets that is left over during table sugar production, the preparation process slightly differs. 

There are three main types of molasses; light or regular, dark, and blackstrap, each of them has different concentration levels achieved by additional boiling.

Regular molasses is the lighter, sweet, syrupy byproduct of the first boiling of the cane or beet juice. In contrast, the blackstrap molasses have been boiled three times, making it more concentrated, thicker, and darker in color.

Regular molasses can have varying concentration percentages, but it is always somewhat bright, acidic, and bittersweet with a hint of spice. Blackstrap molasses amps those flavor notes up to eleven since it is profoundly rich in taste and rather bitter. 

Nutritional Benefits Of Blackstrap Molasses

blackstrap molasses nutrition

Because of its high concentration level, blackstrap molasses is relatively nutrient-rich, containing minerals like manganese, magnesium, selenium, iron, copper, potassium, and calcium. It is also a very good source of Vitamin B6.

As you can imagine, it is also quite high in sugar. One tablespoon contains 60 calories, all of which come from carbs, mainly sugar, and it contains no fat and no protein.

Although the calorie content is very similar to sugar, according to WebMD, blackstrap molasses is lower in the glycemic index (55) than refined white table sugar which has a glycemic index of 65, or honey with a glycemic index of 63 [1].

However, keep in mind that some blackstrap molasses can be relatively high in sodium, with one (1) tablespoon containing 7.4 mg. If you prefer to avoid sodium and other preservatives, look for unsulfured molasses made of ripe sugar cane, which is free of sulfur dioxide.

Is Blackstrap Molasses A Good Substitute For Other Sweeteners?

coffee and blackstrap molasses

Suppose you have been looking for a substitute for regular table sugar. Still, honey, brown sugar, maple syrup, or stevia is not your cup of ‘tea.’ In that case, blackstrap molasses and your morning cup of Joe might be a match made in heaven because of its unique taste and added nutrition.

Unsulphured blackstrap molasses is incredibly rich in minerals, particularly potassium, magnesium, selenium, and iron, which can enhance energy and stimulate your brain and muscles for everyday activities. When paired up with your morning coffee and the caffeine stimulation, it can give your day that extra boost it might need [2].

Golden Barrel Unsulfured Black Strap molasses, 32 oz


However, it’s essential to keep in mind that you need to consume it in moderation, as it is still a source of sugar. Likewise, one tablespoon of blackstrap molasses carries 60 calories, 52 of which are carbohydrates, which may interfere with your specific dietary goals.

Overall, if you like its taste, drinking coffee with blackstrap molasses could provide a significant energy boost due to its rich mineral profile. And while it may not be the most diet-friendly alternative, it is undoubtedly much better than regular table sugar. 

Read Also: Brown Sugar vs Honey – Which One Is Better For You?

What Does Blackstrap Molasses In Coffee Taste Like? 

adding blackstrap molasses to a cup of coffee

Before telling you all about the taste, there’s something you have to know beforehand—blackstrap molasses is not your regular sugar substitute. In fact, you cannot even compare it to light or regular, everyday molasses. 

Why? Because the flavor is far from neutral. It’s strong, distinctive, and can be a bit of an acquired taste.

Blackstrap molasses are highly concentrated, so a little goes a long way. It has a profoundly bittersweet flavor with some salty undertones and a somewhat earthy, smoky fragrance, so its inclusion in your morning coffee will radically alter the way it tastes—for better or worse.

But the reason that Blackstrap molasses has become somewhat of a trend is that it enhances coffee’s natural richness and matches the earthy notes the drink has naturally. As such, the taste feels a lot richer and slightly less acidic, making it a more full-bodied and aromatic experience.

I would suggest blackstrap molasses to people who prefer their coffee strong and flavorful, as the natural sugars in the substance feel about two-thirds as sweet as regular granulated sugar. It will never be too sweet, yet it makes up for it with flavor. 

Read Also: How To Make Bulletproof Mushroom Coffee? (Rich, Creamy, And Nutritious).

How To Prepare Coffee With Blackstrap Molasses? 

making coffee with blackstrap molasses

The preparation is as simple as adding one or two teaspoons of blackstrap molasses to your regular morning coffee and mixing it until it dissolves. Some find it more effective to pour the blackstrap molasses at the bottom of the mug and pour the hot freshly brewed coffee on top. 

Experiment to achieve the perfect taste for you. Start with half a teaspoon at first and subsequently increase if required. However, keep in mind that you should never aim for overwhelming sweetness, as the other flavor notes of blackstrap molasses can quickly overwhelm your palate. 

If you can consume dairy and find the flavor of your coffee too bitter, some cream can soften the taste and balance out the beverage. Likewise, adding some honey can increase the sweetness while enhancing the earthy flavor of blackstrap molasses. 

Another option is to incorporate ginger or cinnamon sticks into the brew, as the spice adds complexity to the bittersweet flavors of the beverage. 

Downsides Of Drinking Coffee With Blackstrap Molasses? 

If you’re seeking to find a granulated sugar replacement that feels like the real deal, blackstrap molasses is not the option for you. It is not as sweet as sugar, and adding too much to your coffee to increase the sweetness can quickly backfire and render your beverage undrinkable. 

As mentioned beforehand, including blackstrap molasses will completely change the way your coffee tastes. It isn’t too sweet, yet it is slightly bitter, which can make coffee taste stronger and more pungent—something that is a bit of an acquired taste, so be warned. 

Likewise, some studies indicate a link between blackstrap molasses overconsumption and gastrointestinal bothers. Symptoms such as stomach cramps, loose stools, or diarrhea are somewhat common in people that consume more than three teaspoons of blackstrap molasses a day [3]. 

Considering these side effects and the fact that caffeine can irritate the stomach lining makes coffee with blackstrap molasses is a beverage that may cause some stomach bothers in people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

Blackstrap molasses coffee could be safe for diabetic people, with some caveats. Although blackstrap molasses has a low glycemic index, can still raise your blood sugar, and therefore it should not be consumed in excess. It is often recommended to settle for just one teaspoon a day.

Should You Drink Coffee With This Thick And Dark Syrup?

thick dark syrup used as a sweetener for coffee

It’s up to you! Blackstrap molasses in coffee can transform your morning brew into a totally new beverage that you may end up loving or it could be something entirely unsavory for you. 

Its bittersweet and earthy flavor masks a mineral-rich combination that can be beneficial for people seeking to lower their sugar consumption or increase their iron, magnesium, selenium, and calcium levels.

If there are no medical obstacles and the daily doses don’t exceed the recommended ones, blackstrap molasses coffee can be a nutritional life-changer and a great substitute for other sweeteners like sugar, honey, or stevia.

If you enjoy the taste and could use some extra minerals, go for it!

About Jen Evansy

Nutritionist, researcher, avid home cook, and writer interested in everything nutrition and food-related. Striving to inform, encourage, and inspire all the readers to make healthy and informed choices when it comes to cooking, food, diet, and nutrition.