What are Coffee Syrups?

Some say that black is the only way coffee should be; however, some coffee lovers enjoy adding a little extra flavor to their drinks..

If you want to reproduce that favorite specialty cafe drink, a coffee syrup may be the easiest way to accomplish your goal. In some cases, it may even be necessary.

Unlike coffee sauces (typically flavors like chocolate and caramel), coffee syrups can be effectively used in both cold and warm drinks. Coffee sauces are only compatible with warm beverages and won’t integrate with coffee properly at temperatures under 195° Fahrenheit.

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Who Makes the Coffee Syrup for Cafes?

You’ll run into a few popular brands wherever you go: DaVinci, Monin, and Torani. Starbucks syrups and Jordan’s Skinny are also growing in popularity these days, too.

What Brand of Syrup does Starbucks use?

The syrups Starbucks uses are all Starbucks branded, but they are made by Fontana.  These syrups can be bought online – see below!

Do I Need to be a Barista to Use This Stuff?

Nope, coffee syrups are super easy to use. In fact, some people choose to use syrup rather than sugar as it integrates with coffee more easily/completely. Others like to use syrup as a non-creamer way to enhance their drinks with specific flavors. A general rule of thumb is to use one tablespoon (or two “pumps”) of syrup to replace one sugar packet.

When you’re trying out coffee syrup for the first time, use the following guidelines. You should be using one tablespoon of syrup for a four-ounce cup of coffee.

Syrup Cheat Sheet:

Coffee Volume# of Pumps# of Tablespoons
1231 1/2

How Many Calories are in Coffee Syrups?

It varies brand to brand but, as an example, Torani syrups are about 80 calories for every 2 tablespoons.  All of the calories come from sugar.

What coffee syrup should I buy?

We’ve compiled a list of some of the most popular coffee syrups available. If you are looking to add some flavor, then these syrups are worth looking into.


This coffee syrup has been around since 1925. According to Torani’s official website, their syrup was used when the original flavored-latte debuted. The company’s founders brought a family secret back from Italy to San Francisco, creating a company that withstood the hardship of the Great Depression!

Today, Torani has a vast selection of coffee syrups to choose from- everything from bourbon caramel to even passionfruit! Torani is also free of high fructose corn syrup.  We’d particularly recommend their hazelnut for mochas, iced coffees, and lattes.

Starbucks Syrups

You can buy the same syrups Starbucks uses in their cafe drinks online.  The best deal available is probably the 4 pack that comes with Vanilla (2 bottles), Caramel, and Hazelnut.  These sauces are naturally flavored.


Don’t let the old-school look of Autocrat’s bottle fool you. This classic syrup is truly a pioneer, debuting during the 1930s.

Though James Finlay Unlimited recently acquired Autocrat, the product continues to be sold under its original name. Autocrat’s coffee syrup is quite popular in Rhode Island.

The only downside to Autocrat is that it comes only a standard syrup flavor.

Lyle’s Golden Syrup

This company produces coffee that is sustainable, global, and certified to be Fair Trade. Lyle uses pure cane sugar (as opposed to white or processed sugar), and has been doing so for the last 150 years.

Tate + Lyle’s syrup is developed to be denser, giving it a more indulgent feel. It has a subtler flavor in contrast to its counterparts.  Lyle also produces a zero-calorie sweetener. 


Though DaVinci hasn’t been around as long as some other coffee syrup brands, they have been producing a quality product since 1989. DaVinci makes syrup in the typical varieties- vanilla, strawberry, caramel- but also in some more exotic flavors like butter rum or amaretto.  Their syrups are fat-free and contains pure cane sugar. The caramel has a mildly burnt taste, giving it an authentic flavor.

DaVinci specializes in products that are sugar-free, also. Their selection is worth exploring if you’re trying to reduce sugar in your diet.

Monin Organic Vanilla Syrup

Monin has been around for quite a while – a century, in fact. They use BPA-free syrup bottles made with green/environmentally friendly labeling and packaging. Monin also promotes the regrowth of the bee population (hurt by Colony Collapse Disorder), and uses their syrup to feed 374 billion bees around the world.

Monin’s syrup does not contain any artificial flavors. It is non-GMO, vegan, and gluten-free. Madagascar vanilla beans are used to make this syrup, which contains mild caramel tones along with organic cane sugar.

Upouria Syrups

Upouria’s one-two punch of caramel and French vanilla provides you with a way to sample two traditional flavors inexpensively. They are both naturally flavored, devoid of artificial flavors, certified to be both kosher and halal, vegan-friendly, and gluten-free.

You won’t have to purchase a separate pump, unlike with other options in this list- Upouria includes a pump in their package.

Jordan’s Skinny Syrups Caramel Collection Syrup Trio

For those who are hesitant about trying out coffee syrups and don’t want to invest in a large bottle, the Jordan’s Skinny Syrups three-pack is perfect. The flavors included are Vanilla Caramel Crème, Salted Caramel, and Caramel Pecan. Since they are offered in small quantities, their presence won’t make you feel weighed down.

Jordan’s Skinny Syrups contain zero sugar, zero carbs, and zero calories. They are kosher, gluten-free, and produced in America.

Amoretti Peppermint Syrup

For those who are looking for something seasonal, this southern California–based company has just the thing. Their peppermint syrup integrates well with blended or iced drinks. Natural flavors are used to produce the syrup, containing only 35 calories per pump/serving. Amoretti also includes a pump in their package.

Try a Syrup Out to See if its Your Thing

Changing up the way you take your coffee every now and then can be fun. If you want to try out something sweet or unique, pumping out some coffee syrup might give you what you are looking for.

Consider how you like your coffee – do you prefer a traditional drink? Begin with a standard flavor like caramel. For those who are more adventurous, maybe try something like a lavender syrup!

Your options are almost endless!

Jay Arr

Jay Arr is passionate about everything coffee. What began as a simple interest in the history, production, and brewing of coffee led him to a job as a barista at a national coffee chain. That’s not where Jay’s story with coffee ends, however. Roasting and brewing day in and out, he continued to gather knowledge about all things coffee.

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