From 1971 until today, with a half-a-century-long tradition, Starbucks has become synonymous with coffee. And that is the first thing that comes to my mind when mentioned. From the streets of Seattle, where it was first opened, Starbucks made its way to all of our hearts. Their coffee, enriched with their delightful sauces and syrups, has often helped me preserve my sanity, which is why I wanted to give them special attention in this article. So, what sauces and syrups does Starbucks have?
Starbucks has three sauces and seven syrups they offer all year round. The sauces include caramel, dark caramel, white chocolate mocha, and pistachio sauce. The syrups are vanilla, cinnamon dolce, hazelnut, caramel, simple syrup, mint-infused simple syrup, and honey-ginger simple syrup.
Since there are ten in total, you may think it isn’t a lot, but believe me, it’s more than enough. Paired with their respective coffee, these syrups and sauces create a heavenly coffee experience. In this article, I will tell you all about each and every Starbucks sauce and syrup to help you elevate your coffee experience. So, let’s first see what’s the difference between the two!
What Is the Difference Between Starbucks Syrup and Sauce?
There is quite a difference between Starbucks syrups and sauces. People often take them as the same, but they definitely differ in several key aspects. It is essential to know that Starbucks syrups and sauces are different products and have different effects on the coffee they are in.
Starbucks syrup is a liquid sweetener used to add flavor and aroma to Starbucks drinks. It doesn’t change the consistency or thickness but just injects extra flavor into the coffee. Starbucks syrups are thin, easily pourable, and they instantly dissolve and merge with the drink.
Also, the amount of syrup that is added to the drink isn’t supposed to be too large because they are quite intense in flavor. Starbucks syrups are primarily used in coffee, but some of them go well in tea as well, and they do a great job enhancing the surrounding flavors.
Starbucks sauces, on the other hand, are thicker and denser, adding richness and flavor to the drink, enhancing and even altering the flavor. While Starbucks syrups meld with the drink, the sauces are usually served on top of the drink for you to mix them in as you drink.
They give you a creamier coffee experience and an overall more refined flavor. So, let’s see which sauces and syrups are there.
List of Starbucks Sauces
Even though there are only three of them available all year round, the selection of Starbucks sauces is far from modest. Coffee is a drink that tolerates experimentation as long as it is balanced and well-rounded. Starbucks knows and applies this wisdom, creating sauces you can have with all their coffee types.
Starbucks also offers seasonal sauces, such as the pistachio sauce, during a particular season. These sauces vary depending on the Starbucks location, and they do not necessarily appear each year.
Starbucks’ caramel sauce is a decadent topping that offers a perfect balance of sweetness and buttery richness. And, no, I am not exaggerating. If you are a fan of caramel, you will definitely enjoy this sauce, and if you aren’t, you will become one after tasting it.
It is smooth, rich, thick, and very indulgent; because of its silky smooth consistency, it blends perfectly into beverages, and it doesn’t overwhelm or dominate the flavor. It just enhances the surrounding notes, enveloping them with a caramel tone.
You can easily feel a note of sugar, vanilla, and a subtle buttery flavor, giving you an overall rich sensation.
Generally, coffee and caramel pair excellent, so wherever you add it, it will work great. It goes particularly well with Starbucks caramel macchiato, which creates a velvety, caramel-led experience with a milky undertone.
I would also recommend the Caramel Frappuccino, where the caramel sauce melds with the coffee and milk, intensifying the sweetness but not making it too pronounced and retaining the natural bitterness of the coffee.
Dark Caramel Sauce
In short, the dark caramel sauce is a bolder and fiercer version of the caramel sauce. The main flavor notes are here, but everything seems more pronounced and more intense with the dark caramel sauce.
The dark caramel sauce has a deeper, darker, more robust caramel flavor. Its texture is also thicker compared to that of regular caramel sauce, and it delivers a very generous flavor in just a drizzle. It has a rich caramel taste with a hint of smokiness and chocolate, and it provides a certain sense of seriousness to the beverage.
Just like the regular caramel sauce, you can pair this one with any coffee you like, but I like it best with iced caramel macchiato. The dark caramel sauce intensifies the caramel flavor in the coffee, and I love the sensation created by the ice, subduing the bitter tones and uplifting the caramel-chocolaty notes.
White Chocolate Mocha Sauce
Starbucks’ white chocolate mocha sauce is a silky, rich, milky, and sweet sauce that gives your coffee a smooth and chocolaty dimension. It also adds luxury and refinement to the coffee, making it perfect for those that like pronounced sweetness.
