When Pacino said “most of my scripts have coffee stains on, that’s how you know it’s a Pacino script”, I think he was talking about a good strong cup of New York joe.
Don’t get me wrong, a good, simple cup of joe is a ritualistic part of my routine that I’m never going to give up. You’re probably the same. But coffee is a diverse ingredient, used in shaking up cocktails, baking rich cakes, and even in marinating! Although there’s little better than a freshly brewed filter, adding syrup to your coffee can add some much-needed excitement to your caffeine boost.
Whether you’re a seasoned coffee syrup shopper looking for recipes to make your own syrup, or a complete novice trying to find out what’s on the market, this is your go-to guide to coffee syrups.
In a hurry? Here are the 5 best coffee syrups you can pick up today
A great, affordable option for coffee syrup newbies, you get four decent-sized Torani coffee syrups in this pack.
This is the perfect gift for the coffee lover in your life. It’s a collection of coffee syrups. They can add a gourmet finish to a surprisingly wide range of drinks: from decadent caffeinated beverages to sweet cocktails and mocktails.
Made with Hawaiian sea salt and pure sugar cane, DaVinci’s salted caramel syrup gives you a warm, natural caramel taste!
These syrups are technically sauces, so they are thicker than the average, as they are made with real Ghirardelli chocolate. These squeeze bottles make a great addition to a mocha or hot chocolate.
Despite being a sugar free coffee syrup, with 0 calories per serving, Jordan’s Vanilla Caramel Creme syrup tastes flavorful and non-artificial.
Coffee syrup can transform your plain coffee into a flavored fiesta. Deceptively simple, coffee syrups have just three basic ingredients.
If you thought that variations of lattes were the only purpose of coffee syrup, think again. Baristas use coffee syrup in iced coffees, Irish coffees, and even coffee-based cocktails! Keep scrolling to find our recipe for making vanilla syrup.
Coffee sauces are much like coffee syrups, but they are usually thicker and richer. Think comforting caramel, warm hazelnut, and deep chocolate flavors. Generally, coffee sauces have condensed milk in, resulting in that thick, creamy texture.
Coffee sauces go great on ice cream and other desserts. They’re also an exciting addition to milk-based (or milk alternative-based) drinks, like coffee and hot chocolate. Looking for chocolate syrup for coffee? Sauces from the Ghirardelli are the best. I’ve even been known to have a spoon of white chocolate sauce straight from the bottle!
If you’re using a sauce to add a dash of sweetness to a drink, put it in your mug before the milk. Continuously stir as you add the milk to make sure the sauce has dissolved throughout your drink.
A good rule of thumb is to use about two tablespoons of coffee syrup per drink, but there aren’t really any rules here, especially as the sugar content and intensity of flavor varies from brand to brand.
Starbucks use 20ml coffee syrup for an 8oz drink, 30ml for a 12oz drink, and 40ml for a 12oz drink. That roughly translates to 10ml coffee syrup per 235ml coffee. If you don’t fancy measuring it out, consider purchasing an attachable pump with pre-measured portions for your syrup bottle.
Make sure you add the coffee syrup to the cup first. Adding at the end can stop the viscous syrup from dissolving.
There are so many types of syrup and syrup variations on the market, including sauces, concentrates, flavoring syrups, and sweeteners. Here’s a rundown on what each product is and what it’s used for:
There are also loads of options if you’re looking for organic, vegan, sugar free, or specific flavors of coffee syrups. Below, we’ll run down the types of coffee syrup on the market and our pick of the best in each category.
Organic coffee syrup lovers swear by its complexity of taste. By using these coffee syrups, you’ll be benefiting from the natural, organic ingredients within. Buying organic means you’re supporting the environment, as untreated foods promote biodiversity. Plus, you’ll be benefiting from all of the ingredients’ natural health benefits.
Organic sugar boasts high levels of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. It will give you an extra dose of Vitamin A, important for healthy eyes, as well as B vitamins, which are essential for good brain functioning. You’ll also be benefiting from extra calcium, great to keep your bones strong, and iron, which your body uses to produce hemoglobin for red blood cells.
Although sweet syrups should be consumed in moderation, the organic sugar in organic coffee syrup is a healthier alternative to refined sugar, with the former boasting higher levels of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
Be warned, organic coffee syrups don’t last long once opened, because they are free of artificial preservatives. You should go by the instructions on the bottle, but you can store organic syrup in the fridge for a month before any changes in texture or flavor.
Want to experience all the benefits of organic coffee syrup? We would recommend this multi-pack coffee syrup from Liquid Planet, which includes vanilla, hazelnut, and caramel flavors. The natural caramel flavoring is a real breath of fresh air for the taste buds! Liquid Planet organic syrups are the height of quality, blended with premium organic cane juice, and kettle cooked in small batches the old-fashioned way. The vanilla syrup is even flavored with real, pure Madagascar vanilla!
Whether you’re vegan, plant-based, or just looking to make a few easy changes, the good news is that most coffee syrups are vegan! A popular fully vegan coffee syrup brand is Upouria. If you’re ever unsure, take a look at the ingredients list - the only thing you really need to look out for is honey, which is sometimes used as an additional sweetener.
Coffee has been shown to have a number of amazing health benefits. First off, it’s packed full of antioxidants, which are used by your body to protect your cells from harmful free radicals. Plus, because coffee is a stimulant, it can help you to perform better and burn more fat during exercise.
The Science: How does coffee help with weight loss? Caffeine signals your fat cells to break down fat, and it also boosts your metabolic rate by 3-11%. Therefore, having a vanilla latte before a workout can actually maximize its effects. Experts recommend taking your caffeine hit about 45-90 minutes before exercising.
