Coffee Syrups: An Expert Guide on Sweetening Your Coffee

Did you know that it’s actually super easy to make your own flavoured coffees at home? Plus, it doesn’t have to cost you an arm or leg every time you fancy a vanilla latte. How is this possible, you ask? Coffee syrups.

Indeed, coffee syrups have become increasingly popular among coffee lovers, offering a wide range of flavours to enhance your coffee-drinking experience. Whether you prefer a classic vanilla-infused latte or a bold caramel macchiato, coffee syrups provide an easy and delicious way to sweeten and personalise your drink.

In this guide, we will delve into the world of coffee syrups; exploring the most popular flavours, the best ways to incorporate them into your coffee, and even healthier alternatives to traditional syrups. So grab your favourite mug, brew a fresh batch of coffee, and get ready to discover the secrets of sweetening your coffee to perfection!

What is coffee syrup made of?

Firstly, let’s take a look at the ingredients. Coffee syrups typically consist of a few simple ingredients, including sugar or sweeteners, water, and natural or artificial flavourings. The exact composition can vary depending on the brand and flavour, but the best syrups will be made from real ingredients. After all, syrups are designed to add sweetness and flavour to your coffee without compromising its quality.

How are syrups made?

Coffee syrups are made through a process of blending ingredients together. Sugar or sweeteners are dissolved in water, and flavourings are carefully added to create the desired taste. The mixture is then heated and simmered until the desired consistency is achieved. This process ensures that the syrup is evenly flavoured and ready to enhance your favourite drink.

Does coffee syrup have alcohol?

No, most commercially available coffee syrups do not contain alcohol. It is, however, always advisable to check the label or product description to confirm the ingredients before making a purchase, as there may be variations between brands. But most are formulated to be alcohol-free, allowing coffee enthusiasts of all preferences to enjoy the flavours without any concerns.

Does coffee syrup contain coffee?

Contrary to its name, coffee syrup does not typically contain coffee. The term “coffee syrup” refers to its intended use as a flavouring agent for coffee rather than an infusion of coffee itself. Coffee syrups are created as an addition to complement and enhance the taste of your coffee, rather than replacing your coffee.

What syrup is good in coffee?

This very much depends on your personal taste. Some people prefer a very sweet caramel coffee syrup, whereas others prefer a more earthy turmeric syrup. There are also other factors to consider, though, such as how you drink your coffee and which beans you are using. For instance, if you are a fan of Colombian coffee beans, then a caramel syrup may be the best accompaniment to your mug as it will beautifully highlight the sweet caramel undertones of these beans. You can check out our speciality Colombian blend here. Nevertheless, with a wide range of options available, it can be overwhelming to determine which syrup is best suited for your coffee.

What is the most popular coffee flavour?

Among the plethora of coffee flavours, one particular syrup has gained immense popularity – vanilla. The smooth and creamy notes of vanilla coffee syrup complement coffee exceptionally well, enhancing its natural flavours without overpowering them. Vanilla syrup is a versatile choice that can be enjoyed with various coffee types, making it a top pick for coffee enthusiasts.

An image of a bottle of SHOTT Vanilla syrup

However, there are many alternatives that should also be considered. Another popular option is the aforementioned caramel syrup. It should come as no surprise that many people opt for a caramel latte or a caramel macchiato, as this beloved flavour brings a delightful sweetness and a hint of buttery richness to your favourite brew, blending harmoniously with the robust flavours of coffee.

An image of a bottle of shott caramel

Other popular flavours include hazelnut, gingerbread (perfect for an Autumnal pick-me-up), and chai. The latter is particularly popular around Christmas due to its captivating blend of rich spices and creamy sweetness which evoke a sense of warmth, comfort, and holiday cheer.

How do you drink coffee syrup?

Whether you prefer a classic latte, a cappuccino, or even a cold brew , you need to incorporate your syrup into your drink. Whilst each syrup will differ, they are generally very concentrated and so the key is to start with a small amount and gradually adjust the quantity to suit your taste preferences. Simply stir the syrup into your coffee until it is well combined and voilà; your perfectly flavoured coffee is ready to enjoy.

Do you put syrup in hot coffee?

Absolutely! Coffee syrups are not limited to iced or cold beverages; they work equally well in hot coffee. In fact, the temperature of the hot coffee allows the syrup to dissolve easily, meaning less work for you when incorporating your syrup. If you’re adding your syrup to an iced or cold drink, then the syrup will still dissolve just fine – it just may require some extra stirring!

Is syrup in coffee healthy?

As we know, there are many health benefits to coffee, particularly when you add milk. For example, coffee is packed full of antioxidants which have been shown to reduce inflammation. If you add syrup to your coffee, you won’t lose these benefits. But, nevertheless, it’s fair to say that you won’t find many dentists who rave about coffee syrups. After all, they’re pretty high in sugar.

Take a 100ml sample. On average, it will contain around 80g of sugar. Even if you only add 30ml of syrup to your coffee, you’re still getting 24g of the sweet stuff. For those not aware, that is 80% of your recommended daily sugar limit.

Enjoying coffee syrups in moderation can still be a part of a balanced diet, though. They are absolutely fine to have now and then. But that Caramel Mocha Frappuccino with extra whipped cream and sprinkles? Save that bad boy for special occasions.

Is coffee syrup better than sugar?

Coffee syrups often act as a substitute for granulated sugar in coffee. Not only do they add a specific flavour, but they can also provide a more balanced and consistent sweetness compared to regular sugar, as they are specifically formulated to blend well with coffee. As a result, many people prefer adding syrups to their coffee rather than sugar.

From a health perspective, it is difficult to say whether one is better than the other. The healthiness of coffee syrups depends on several factors, including the specific syrup and its ingredients, as well as the overall consumption and moderation. For instance, some coffee syrups may contain artificial ingredients, preservatives, or high-fructose corn syrup, which can have negative health effects when consumed excessively. Others, though, will be made from only natural ingredients, making them a much healthier choice.

Is honey better than syrup in coffee?

Again, this depends on personal preference. Honey can be a natural alternative to coffee syrup, and some people enjoy its distinct flavour profile. You’ll find it to be sweet, yet subtle. That’s a pretty good mix.

How do you flavour coffee in a healthy way?

If you opt for a coffee syrup, then always look for natural ingredients. The SHOTT syrups,  for example, are made with real fruit and real ingredients. They contain no artificial colours or preservatives, and no fillers. Plus, they are dairy and gluten free! This makes them a much healthier option. However, as we touched on above, these syrups should be used in moderation. If you drink a lot of coffee (who doesn’t, right?), then you might want to try adding natural ingredients like cinnamon, ginger, or cocoa powder to your coffee as an alternative in some brews. These ingredients can add depth and flavour without excessive sugar or calories. Experimenting with spices and similar natural ingredients can also provide interesting and unique taste experiences.

Additionally, reducing or eliminating sweeteners altogether and savouring the natural flavours of your coffee can be an excellent choice for those looking to embrace a healthier coffee routine.

If you’re looking for a beautiful flavour blend, then we would recommend trying our Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee beans. With a light body and prominent citrus and floral notes, this is definitely one to try. Alternatively, if you are looking for an immense flavour profile, then look no further than our Indian Monsooned Malabar AA Single Origin Coffee. This is a uniquely special matured bean with a rich and complex taste.