Around here, coffee is enjoyed in its purest form – black. But, I know many readers of this blog enjoy the sugary, sweet, concoctions hastily whipped together by a tattooed, bearded barista (Unicorn Frappuccino, I’m looking at you).
I agree that the right syrup added to the right coffee-based drink can take your coffee drinking experience to a whole new level – but I think I’ll just stick with my Americano.
To be honest, most of the menu items today contain coffee syrup to add additional sweetness and flavor to your brew; you know the stuff I’m talking about – those colorful bottles that sit on the back wall of a trendy cafe.
Many of these syrups used to be laden with artificial sweeteners, flavorings, and colors but today you’ll find that many of the best coffee syrups are now all-natural and even sugar-free.
So if you enjoy a Caramel Latte, or a Peppermint Mocha today is your lucky day because in this article I’ve delved deep into the sugary world of coffee syrups.
What is a Syrup?
Simply put, a flavored bottled syrup for coffee will contain a simple syrup which comprises sugar or a sugar substitute mixed with water and heated until all the sugar has completely dissolved. They then add flavorings and colors.
Because of its simplicity, you can make your own coffee syrups at home as long as you have sugar, water, and some natural flavorings – you’re are all set.
Coffee Syrup Brands (Best of The Bunch!)
If you’re hunting for some syrups for your coffee you’ll quickly notice that there are many brands to choose from – so which ones are the best?
I would recommend that you look for some well-known brands which they use in some big chain coffee shops. Syrup brands such as Monin (1), Torani (2), DaVinci (3), and Stirling (4) are a good starting point.
Let’s take a closer look.
Monin is a popular brand that makes over 70 varieties of coffee flavoring syrups, with some of their most popular flavors being mint, caramel, chocolate, and vanilla. I’m sure with a selection as big as that you shouldn’t have a problem finding one you love. Monin even has obscure syrup flavoring for coffee such as lavender, Granny Smith apple, and even gingerbread.
Torani syrups are an all-natural flavoring that has absolutely no fat making them perfect for the calorie-conscious coffee drinkers. The selection of flavors seems to be endless and you can rest assured there is something you’ll like, some of their strange offerings include flavors of eggnog, cheesecake, and pumpkin spice. If you’re looking for sugar-free syrup with natural ingredients, look no further than Torani.
DaVinci Gourmet Syrups
Another good option for adding to your coffee is the gourmet syrups made by DaVinci. DaVinci produces over 60 syrups blends for both baristas and cocktail mixologists, some of their popular flavors include strawberry, almond, as well as various types of chocolate, and fruit and nut varieties.
A little goes a long way with Stirling that’s because they make some highly concentrated syrups that can bring life to an otherwise dull brew. Compared to some other brands you’ll find Stirling to be far less sweet, this is mainly due to the natural ingredients used to create each flavor. Stirling also makes a range of low-calorie coffee syrups which are perfect for those of you wanting flavors in your coffee but are also watching your waistline.
Dolce syrups are ideal for coffee, desserts, or even adding to sodas adding just enough sweetness or flavor to each sip or bite. All of their 35 plus syrups are sugar-free and even carb-free, making these syrups the perfect choice for those of you watching what calories you eat, but looking to sweeten and flavor your coffee.
Best Coffee Syrups For Your Coffee
Below I have picked out five popular flavors that will allow you to possibly make over 80,000 drink combinations (5) – I kid you not! (you’ll never be bored on a rainy Sunday afternoon again).
Everything from an Iced Caramel Macchiato to a Strawberry Frappuccino and everything else in between. You can even add some of these syrups into your tea and, for example, create a cool iced tea beverage like a Mango Black Tea Lemonade.
The list of coffee-based drinks is endless.
There are lots of flavored syrup products in the marketplace, but they’re not all suitable for use with coffee. That’s why I’ve taken the time to review some of the best of the bunch.
