Coffee Syrups are here to stay. Look at any real estate material promoting an area to live in and they will invariably use phrases like “enjoy the cosmopolitan cafe lifestyle just outside your front door”. A cafe culture in your neighborhood is seen as aspirational, invoking images of the bygone bohemian coffee houses of Europe. This has led to a huge increase in coffee shops, from large multi-nationals like Starbucks, to individual organic cafes selling Fairtrade coffee blends from around the world.
These coffee shops will usually sell intriguingly flavored coffees such as Dark Amaretto Frappucino, Gingerbread Mocha, Raspberry Latte etc. These specialty coffees are flavored using one or more coffee syrups. Syrups come in many flavors, from the aforementioned Amaretto to caramel, almond and many fruit flavors such as raspberry and blueberry. To me, nothing beats a strong espresso machiato, however if I am going to be ensconced for a while, a longer coffee, flavored with a premium syrup is a regular choice.
Coffee syrups are made from varying quality ingedients which obviously affects the price. The best brands are made from the finest nuts and fruits and distilled down into the syrup used in coffee. Top brands to look out for in your local coffee shop include Da Vinci, Monin and Dolce. You should look for syrups with a higher concentration of the ingredient compared to the syrup itself. If you are buying them for home use, it is worth spending the extra for the best quality brands because they will be cheaper in the long run and you will have a much nicer experience per cup.
Another thing to look for when selecting coffee syrups is that some brands are better than others at not curdling the milk if you add it. Some cheaper brands are also prone to separating if heated too much. Again, as with most things in life, you get what you pay for.
You might think that adding syurp to your coffee would be a disaster for the weight-concious, however most of the good brands are fat and cholesterol-free. Indeed sugar-free coffee syrups are readily available without compromising on flavor. They are great for people on low-carbohydrate diets too.
Coffee syrups are also not just for coffee. They can be used in other drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. For example you can make delicious iced frappes. They are also delicious added to soda water. They are perfect for adding to kid’s drinks as you can make interesting concoctions that are far lower in sugar than regular soft drinks.
Baking is also another great way of using these flavorful syrups. They can be used in cakes, cookies and even breads. You are limited only by your creativity. And let us not forget the delights of adding a large blob of caramel coffee syrup to vanilla ice cream. Truly sublime!