How much syrup to put in coffee comes down to personal taste, and depends upon the drink you are trying to make. That being said, it helps to have a grounding in the basic recipes for popular coffee-based drinks, so here’s our rundown of top tips for creating fantastic both hot and iced coffee drinks.
So, how much syrup to put in coffee?
Before we look into our tips on how much syrup to put in your coffee, let’s take a moment to look at what flavoured syrup actually is. Those big clear bottles you’ve seen at your local high street chain are pretty much all the same - a water and sugar mix (known as simple syrup or sugar water) with a flavour added to it. And the variety of flavours is seemingly endless, with new ones coming out every season. Fan of seasonal gingerbread lattes? We’ve got a guide on how to make a gingerbread latte at home.
Because the coffee syrups themselves contain so few ingredients, you don’t always need to buy them, and can easily make them at home. We’ve got a tutorial on making your own coffee syrups here.
How much syrup in a coffee, with a pump dispenser?
Pumps are the easiest way to add flavoured syrup to a beverage and are the way that most coffee shops do so in-store.
Generally speaking, the rule of thumb is to have three pumps per generic 240ml cup of coffee. This will equate to 24/25 ml of syrup. Certain green-branded high street chains, however, use a lot more and if you are trying to replicate their famous drinks, you may need to put in as many as 6 pumps to get a similar taste. As with any consumable, add a bit, taste it, and add more if needed.
How much syrup in a coffee, with a shot glass?
If you have an espresso machine,(or love creating espresso martinis!) chances are that you own a shot glass. A traditional shot glass has the capacity of 44ml with the 25ml of a single shot marked on the side.
For most syrups, you will want to add 30 ml of syrup to a 240 ml cup of coffee, so just above the shot line is a good place to start.
How much syrup in a coffee, with a tablespoon?
If you don’t have access to any of the above, don’t worry, you can still add syrup to your coffee without over or under powering it. As we have said above, for a standard (or small if you speak the coffee shop lingo) cup of coffee, you want to add 30ml of syrup. To measure this out, you’ll just need to use the humble tablespoon. A tablespoon measures out just under 15ml, so two tablespoons of flavoured syrup will start you off. Give it a stir and a taste, then add more if you require a stronger or sweeter flavour.
How much syrup to put in an iced coffee
Iced coffees tend to be weaker tasting than hot coffees, both because we tend to drink them slower, and because of the resulting ice cube melting that takes place.
While the coffee won’t actually be weaker (want to know more about the caffeine content of your favourite drinks? Click here) the taste may need more of a boost in order to compete with the milk, water and ice content. Start with half a serving of syrup (approx 15ml: one tablespoon or pump) in addition to what you would normally use, and build from there.
Pro tip: It goes without saying, but we will say it anyway: remember to stir your drink once you have added syrup. Especially if you put the syrup in after, most coffee shops add the syrup first so that the movement of the espresso and milk being added will mix it naturally, but it’s always good to give your drink a good stir before judging the sweetness level.
Other taste hacks for coffee drinks
We’ve answered the how much syrup in coffee question, so now let's take a look at some other tips and hacks for getting the absolute best experience from all of your coffee-based drinks.
Coffee ice cubes
What’s the point of making all these delicious summer coffee drinks if melting ice waters them down? Coffee ice cubes are the answer! Simply use leftover brewed coffee (not milky coffee drinks, but the actual coffee that comes from your brewing method), let it cool to room temperature, and pour it into an ice tray. Freeze and serve instead of regular ice cubes next time you make your iced caffeinated beverage.
Do note, however, that if you are watching your caffeine intake, this will increase the caffeine content of your drink as the ice melts.
Pro tip: it takes approximately 4 hours for the coffee to freeze. If you are making these for an event and need a large amount, you can make more by transferring the frozen cubes into a Ziploc bag before starting the process again.
How to improve bitter coffee
As with anything worth having, crafting a perfect cup of coffee is an art form. And sometimes you mess up. With coffee that can mean many things (the water was too hot, it was left to steep for too long, or the grind level was incorrect, for example) but usually, it means the coffee is too strong, too weak or tastes bitter. A weak coffee can be easily remedied, simply brew more coffee, and an overly strong brew can be watered down. But bitter coffee? There’s no need to tip it away and start again, as there is a little-known trick for making a bitter-tasting coffee that bit more palatable and can help you out in a pinch (there’s a pun there, which you’ll see in a moment.).
Coffee roasting and brewing rely on a series of chemical reactions and sometimes the ratios and timings work against you. The salt will activate the salt receptors of our palate and will drown out the perception of bitterness. But don’t worry - it won’t lead to your coffee tasting of salt.
When the bitter and salt receptors activate at the same time, it actually creates an almost sweet taste, due to the process enhancing the other tastes found within coffee. It is the same concept as adding salt and lime to tequila to enhance the sweetness.
Just make sure you only add a pinch and you’ll be good to go.
How to flavour coffee without adding sugar
The easiest way to add flavour to a coffee-based drink will always be to add syrup. How much syrup to put in coffee is explained above. But what about if you are watching your sugar intake? Flavoured syrups, after all, are made primarily of water and sugar.
Here are a few ideas for how to flavour a coffee without sugar:
Cinnamon (or mixed spices)
You’ve had chocolate on a cappuccino, but have you tried adding cinnamon instead? If you use the powdered variety, you side-step the added sugar in a syrup, while still getting the full cinnamon flavour. Be mindful though, that a little goes a long way! A slight sprinkle should be all you need.
Equally, if you drink your coffee black but want something to add a bit of depth and flavour to your brew, why not try experimenting with adding various spices to your brew? Cardamom, nutmeg, cloves and ginger are all firm flavour favourites
Vary the milk you use
While many choose to use dairy-free milk for ethical and health reasons, there is also much to be said for choosing them for their taste. A latte made with coconut milk can make a refreshingly different taste, and sweetened almond milk could have you replacing nut-flavoured syrup altogether.
For a hint of sweetness that isn’t too flavoured, you could enhance your milk-based coffee drink by adding vanilla extract to it. Always read the instructions, however: this stuff is potent!
If you’re craving the minty delights of the festive drinks menu, you could always try adding peppermint oil to your coffee. While this may not work in all types of coffee, it could really elevate an everyday mocha.
Chocolate is a firm favourite in mixed coffee drinks for a reason - they taste delicious, feel like a treat and when mixed with espresso, can give you the necessary jolt that you’ve come to expect from a well-made coffee.
However, most mochas are made with sugary chocolate powder or syrups and could be substantially adding to your daily sugar intake. Opt for raw cacao or a high cocoa content powder, or one without added sugar, so that you get the full taste, with none of the additives.
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We all love the taste of a really good cup of coffee. Sometimes, though, you want something a little extra, and syrup allows us to do this fairly easily. How much syrup to put in coffee will mostly depend on your personal preference, but we hope we have offered our best advice and tips for making your coffee drink all that it can be. And remember, for the very best coffee beans, you can always rely on the Coffee Bean Shop.