Torani Variety Pack (Pack of 4)
The San Francisco based Torre family has a long history in the syrup business which can be traced back to 1925. Initially producing syrups for making traditional Italian drinks and sodas they eventually moved over to coffee flavorings and they were the first to dream up the world’s first latte with flavor added.
If you want the best syrup for your coffee, look no further than the Torani brand. Their range of 100 syrups can be added to coffee, sodas, cocktails and even in cooking. All the Torani syrups are loaded with flavor but at the same time, they’re not overly sweet.
If you are unsure of which flavor to buy, then this pack of four favorites is a great option. It contains popular classic flavors that go well with coffee: Caramel, Vanilla, French Vanilla, and Hazelnut. I recommend that you also purchase a Torani Syrup Pump from Amazon that screws onto the bottle and ensures that you’re getting just the right amount and will also help to reduce any sticky mess on your kitchen counter.
Sugar-Free English Toffee Jordan’s Skinny Syrups
You want to add syrup to your coffee but you’re worried about the additional calories? Look no further than Jordan’s Skinny Syrups range that has been tailored made for the health-conscious.
The range of flavors tastes amazing which is surprising seeing as they are low-fat options. It’s also worth mentioning that their syrup range is also gluten-free and kosher. So despite tasting delicious, they have no sugar, carbs, or calories – it’s a win-win!
DaVinci Gourmet Naturals Syrup Hawaiian Salted Caramel
The DaVinci syrups were born out of Seattle in 1989 even though they are a relatively new brand they have already built up quite a following and are a popular choice with baristas and mixologists.
If you want only “all-natural coffee syrups” that have no artificial preservatives or flavors the DaVinci line is a great choice. Their flavored syrups only contain natural ingredients that include, among others, real botanical extracts.
They have a long list of different flavors but my favorite was the DaVinci’s Hawaiian Salted Caramel – trust me it tastes pretty awesome. They actually make the syrup using real Hawaiian sea salt, and even the natural caramel flavor comes from the caramelized cane sugar.
Monin Gourmet Flavorings Premium Coffee Collection
French company Monin produces great tasting gourmet organic flavored syrups that contain only 100% natural ingredients and have no artificial coloring. Their range of flavors is vast with a comprehensive range of popular and well-known flavors and some strange and lesser-known varieties such as Gingerbread, Chocolate Cookie and the Lavender syrup that tastes fantastic even though the color looks shocking.
All the Monin flavored syrups are perfectly okay for vegans, they are gluten, GMO, and dairy-free, plus they’re kosher too. Monin also has a sugar-free range that tastes just as flavorful as the “full fat” versions.
In this Monin section, you will find four popular coffee flavorings: caramel, amaretto, toasted hazelnut, Irish cream, and vanilla.
Ghirardelli Squeeze Bottles
The Ghirardelli company has a long history dating back to the early 1800s and is one of the oldest chocolate manufacturers in America. The Ghirardelli name is well known in pastry chef circles as a brand that’s associated with quality and rich chocolate flavors.
If you enjoy espresso-based drinks, these coffee flavoring sauces are the perfect accompaniment. In fact, they also go well on top of ice cream or even as an additional flavor in hot chocolate.
This popular Ghirardelli variety pack contains one bottle of chocolate sauce, one bottle of caramel sauce, and one bottle of white chocolate sauce.
Be Careful Which Sugar Syrup You Choose – Some Are Better Than Others
Not all the syrups you’ll find on the supermarket shelf are suitable for use in coffee. In fact, you’ll quickly discover a whole range of products for use in cooking, coffee, and even cold drinks or cocktails.
Bottles labeled as sweetening syrups should not be confused with flavoring syrups. These products are “liquid sweeteners” which are typically used for desserts and iced beverages. But, at a push, someone could use them in coffee as a last resort if you have no sugar handy and want to sweeten up your brew; but they won’t add much depth to the flavor.
So, before you decide to go running to your supermarket to grab some bottles of flavored syrup you must be sure you’re buying the right stuff for your coffee.
|Can Use In Coffee||Don’t Use||Check the Label|
|Coffee-flavoring syrup||Mixed-drink syrup||Cooking syrup|
|Agave syrup||Concentrates||Dessert sauce|
The Various Types In More Detail
Let’s take a closer look at each type in more detail.
