Sunday Coffee, it's just so much better than Monday coffee! I'm sure you know by now how much I love coffee in all its many forms. One of my favorite Sunday indulgences is a good coffee shop style flavored latte. I am guilty of marking the changing of the seasons by the Starbucks menu (although if I'm being honest it always seems to be a little ahead for us in New England, I refuse to drink pumpkin until the leaves change). After purchasing my Nespresso and building my coffee bar, I've shifted to almost exclusively making my fancy lattes at home. This means that I've been on a quest to find the best products, the same products they use in coffee shops.
There are many ways to achieve flavor in lattes, some healthier than others. Coffee shops primarily use syrups. So when I'm hankering for a truly indulgent seasonally flavored latte, that's what I turn to as well. Now that I've tried allll the syrups, I'm going to share my favorites with you (as well as which ones I avoid).
So pour a cup and join me for some Sunday Coffee!
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I think it's important to let you know what I look for in a good coffee syrup. For me it's entirely about the flavor. I want a strong flavor (for example if I'm using a Caramel syrup, I want the full flavor of caramel not a hint of it). I do not like when a syrup has the taste of a fake sugar product. Therefore I tend to avoid the low calorie or sugar free syrups. Finally I look at the product itself to be sure it isn't separating (that will give you a fake taste). Essentially I'm looking for a quality flavored simple syrup.
Monin: If you're a regular reader it will not be a surprise to you that this is my favorite syrup. Out of all of the products I've tried it has the truest flavor and does not leave an aftertaste. They have a lot of variety covering every seasonal flavor you could want. In addition to more traditional coffee flavors (caramel, vanilla, etc) they have some wonderful fruit flavors that I like to put in seltzers or use in cocktails.
You can easily purchase through their website and also on Amazon. From time to time you can also find them at TJ Maxx for a huge bargain.
If you are going to start trying syrups in your coffee, this is the one to try. It really has the closest flavor to coffee house lattes (in fact many coffee houses use this product themselves.
My Favorite Flavors:
Torani: This is another syrup you will find in coffee houses. I have not tried as wide of a variety as I have with Monin, but when I'm unable to get Monin, this is what I purchase. It does not have a fake sugar taste to it, and again there is no aftertaste. I find the flavor slightly less bold than Monin which would be my only comparison, but otherwise it will give you a delicious and rich latte. I do absolutely love their drizzling syrup and it is my preference for that. It makes an excellent way to finish your coffee, with a little drizzle of flavor on top.
My Favorite Flavors:
Torani actually offers a great variety pack to get you started:
Vanilla, Caramel, French Vanilla, Hazelnut
Torani Sauce (the syrup to drizzle over) also comes in a variety pack
Caramel, White Chocolate, Chocolate
Fontana: This is actually the brand of syrup that Starbucks uses, though I will admit when I have purchased it on my own it hasn't quite tasted the same (maybe I'm crazy, that could be). However, since Starbucks uses their syrup you can get all your favorite seasonal flavors through them. I believe you can purchase it at Starbucks but you can also find it on Amazon. I've never found it at TJ Maxx or in a brick and mortar, but if you have a specific Starbucks latte you love it could be worth seeking out.
The SYRUP I DON'T LIKE
SkinnyGal: I feel bad even writing this but I truly detest this syrup. I've been burned by it a few times. I love the concept of it, and so from time to time I cave and pick it up. Who wouldn't want their favorite fancy coffee for less calories? Well, me as it turns out. I have never been able to finish a coffee that I put this into. It has a very fake taste (I feel like the taste of aspartame overpowers the syrup flavor) and it always creates an oily film on the top of my coffee. Please don't take this as a criticism if you use this syrup, I completely understand why you might, and if you like it, great! It's just not for me.
MAKE YOUR OWN SYRUP
Homemade: If you want to avoid store bought syrups all together it is really easy to make your own syrup at home. Start with a basic simple syrup (heat equal parts sugar and water until the sugar dissolves) once the sugar dissolves add in whatever flavors you like (vanilla, cinnamon, spices, fruit) and let simmer for a bit to infuse the flavor. Try different combinations! Once it's flavored to your liking strain to get the add ins out (if there are any) and store for up to a month in your refrigerator.
So as you can see there are quite a few syrups to flavor your morning cuppa with. What's your favorite fancy flavored latte?