Can I Put Sugar in My Coffee Maker? Will It Work or Will It Jam My Machine?


We get this question a lot. And surprisingly enough, the answer is both yes and no. It depends on which type of machine you possess. We’ll go into more detail below. If, however,  you have a POD-style coffee maker (Nespresso, Keurig), you should not put anything other than water/ice because it has a “built-in” water filter. The other type of coffee machine (most espresso machines) has a built-in water filter. So coffee made with sugar or syrup will work fine. 

Types of Coffee Makers

We have two types of coffee makers. The first being the ones with a built-in filter. These machines are mainly categorized as espresso machines and are most often used by baristas. The other type is the POD machines or capsule style coffee makers. These are the ones that you see in hotels and office break rooms. 

Coffee Maker With Filter

This type of machine, as mentioned above, has a built-in water filter. When using these machines, don’t use sugar or any other substance in your brew. The reason is that using anything other than water will clog up the filter and ruin your machine. This is because the filter has a specific size and shape required to perform the way it was designed to. If you are using anything other than water, you will clog the filter. This would result in your coffee becoming bitter and undrinkable. You should not use regular old tap water too because that could also result in your machine becoming unusable.

Coffee Maker Without Filter

The pod or capsule style machine has no filter inside it. Therefore, you can put into it anything you want and it won’t harm the machine’s internal workings. This mechanism is handy as different sweeteners can be used instead of sugar including flavored syrups such as chocolate, vanilla, coconut or hazelnut. These syrups work just fine in capsule style machines. You can also use the same syrups in an espresso machine but it won’t taste as good because of the amount of water used to extract the flavor from the syrup.

Machine Instructions For Adding Sugar To POD Machines 

1) Fill the machine with water 

The machine needs to be filled with water before the sugar can be added. While the pods are easy to pour, pouring too much water can cause the machine to overheat. If you fill the tank too high, you will burn your coffee out. 

2) Add the Appropriate Amount of Sugar

Many people like to use 1 tsp of white sugar for their coffee because it isn’t as sweet while still offering a nice flavor. In other words, you can use ½ cup of half & half or cream or sugar and you won’t need to add any more.

3) Press the “POD” button on the front of your machine 

This button allows the machine to open and extract the pod automatically. Wait approximately 20-30 seconds before pouring. Depending on your machine, you may have to wait longer for the water to heat up.

4) Brewing The Coffee 

Once the water inside has reached a boil, you can begin brewing your coffee. Many people recommend brewing the coffee as if you were brewing traditionally by adding an equal amount of water to the pitcher first and then adding the ground beans.

After a few seconds, you will hear a tune mark and then your machine will start brewing.

Why Does the Coffee Machine Jam Due to Sugar?

People often don’t think about sugar but the fact is that due to the high water content of coffee, it tends to cling and stick to the inside of your machine. To reduce this issue, you can try adding a little bit of oil into the machine after you’ve already brewed your cup. Even though it won’t be an exact quantity, it will help it from jamming up. 

How to Dissolve Sugar for Making Coffee in a Machine?

For those who don’t have the time to wait for the sugar to dissolve into a cup of coffee, try putting the sugar in the water and dissolve it prior to adding the mixture to the machine. By dissolving the sugar first, you won’t need to watch the machine as you drink your coffee because you know it’s already dissolved. This will make the beverage taste better.

What Will Happen If There Is Undissolved Sugar Left In The Coffee Maker? 

If you are not using the correct amount of sugar in your coffee maker, it will not dissolve and sugar crystals will form. This will turn your coffee bitter and leave undissolved sugar in the bottom of your coffee pot. If this happens when you are brewing a dark-roast coffee, it may even clog the screen at the maker’s bottom.

Reasons for Sugar to Clog in a Coffee Machine

Insufficient Water Level

No matter what the cause is, no water at all in the tank or a low water level will cause problems. The sugar particles will not dissolve properly. Hence it will overheat the coil and diminish the quality of the machine. The impurities will collect as time passes on and will eventually clog the apparatus. 


The water level should never exceed half full. A full tank will cause the machine to overheat and you may burn your coffee out. On the other hand, if the water level is too high, it will soon be filled with undissolved liquid and will get hard to use.

Extended Use of Coffee Machine

If you are using the machine for 2-3 days in a row, there is a possibility that the internal seals around the filter may not be watertight, and water may leak out and cause clogging.

An Unclean Coffee Machine

If the internal parts of the coffee maker are dirty, you will not be able to brew the coffee properly. So it is a must to remove the black rubber gasket from the bottom of the filter basket, clean it thoroughly and reinstall it. Keep in mind that water can seep into the machine and collect under the filter basket. By doing so, you may also get brown coffee grounds along with sugar remains that look like rust on your coffee grinds.

