While visiting a coffee shop with coffee I was offered these two kind of sugar. But don't know about differences between them. And why does brown sugar absorb moisture quickly compared to white one? And can we use brown sugar instead of white sugar or vice versa?

  • 1
    As for preference: that is purely a question of taste as far as the offerings in a coffee shop are concerned.
    – Stephie
    Commented Feb 9, 2016 at 13:23
  • It's also off-topic here since it's purely subjective. The "preferable" one is whichever you personally prefer.
    – logophobe
    Commented Feb 9, 2016 at 14:25
  • 1
    I removed your edit to add the question about which one is preferable, as that is subjective and would require opinion-based answers. Also removed 'Raw' from the title as white sugar is not raw.
    – Cindy
    Commented Feb 9, 2016 at 16:03

1 Answer 1


Brown sugar is just white granulated sugar with molasses added. Dark brown sugar just has more molasses than light brown sugar.


Coffee shops often have turbinado sugar, a common brand is Sugar in the Raw. Turbinado sugar is brown because it is less refined than white sugar.


The turbinado sugar is less "wet" than brown sugar, so it will dissolve somewhat faster than brown sugar. The molasses inhibits the sugar from dissolving quite as quickly, but will also contribute to the sugar drying in hard clumps.

Given a choice in a coffee shop, I would choose the turbinado or the white sugar. The molasses in brown sugar doesn't add anything that I want. Honestly, I can't really tell the difference in coffee between turbinado and white sugar, but I use turbinado anyway - for no particular reason.

  • Thank you for your response. but do you know, Which one is more sweeter ? Commented Feb 9, 2016 at 11:15
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    @RonakBhatt To the best of my knowledge and from what I have experienced, they are all equally sweet.
    – Jolenealaska
    Commented Feb 9, 2016 at 11:27
  • @RonakBhatt More refined sugar tends to be more "purely" sweet, as in it does not taste of anything but sweetness. Less refined sugar can have subtle flavors of caramel (or molasses, obviously) in with the sweetness. Technically, if you're going by mass the less refined sugar will slightly be less sweet, but that effect won't be noticeable with the approximate amounts used in coffee (not to mention all the other factors that affect the flavor of the coffee itself).
    – logophobe
    Commented Feb 9, 2016 at 14:24
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    Brown sugar hasn't necessarily had molasses added, molasses is the byproduct produced from refining raw (brown) sugar into white sugar. Brown sugars can be either unrefined (no molasses removed), partially refined (some molasses removed), or reconstituted (molasses added back into refined white sugar).
    – J...
    Commented Feb 9, 2016 at 15:34
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    @Jolenealaska it's just from experience, no real experimentation, just age and lots of coffee drank over the last few decades :-)
    – Escoce
    Commented Feb 9, 2016 at 19:23

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