The Sugar Rating

Our rating system – The Sugar Rating – is based on how many sugars we need.

When ordering a coffee, the question whether sugar is wanted is often posed. Our response is always:

“Not yet.”


This is because a good coffee doesn’t need sugar, especially if it is milk based. When the milk is heated to the right temperature, which is between 60 and 65 degrees (and definitely not over 70), the natural sugars add all the sweetness that should be required. Any hotter will start the process of separation of the fats leaving you with a coffee that:

  1. tastes watery;
  2. burns your tongue; and
  3. leaves you with a bitter aftertaste.

Also, your coffee will smell vaguely of burnt milk.

If the milk’s not hot enough, the sugars aren’t awakened and you will just be left with a lukewarm, milky coffee – a whole ‘nother issue entirely.

In short, if sugar is needed it’s not a good coffee.

a butterfly made of sugar

We rate from 0 to 5

Zero (0): The best of the best, reserved for those times when your coffee takes you to that special place where angels sing while serving lattes with the perfect rosetta served on the Queen’s personal china – needless to say this is a rare occurrence.

One (1) sugar: Excellent cuppa. One of those coffees that make you sit back in your chair, shoulders relaxed, smiling, sun warming your face even on an overcast day, and order another – because you have found the right coffee place at the right time.

Two (2) sugars: sweet enough with maybe a slightly bitter aftertaste, but definitely still quite enjoyable, drinkable & energizing.

Three (3) sugars: Average, training recommended, and maybe some new taste buds as well.

Four (4) sugars: Do not let that person near the machine again! No, seriously, we’re not kidding.

Five (5) sugars: DISGUSTING – pack up your espresso machine and send it back to the supplier, shut down shop, book your ticket to the Caribbean, and stick to drinking Long Island iced teas-with-a-straw – and if you happened to have bought this coffee find a bin and another cafe.

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