However, on the other hand, if we tend to use sugar for a coffee machine, namely espresso machines, we need to know the level of sugar that is to be added, which sugar to use for the longevity of coffee machines and effective cleaning of the unit.

How to Add Sugar Into a Coffee Maker Without Spilling It on the Counter?

The first step is to make sure the machine is turned off. Next, unplug the machine. After that, remove the lid from your coffee pot and make sure that it is empty before pouring in the sugar. Rinsing the carafe is essential for pouring sugar without any spillage. 

Which Type of Sugar to Use?

Use refined sugar because unrefined or raw sugar can clog up your machine if it hardens during brewing and cannot easily be flushed from the system. The best sugar to use is the most refined sugar you can find. Here is a list of the best sugar you should use:

Raw sugars include cane sugar, brown rice syrup, turbinado sugar, and raw cane juice.

Refined sugars call for confectioners or powdered sugar which has been ground into fine powder form. White confectioners’ sugar is preferred over regular white granulated or powdered sugars as it tends to melt and dissolve more quickly in coffee than straight-up granulated table sugar.

No processed sugars should be used with a coffee maker machine to avoid clogging.

Caring For Your Coffee Maker After Usage 

Once you have made coffee with sugar, wait until all the sugar has dissolved. If it does not dissolve completely, you should let your coffee maker sit for about an hour before brewing a new pot of coffee. Once your machine is done, run water in the machine to flush out all the remaining ingredients from the system before rinsing out and drying it out.  

Best Coffee Maker Machines for Sugar

The best coffee maker machines for sugar are the ones that do not have a hot plate or heating element. However, you should avoid using those types of machines since they can burn the sugar and cause your machine to malfunction.

Thermal carafe model: These models have a glass or stainless-steel container that holds the water heated by an external heating source rather than by the machine itself.

Hot plate model: These models have a heating element that heats the water directly, making them unsuitable for using sugar.

Top Brands For POD Machines 

If you are thinking about getting a POD machine to use sugar, you may want to check out these top brands before making your final decision. 


This brand has a wide range of appliances available to purchase on the market. They make some of the most popular models in the market including coffee makers, kettles, toaster irons and even toaster waffle irons. Krups manufactures thousands of these products annually and they are all well-designed in design. Features include an automatic shut-off feature, reheat function, pause & serve feature, and even a delay brew feature, allowing you to brew your favorite coffee later on.

Mr. Coffee

This brand is well-known for its durable and reliable coffee makers designed to last a long time. In addition, Mr. Coffee is renowned for creating an affordable solution for those who wish to purchase high-quality coffee makers at an affordable price. Features include size options, a digital clock to show when coffee is ready, adjustable brew time and even water level indicators.

Top Brands for Espresso Machines


This brand is well-known for its espresso machines and coffee maker machines. They have a wide range of products and the features include a continuous drip feature, backlit display and even a water filter that can be switched to your desired setting. DeLonghi is manufacturing thousands of these appliances annually. The high-quality product is backed by limited product warranties too.


This brand is well-known for its premium espresso machines and coffee maker machines. They manufacture high-quality products to outlast the competition on the market and feature a wide range of models including espresso machines. Features include auto-shutoff, clear water tank indicator, illuminated controls, five programmable buttons and even a 1-touch brewing system. Breville is well-known in the brewing industry for producing great products which are backed by limited warranties too.


If you are new to coffee maker machines and wish to use sugar, you need to know what types of machines are better to use with sugar, both for espresso machines and coffee maker machines. Therefore, if you are a newbie to using sugar in your coffee maker, you need to follow these tips so that you can be sure to make the best brew with the best machine. Hopefully, this article has taught you how to use sugar with your coffee maker machine and get the best coffee for your health and taste buds. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q: I would like to purchase a coffee maker machine. However, I will be using sugar with it. Which model should I look for?

Ans: Look for one that has a glass or stainless-steel container and avoid those with a hot plate as they may burn the sugar over time and damage your machine. Remember to read online reviews or posts before purchasing.

Q: I want to purchase a double-walled coffee maker machine. Which one should I get?

Ans: A double-walled coffee maker machine is made up of two compartments. The outer chamber (which holds the water) is surrounded by an inner compartment that holds the coffee grounds. 

Q: Is there any way to clean the coffee maker machine more easily? 

Ans: You can use a non-scratch pad, rag, brush or hard sponge for cleaning. Keep your coffee maker machine away from heat and moisture to avoid rusting. Make sure that the water reservoir and the coffee grounds compartments are sealed to prevent contamination.

Q: Do I need to use a coffee maker machine with a thermal carafe model?

Ans: Yes. Coffee makers who use glass pots and carafes can keep the coffee warm longer than those using thermal heating elements.