If you’re looking for an easy way to upgrade the flavor of your morning cup of coffee, then you need flavor syrup! It’s the easiest and quickest way to add practically any flavor you can imagine to coffee, but how can you tell the right amount? Learn all the secrets of flavor syrups with this closer look at how to use them and how much syrup to put in coffee!
What is Syrup?
Syrup is a sweetener and flavor enhancer that can be used in any drink imaginable. Syrups are commonly made from water, flavorings, and sometimes added colors.
The most basic drink syrup is simple syrup and it is made from two very common ingredients, sugar and water. The two are boiled into a nice sticky syrup. Most other flavor syrups are just simple syrup with added flavors and colors.
Today you can find practically every flavor under the sun as syrup. From the cafe basics like vanilla syrup and caramel syrup to a wide variety like sour candy or hickory smoke, there is sure to be a syrup that strikes your fancy!
Common Syrup Brands
When it comes to shopping for coffee syrups, two names dominate the game, Monin and Torani. Both of these brands make excellent products that are used in professional coffee shops and sold all over, but what sets these syrups apart?
Monin is a beloved brand for professionals and home baristas everywhere. They offer a wide range of syrups (full sugar and sugar-free syrups) and you can find them in almost every major grocery store in the United States. However, what makes them so special is their commitment to clean and sustainable foods. They label their bottles with a special symbol so you know right away which syrups are free from artificial ingredients.
Torani is the choice of many professional cafes across America and their syrups can be found in major grocery stores everywhere. They have made a name for themselves by crafting boldly flavored and colorful syrups in every single flavor you can imagine! They make fruit, earthy, and sweet options for everyone, with sugar-free varieties and complementary sauces.
The final name in the syrup game is you! Flavor syrups are so easy to make that you can turn your kitchen into a syrup factory and craft your favorite sweet (or savory) flavors into the perfect sweetener for your morning brew!
Are There Sugar-Free Varieties of Syrup Available?
A wide range of sugar-free syrups is available in stores and cafes around the globe. These fantastic sugar substitutes are made like simple syrup but with a sugar-free sweetener like monk fruit, stevia, or erythritol, but they add the same sweet and satisfying flavor to all kinds of coffees.
Major brands, like Monin and Torani, make many of their classic and signature flavors in a sugar-free version so everyone can enjoy a little healthy sweetness!
How to Use Flavored Syrup in Coffee?
The real trick to using syrup in coffee is getting the right ratio of syrup to coffee in every drink. There are a few key factors to consider when using flavor syrup in coffee, including:
- Temperature – Whether you’re having hot or cold coffee can make a big difference because temperature affects flavor and cold coffee usually has ice in it, which can water down tastes.
- Dairy – Using dairy, or dairy alternatives, can make a difference because milk naturally balances the bitterness of coffee so you may not need as much sweetener as you think.
- Flavor – The taste of the syrup and the flavor of the coffee beans is everything. You may want the full measure of vanilla in your coffee but when using an experimental flavor like cotton candy one pump might just be enough!
- Personal Preference – The bottom line is that you have to drink it, so you want to love the taste.
Keep these factors in mind so you can begin to nuance your at-home coffee game and remember that all these ratios are just a guide and your own personal taste reigns supreme!
How to Add Flavored Syrup to Coffee
Use this rule of thumb to help you add the right amount of syrup to coffee:
- Measure – Measure the syrup using a shot glass or other measuring tools. For hot coffees, use ¾ ounces of syrup for every 4 ounces of liquid; for cold, use ½ for every 4 ounces of liquid.
- Pour – Always pour the syrup in the cup first then follow it with the coffee and milk.
- Mix – Gently stir the syrup into the coffee and sip into something sweet!
Top Barista Tips
In some cases, I like to mix the syrup with the milk in advance to get better incorporation. I especially like to do this when incorporating common sweeteners like honey or maple syrup into the coffee’s milk.
With floral flavors like lavender, I intentionally change the order to emphasize the smell of the syrup better.
Should You Use a Syrup Pump?
If you have a bottle with a pump, it can make dosing out syrup a lot easier. Using a syrup pump means you don’t have to make a big mess pouring and measuring syrup. Pump it right into the cup and enjoy!
A pump is not a requirement for using syrup and it does take some experimenting to know how many pumps you need. You also have to purchase separate pumps for different flavors and wash pump parts regularly, so consider those factors when setting up your home bar.
Industry-standard pumps dispense ¼ ounce per pump, so it’s just a shortcut to measuring. If you have a bottle pump and want to try this convenient method, follow this ratio for perfectly flavored coffee every time:
- Hot Coffee Pumps – 1 pump for every 4 ounces of coffee; so a 12-ounce coffee (with cream) has 3 pumps.
- Cold Coffee Pumps – 1 pump for every 2 ounces of coffee; so a 12-ounce iced coffee has 3 pumps of syrup, 6 ounces of coffee (with cream), and ice to fill.
Problem with Too Many Pumps
Can coffee really be too flavorful? Well, yes it can be. When you add too many pumps of flavor syrup to coffee, you risk making a drink that is so sweet it’s basically undrinkable. Additionally, too much syrup or syrup that’s not properly can separate and settle in the bottom of an iced drink making an unbalanced sip that’s not great.