15 Best Coffee Syrups That Will Add Flavor to Your Cup of Joe
Of course, we love coffee just the way it is. Yet, sometimes the mood calls for something a little special. So, rather than take a trip to your local coffee shop, you can easily make a flavored drink at home with coffee syrup.
There is a mind-boggling array of brands and flavors out there, but here are some of the best coffee syrups.
At A Glance:
Where to buy coffee syrup flavoring: the best coffee syrup flavors in 2021
Some classic flavors pair so well with coffee that they remain the most popular choices. Namely, they’re caramel, vanilla, and hazelnut. But every year, there seem to be more inventive flavors on the scene.
| ||Monin Caramel|
| ||Amoretti Premium French Vanilla|
| ||Torani Sugar-Free Hazelnut|
| ||Torani Variety Pack|
| ||Jordans Skinny Syrups Irish Cream|
| ||Monin Organic Vanilla|
| ||Upouria French Vanilla & Caramel|
| ||Ghirardelli Squeeze Bottles 3 Pack|
| ||Autocrat Coffee Syrup|
| ||D’Arbo Elderflower|
| ||DaVinci Hawaiian Salted Caramel|
| ||DaVinci Sugar-Free Caramel|
| ||Starbucks Cinnamon Dolce|
| ||Amoretti Peppermint|
| ||Jordans Skinny Syrups Caramel Pecan|
Here are some of the classics and some of the more creative. But definitely some of the best coffee syrups out there.
French brand Monin has a long history in the drinks industry, first producing liqueurs and switching to syrups. They now have a range of more than 100 syrups, but the caramel flavor remains one of their most popular and versatile. With a base of pure cane sugar, there’s no need to add any artificial flavors to achieve a rich caramel taste.
If the original isn’t exactly what you’re after, Monin has plenty of options for you. On offer are Sugar-Fre e Caramel, Zero-Calorie Natural Caramel, Salted Caramel, and Organic Caramel syrups. Phew!
If you’ve ever wondered what’s so special about French vanilla, it’s not that it’s a type of bean. Instead, it refers to making vanilla ice cream using a custard base (1). So as a flavor, it’s creamier and richer than regular vanilla with some caramel notes – think of this as a vanilla plus! Amoretti’s syrups are a favorite with pastry chefs, but they’re carefully crafted for use in hot or cold drinks, too – with a guarantee that they won’t curdle milk (2).
Hazelnut is a very traditional Italian dessert flavoring, so it’s little wonder that it has become linked to the country’s most famous drink as well. Whether you’re making a creamy hazelnut latte or just adding a splash to freshly brewed coffee, this syrup will give you the nutty taste you’re after. Torani’s sugar-free syrups are all sweetened with Splenda, so this is a zero-calorie treat.
If you’re dedicated to flavored coffee, you really can’t do better than this variety pack. It contains the most popular flavors: caramel, hazelnut, vanilla, and French vanilla coffee syrup. They’re great on their own, but with this many bottles, you’ve also got plenty of combinations to experiment with – vanilla hazelnut latte, anyone? Torani’s original syrups are based on the handwritten recipes of its Italian American founders, made with natural flavors and pure cane sugar.
Irish cream is a flavor that’s usually associated with a very decadent treat, so finding a sugar-free (and calorie-free) version is a bit of a win. If you’re not familiar with the original liqueur, it’s usually made with whiskey and cream. Jordan’s taken these flavors and added chocolate and vanilla for their tasty sugar-free syrup.
Monin counts seven different styles of vanilla syrup among its massive range of products, but it’s hard to go past the organic vanilla. Made with natural organic vanilla bean extract and organic cane sugar, it’s about as pure as it gets. This particular syrup also happens to be part of Monin’s “clean label” range, guaranteed free of any artificial ingredients. It’s also non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, and kosher.