Coffee-flavoring syrups have been carefully formulated to add in coffee. All the flavorings and additives have been carefully selected and mixed to make sure they work well with hot beverage drinks.
They’re also balanced well, with the perfect amount of sugars (or sweetener) to complement the taste of the coffee.
This syrup or sometimes called “nectar” is also the perfect choice for use in coffee and is praised for its gentle sweetness and the slight hint of rich caramel flavor. The sweetness isn’t overpowering, and it really helps to elevate the natural flavors in the coffee.
This type isn’t the best option for flavoring your coffee; the ingredients and the sweetness level is not suitable for coffee-based drinks – you’ve been warned. This variety is specifically produced for use by a mixologist in alcohol-infused cocktails and other cold beverages.
As the name implies, this type is a concentrated bottle of flavor that typically already contains caffeine. These are best suited for cocktails or other cold iced beverages.
Syrups For Cooking
Definitely not one you want to add to your coffee. This type is meant for using in cooking as a marinade, making sauces, or as a food sweetening ingredient.
You will often find dessert sauces on the shelf in close proximity to other syrups – but can they be used in coffee?
Yes, and no. The be honest these are better suited for use as an ice cream topping or drizzled over a pancake rather than in coffee. At a push, someone could use these sauces in a cold iced coffee-based drink.
Can You Make Coffee Syrup At Home?
Yes, you sure can. As I mentioned previously commercially made syrups are simply water, dissolved sugar, and flavoring (typically in a one-to-one ratio). Making your own coffee syrup is actually pretty damn easy and they can be flavored with almost anything.
Jessica over at “How Sweet It Is” has some great tasting homemade, natural coffee syrups that are definitely worth checking out if you want to make your own.
What Coffee Drinks Can You Make With Syrup?
The list of coffee beverages you can knock out with just a handful of different syrup flavors is almost endless. However, I have written two of my personal favorites I discovered whilst researching for this article – I think you might enjoy them.
This recipe is straightforward and to be honest it can also be a base for making any flavor-infused latte at home. Simply swap-out the flavored syrups for a different one and use whipped cream instead of foamed milk.
- ¼ oz espresso flavored syrup
- ¾ oz dark chocolate sauce
- Half ounce Irish cream syrup
- 2 shots espresso
- Whipped cream to garnish (optional)
- 10 fl oz milk
- 14 oz serving glass
- Take all the ingredients (apart from the milk) and mix them together in your 14 oz serving glass.
- Next, add your milk to a pitcher jug and steam the milk using either the hot air nozzle on your espresso machine or the microwave.
- Once you’re happy with the texture of your milk slowly pour into the glass along with the other ingredients and stir to fully combine.
- Optional: Add whipped cream on top to garnish.
Iced Vanilla Hazelnut Latte (Sugar-Free)
Another great tasting recipe I unearthed is this sugar-free iced vanilla hazelnut latte. Perfect for a hot summer afternoon and because it’s sugar-free you can relax knowing your waistline isn’t going to suffer.
- ¾ oz sugar-free hazelnut syrup
- 4 oz half/half milk and water
- 2 oz espresso
- ¼ oz sugar-free vanilla syrup
- Sugar-free whipped cream to garnish (optional)
- 14 oz serving glass
- Cocktail shaker
- First, go ahead and fill your glass with ice (this is to cool down your glass).
- Pour all the ingredients into the cocktail shaker in the order listed above.
- Add a few cubes of ice which will help to mix everything together once you shake.
- Make sure the lid is firmly placed on your shaker and shake well using a long back-and-forth motion (you should hear the ice hitting the top and bottom of the shaker).
- Empty the old ice from your glass (your glass should be nice and cold now) and add fresh ice.
- Pour the mixture into the serving glass.
- Add the garnish if desired and serve.