If you’re drinking coffee at least in part due to its health benefits, that doesn’t stop you from spicing your drinks up with some syrup. There are plenty of sugar-free options for the ultimate pre-workout guilt-free sweet treat. Switching to sugar-free coffee syrup is an easy way to lower your sugar consumption, quench sugar cravings, and add a keto kick to your cup of joe.
Gone are the days when sugar free meant basic flavors and two flavor options. By far the best and most extensive range of sugar free coffee syrups is found at Torani. They sweeten their syrups with Splenda, a brand that uses sucralose in their sweeteners. Sucralose is made through processing sugar until it’s sugar- and carbohydrate- free, meaning it’s helpful for keeping your macros down! Sucralose is also near indistinguishable from the real thing. Some interesting flavors from Torani include S’mores and peanut butter, as well as more regular flavors, like cinnamon.
Even if you have specific dietary requirements or preferences - like if you eat plant-based or are trying to lose weight - you’ll still find a whole range of coffee syrup flavors.
Some of the most common flavors include: vanilla, caramel, cinnamon, hazelnut, toffee, pumpkin spice
Some less common flavors include:
As you’ll notice above, a lot of less common syrup flavors are used for cocktails and other beverages. We’ve included them here as there’s no difference between those syrups and coffee syrups!
Although there are literally hundreds of different coffee syrups on the market, you can make one just as good at home. Making coffee syrup at home is super simple and only requires a few easy-to-acquire ingredients: water, sugar and flavoring.
Why you may want to try making homemade coffee syrup? Here are the benefits:
Here’s how to make pretty much any flavor syrup you can dream of. Serving up your guest a freshly made latte, with home-made vanilla coffee syrup, may sound uber-impressive, but the process is deceptively simple.
We’ve listed quantities to make 2 cups of regular strength coffee syrup.
Flavoring (use one):
The above instructions are to make 2 cups of regular strength coffee syrup, comparable to the strength of a popular brand like Monin.
However, you can proportionally increase or decrease the volumes of water, sugar, and flavoring in order to achieve a stronger/weaker or sweet/less sweet syrup. For a thicker, sweeter syrup, add more sugar. For a more flavorful syrup with less sugar, use ¾ cup of sugar and 3 tsp vanilla extract.
I usually just eyeball the quantities, tasting as I go to get the right flavor and texture. Remember to be careful as the syrup gets hot in your saucepan!
For a sugar-free syrup, simply substitute 1 cup of sugar for ¾ cup of xylitol and ⅛ teaspoon of xanthan gum.
Tip: If you’re lucky enough to have real vanilla beans or cinnamon sticks, and you like a coffee syrup, then leave the beans or sticks in the bottle. This also makes for an elegant, homey addition to your countertop.
Don’t fancy making your own coffee syrup? No problem.
There are plenty of coffee syrups you can find online, in grocery stores, and in specialty coffee stores.
We’ve rounded up our pick of the absolute best coffee syrups you can buy today, telling you about why we love them, how to use them, and a bit more about the brand that makes them.
Whether you’re a complete syrup newbie or a seasoned syrup expert, you’re sure to find something new you’ll love below:
This Torani variety pack is perfect for anyone first wanting to dip their toe into the world of coffee syrups. For an affordable price, you get four of the most popular flavors of coffee syrup: caramel, French vanilla, vanilla, and hazelnut. Plus, the bottles are decent sizes too, at 25oz each!
Your Torani syrups are likely to last for months after they’re opened, but that’s because they have preservatives in to extend shelf life. If you only go organic, this is a syrup to steer clear of.
In terms of sugar, you’ll be consuming 19g of sugar per 2 tbsp serving, which is comparatively low.
What to get for that coffee-loving friend? Monin’s gourmet set, which comes with the lush flavors of caramel, amaretto, hazelnut, Irish cream and vanilla.
And even if amaretto and Irish cream sound like they might have dairy in, the whole set is vegan and dairy- and gluten- free.
What’s more, this set comes with a little book of recipes, so you’re never sat scratching your chin about how to use the syrup in front of you.
DaVinci coffee syrup balances sweet and savory flavors of salted caramel. Made with pure cane sugar and Hawaiian sea salt, this syrup is for you if you desire cafe quality brews at home. We chose this syrup for the top 5 list because of its unique flavor, blending mineral-rich Hawaiian alaea salt with delicate notes of caramel.
This thick, rich chocolate sauce can transform a regular latte into a luxury chocolate sensation. You can thank the real Ghirardelli chocolate in your squeeze bottle for the complex, deep flavors.
You need to keep your sauce in the fridge, where it will last for up to 3 weeks. I’d recommend storing your Ghiardelli bottle upside down, as the sauce tends to get a bit thick. If you keep it upside down, you’ll find it easier to get a portion out for your daily hot chocolate!
Whether you’re on a Keto diet, trying to trim some pounds, or just looking to make some simple low-calorie switches, Jordan’s Skinny Syrups are a game changer, with 0 calories per serving.
Don’t trust me? Jordan’s Skinny Syrups are recommended by Slimming World and Weight Watchers!
This is a little-known secret, as Starbucks claim to use their own-brand syrup. However, from some internet digging, we can infer that Starbucks actually use Fontana syrup, because the packaging and flavors are remarkably similar, and Nestle lists Starbucks products on the Fontana page.
Yep, unfortunately they do. You should go by the storage instructions on the packaging, but the rule of thumb is that a bottle should be used within a month of opening. However, you can preserve it for up to 3 months if you keep it in the fridge once opened.
As you’ve learned in this introductory guide to coffee syrups, there are so many varieties of syrup and endless experimental recipes to make. That means there’s always more to learn, make, and drink.
Take your pick of the coffee syrups we’ve recommended above. You are on the right track with Monin, Torani or DaVinci. Test out some recipes, try a few more flavors and rediscover your coffee!