Not sure which of the most popular flavors is right for you? With this Upouria combination, you don’t have to decide. Pumps are included with the bottles, so you can enjoy the buttery caramel and creamy vanilla flavors without making a mess. Upouria’s syrups are 100% vegan, gluten-free, and contain no artificial flavorings. Likewise, these have no artificial sweeteners, but sugar-free versions are also available.
Try these truly decadent sauces from Ghirardelli, a trio of caramel, chocolate, and white chocolate for a flavored coffee that’s more like dessert. The famous chocolate brand doesn’t just use flavoring but adds real chocolate, cocoa butter, and caramel to these premium sauces. We would generally advise against using the chocolate sauce in coffee, but these have been designed to be suitable as espresso syrup flavors. The only downside is they do have a shorter shelf life.
If you’re from Rhode Island, you’ll know Autocrat Coffee Syrup is the base for the state’s official drink: coffee milk. But it’s more famous than you might think. In 1992 the brand paired up with the Coffee Connection chain of cafes to invent the original Frappucino. Naturally, Starbucks swooped in and bought the cafes and the recipe and name for this new coffee invention.
They started realizing they could make more money with a Frappuccino than a cup of coffee.
For many years they continued to use Autocrat syrups in what would be one of their most famous drinks (3). So if you want to try your hand at making the original Frappuccino, get yourself a bottle of this concentrate.
The flavored syrup we use for coffee tends towards creamy, nutty, or chocolatey flavors, but floral tastes can put a twist on your favorite drink. Elderflower has long been a popular ingredient in cocktails, with a delicate taste that’s not unlike lychee or pear. D’Arbo Sryups pride themselves on all-natural ingredients, with the flavor here coming from natural elderflower extract.
Looking for more floral options? Monin offers an exceptionally aromatic Lavender Syrup.
Try it with a black cold brew for a refreshing summer drink.
Many brands on this list pride themselves on using natural ingredients, but DaVinci goes a step further with exotic ones. The unique sea salt is sourced from the waters of Hawaii, where the volcanic clay adds a depth of flavor and subtle pink color. This is part of the DaVinci Gourmet Naturals line of syrups, all made with natural flavors and sweetened with cane sugar.
Of all the flavors, the caramel would have to be the most versatile. As caramel is essentially burnt sugar, it’s easily paired with anything that needs sweetening. But, of course, it does have its own rich, toasty note that makes it such a fan favorite. Unlike some of the more classic syrups brands on this list, DaVinci focused on syrups for coffee from the outset but now makes craft flavors for all kinds of hot and cold drinks.
If you’re addicted to the pimped-up drinks at your local Starbucks, this syrup will help you create your own Cinnamon Dolce Latte at home. The coffee shop giant even lists the recipe on their website. Of course, it’s significantly more expensive than the others on our list, but if you already have an espresso maker and milk frother, you can save a bundle on cafe visits.
Is there anything that transports you to Christmas time as quickly as the smell of peppermint? A couple of pumps in your coffee, and you’ll be picturing candy canes. Like all of Amoretti’s premium coffee flavoring, this syrup is made without artificial flavors and sweeteners and contains just 35 calories per pump. But, of course, we hardly mention that this would be the perfect addition to hot chocolate too.
Jordan’s Skinny Syrups are famous among syrup brands for their sugar-free, zero-calorie options, but you might not realize just how wallet-friendly they are too. Even if you’re on a budget, you can still enhance your coffee with gourmet flavors like this buttery, nutty caramel pecan. If you need further convincing, it’s also gluten-free, kosher, keto-friendly, and GMO-free.
How to choose the best syrup brand for Coffee
Flavored syrups have a pretty bad reputation for being utterly unhealthy, but not all syrups are created equal. So again, it’s a matter of knowing how to read the label. The most important thing is to choose something designed for coffee and with a flavor you love.
Know your sweetener: are there any healthy coffee syrups?
Finding the most guilt-free syrup all depends on what your definition of “healthy” is. For some people, the more natural, the better, while for others, it means the option with the fewest calories.