This is definitely the coffee sauce equivalent of a princess donut. The sauce is abundant in chocolaty, milky, sweet, and buttery tones.
Pair this sauce with an expressively bitter coffee, like espresso, to create flavor contrast. I also recommend the White Chocolate Frappuccino for a chocolaty, milky, butter, and rich coffee experience.
List of Starbucks Syrups
Starbucks offers seven kinds of syrup, which means seven different flavors you can add to your coffee. Take a look at the list below and pick your favorite Starbucks flavoring.
Starbucks vanilla syrup is a classic vanilla flavoring with a smooth and sweet taste featuring a rich aroma of natural vanilla. It isn’t overpowering, nor does it stand out. It plays a supporting role, further enriching the overall coffee taste. You will feel a gentle vanilla note and a very mild sweetness.
I like pairing the vanilla syrup with a vanilla latte because it’s the only way to feel a pronounced vanilla flavor. The vanilla syrup intensifies the natural creaminess of a latte, giving it a more tropical flavor and balancing the bitterness of the expresso and the richness of the milk.
You can also try the vanilla syrup with Americano. The bold and robust flavor of the Americano pairs incredibly well with the gentle vanilla tones, creating a perfect balance between the two contrasting notes.
Cinnamon Dolce Syrup
The cinnamon dolce syrup combines the warmth of cinnamon with a sweet caramel note, creating a softer and better-balanced coffee drink. The cinnamon flavor is the same as those in baked goods, making your coffee taste like a cinnamon roll. The caramel, on the other hand, adds a luxurious sweetness without overwhelming the palate.
I recommend you pair this syrup with the Cinnamon Dolce Latte. The cinnamon and caramel meld perfectly with the espresso, creating a warm and slightly spiced flavor.
Hazelnut syrup offers a nutty and toasty taste with a very seductive aroma. It’s one of those syrups that you taste with your nose before it even touches your palate. I love it for its smooth and earthy flavor, which pairs delightfully with the robust coffee bitterness.
I usually get it off Amazon, and I like to pair it with milky drinks, such as macchiato, for instance. My favorite is the Hazelnut Macchiato, which tastes decadently rich with the nutty notes of the syrup combined with the milky richness of the macchiato.
Caramel syrup offers a smooth and buttery sweetness to beverages. Just like the caramel sauce, the syrup is too deep and offers a certain complexity to the drink. The rich caramel flavor melds with the natural coffee robustness, toning down the bitterness and injecting the flavor with caramel notes creating an overall richer flavor.
I like to pair the caramel syrup with Caramel Macchiato, but a regular espresso can also be a great pair to this syrup. It balances the sweetness and creaminess in the macchiato, while in espresso, it mildens the bitterness adding a subtle sweetness.
Yes, it’s that simple, and yes, it’s the simple syrup you drizzle on your morning pancakes. Simple syrup is a pure and neutral sweetener whose only job is to sweeten up your drink without adding flavor or changing it. It is great for making personalized drinks.
Pairing simple syrup is the easiest thing you can do because you can add it to any of the Starbucks refreshments. Personally, I don’t have a favorite pairing because all of them fit great.
Mint-Infused Simple Syrup
If you are a fan of herbal and sweet flavors, this syrup definitely belongs in your coffee. With its minty, natural, and refreshing flavor, you will definitely enjoy the zing it adds to your coffee. It combines the subtle sweetness of simple syrup with the refreshing and lively notes of fresh mint leaves.
The pairing of this syrup can be a little tricky because the flavor is a bit restrictive. If you are into experimenting, you will undoubtedly find a combo that you like. On the other hand, if you are a fan of the classic flavors, I don’t think that this one is for you.
I like it in the Mint Mocha and also in tea. I can’t say that I am crazy about this syrup, but for me, some orders truly cannot go without it. And that’s the beauty of Starbucks, offering something for everyone.
Honey-Ginger Simple Syrup
The honey-ginger simple syrup is definitely a unique-flavored ingredient abundant with natural and refreshing notes. It combines the sweetness of honey with the warmth and spice of ginger resulting in a perfect balance of sweetness and warmth.
This is a syrup meant to experiment with, and I am not exactly sure what to recommend for it because it is a matter of taste. While the rest of the flavor combos can be presumed, you have to try this syrup and see what works.
I usually go with tea for this syrup, but you may find it exhilarating in coffee as well.
What’s your usual Starbucks order? I would love to get new recommendations, so feel free to write them down in the comments below!