A Beginner’s Guide to Flavored Syrups

When I worked for Tully’s Coffee in Seattle a lot of customers who wanted to move beyond a simple, dare I say it–mundane–latté often added a shot of vanilla-flavored syrup. And that was it. Vanilla.

Honestly, I’ve never understood their mentality. Every coffee shop has a variety of flavors, if one is good, why stop there?

I demand a layered-flavor experience from my lattés. For example, one of my favorite drinks is a caramel sauce, cinnamon syrup latte with ristretto shots (more on favorite drinks later.) The caramel provides a smooth, sweet background taste that nicely compliments and rounds out the slight spice of cinnamon.


Believe it when I tell you that the quality of syrup greatly affects the over quality of taste. For this reason I have comprised a beginner’s guide to flavored syrups.


DaVinci Syrups:

Price: $7.49 for a 750 mL bottle (3/4th of a liter) of a Classic Flavor, $7.99 for other types of syrup

DaVinci syrups are far and away my favorite.

In my experience, you get the most bang for your buck & flavor from a pump. For a 12oz latté only one pump of syrup is needed, two for a 16oz, and three for 20oz.

They offer four types of syrup: classic, fruit innovations, sugar-free and all natural in over 120 flavors. They are certified kosher and are made with only pure cane sugar (sugar free with splenda.)

Nutritional Information: a 2Tbs single serving contains 80 calories and 19 carbs.




Price: $7.99 for a 750 mL bottle

Monin offers over 80 different flavors.

Simply put, Torani syrups are decent, but not as good as DaVinci.

Nutritional Information:

Serving Size 1oz
Amount Per Serving 25
Calories 80
Calories from Fat 0
Total Fat 0 g
Sodium 0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 20g
Sugar 20 g
Protein 0 g





Price: $ 7.50 for a 750 mL glass bottle


Monin offers approximately 120 syrup flavors. They have the largest selection of sugar-free syrups, with 15 different flavors. Most companies offer just six.

Their website also has a recipe index, with a lot of fun ideas.

Unfortunately, the strength of the flavor is extremely weak. In a 12 oz latte up to four pumps of syrup must be used. That’s 4x the amount of a DaVinci syrup! Such a large amount increases the overall calorie count of a drink.

In my opinion, Monin syrups would best be used for cocktails or mixed drinks to add a light flavor, instead of in a coffee drink.

The GeDunk here at GCC uses Monin syrups. It’s hugely regrettable.



$10.95 for a one liter bottle

Starbucks flavors their drinks with their own product. I’ve never worked with this syrup by itself, so I cannot give it an accurate personal rating.

I clicked on the vanilla syrup (classic flavor) and the page displayed the following information:

Rating: Customer Review 4.7
View all 137 reviews
• Rated 352 times by customers who
purchased this item
• 137 out of 352 customers
wrote reviews
• Recommended by 97% of Reviewers
• Value: 90% rated it a good value

Nutritional Information: 1 oz contains 56 calories, 14 carbs, and 14 g of sugar.

Frankly, I don’t know if I trust that rating because I’ve found that people who love Starbucks love it unconditionally. I am curious about the syrup’s quality, however, and if I get the chance (aka, a free or very cheap bottle) would welcome the chance to try it.



It was 1:42 p.m.  My 17 oz. Bodun Kenya French press slipped off the tin of cookies I was carrying and crashed to the ground. A chunk of glass tumbled across the carpet and landed about a foot away.

It was like I had carelessly hit a friend with my  car.  I choked back an immediate sob.

That’s when I realized just how much this kitchen appliance meant to me.

So welcome to a blog dedicated to coffee. You’re in for a treat, whether or not you drink it.

And if anyone is wondering, I upgraded to a 34oz. press, same brand and model. There are many reasons to appreciate Amazon, one of them being free two-day shipping.