Sugar comes in many forms, including sucrose from cane sugar, dextrose, fructose, and corn syrup. While they’re all derived from natural sources (such as sugarcane and corn), fructose and corn syrup have been linked to several health issues (4).
Sugar-free coffee syrups are made with artificial sweeteners, one of the most famous being sucralose (Splenda). There was some concern that artificial sweeteners could lead to a higher risk of cancer in the past. However, a long-term study has disproven this (5).
Research into sweeteners shows they’re perfectly safe to eat or drink daily as part of a healthy diet.
Whether you go natural or calorie-free, the healthiest option is to enjoy in moderation. Alternatively, check out our best flavored beans.
Flavored syrups for coffee vs other syrups
You might have noticed that most of these bottles won’t say “coffee syrup” on the label. That’s because flavored syrups have a wide range of uses. But that doesn’t mean that you can use any syrup in your coffee. If they’re not formulated for use in coffee, or at least drinks, they may not dissolve completely.
Coffee concentrates are a different thing altogether, and while you can add them to coffee, they’re more often used as a coffee substitute.
Many of what we consider coffee syrups are also used in cocktails and mixed drinks, but some flavors won’t be suitable for coffee, especially when you add milk (we’re looking at you, lemon). As a general rule, it’s best to stay away from anything labeled ice cream or dessert sauces, as they may break down when added to hot drinks.
How do you use coffee-flavoring syrups?
The classic use for coffee syrup is in a flavored latte, but you can add syrups to just about any coffee-based drinks. Start with black coffee, and you might find you don’t even want to add milk or creamer or go all out with a caramel French vanilla iced coffee. Instead, you might discover your new favorite coffee.
In terms of what kind of coffee to use, aim for something mid-range as a base. Good coffee syrups aren’t going to mask the taste of bad coffee, but you also don’t want to ruin the subtle notes of specialty coffee beans by adding other flavors.
As you can see, there’s a syrup out there for just about every occasion. We’ve picked Torani’s Variety Pack as the best coffee syrup as it’s a great way to experience all the most popular flavors. But really it’s just about whatever taste appeals to you.
Coffee syrups last between 1-3 years if left unopened. After opening, the shelf life will be 3-6 months with a standard cap, or 1-2 months with a pump or pour spout (6).
Simple syrup is sugar dissolved in an equal amount of hot water, used in cooking and drinks, especially cocktails. For example, you can use simple syrup in coffee, but it will only add sweetness and not flavor.
Fontana makes Starbucks coffee syrups. However, they are sold under the Starbucks name. Fontana is part of the Nestle Professional arm (7).
- Daley, B. (2011, March 3). What’s the difference between vanilla and French vanilla? The Seattle Times. https://www.seattletimes.com/life/food-drink/whats-the-difference-between-vanilla-and-french-vanilla/.
- Premium French Vanilla Syrup. Amoretti. (n.d.). https://amoretti.com/collections/premium-syrups/products/french-vanilla-syrup.
- Coelho, J. (2015, November 23). How Autocrat Has Changed With The Times. Rhode Island Monthly. https://www.rimonthly.com/how-autocrat-has-changed-with-the-times/.
- Mawer, R. (2019, September 27). 6 Reasons Why High-Fructose Corn Syrup Is Bad for You. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/why-high-fructose-corn-syrup-is-bad.
- The truth about sweeteners . NHS Choices. (n.d.). https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/are-sweeteners-safe/.
- Coffee Syrups – how much to use, where to buy & does it expire? Adams + Russell Coffee Roasters. (2019, July 5). https://www.adamsandrussell.co.uk/coffee-syrup-how-much-to-use-where-to-buy-does-it-expire/.
- McFarlane, C. (2020, October 26). Does Starbucks Use Torani Syrup? The Specialty Coffee Beans. https://www.thespecialtycoffeebeans.com/does-starbucks-use-torani-syrup/.