OK--A few thoughts about what to put in your coffee to sweeten it up.  Though I have drunk lots of black coffee, I do like to add sugar to mine.  I've also tried many different artificial sweeteners.  Fortunately, I'm not diabetic or have any health reason to restrict my sugar intake other than my teeth and "love handles".  When I'm out I usually reach for Sugar in the Raw--a slightly less refined version of white sugar-sort of a coarse brown sugar.  It makes me feel  like I'm being more healthy, though my body probably can't tell the difference.  At home I had started with white cane sugar and then one day decided to try brown sugar and found it to have a "heartier" taste (again, very subtle).  In the artificial sweetener realm I'll just talk about Aspartame (NutraSweet), Splenda, and Saccharin.  I used NutraSweet for awhile, but I noticed I started having some weird dizziness and tingling sensations.  I was disappointed, because I liked it's taste, and at the time I thought it was a breakthrough sweetener.  I like Splenda, and I think it has a pleasant taste with no side-effects that I've noticed.  The "mother of all" artificial sweeteners is Saccharin.  I remember watching my Grandmother putting Saccharin in her tea when I was a kid.  It was invented in the 1800's and has survived the FDA scutinny and seems as popular now as ever.  I still remember how great another famous artificial sweetener, cyclamate, tasted in my Funny Face Soft drinks in the late '60s until the FDA banned them.  Never tried that one in my coffee!  The only thing I taste in all artifical sweeters is a slight chemical "tang"  All sweetners have their place, and your needs and preferences dictate what you like.  Bitter or sweet, coffee rules!

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    Ross Mehan is a photographer and videographer who has documented on film hundreds of weddings, special events, and celebrities.

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