Coffee Syrup vs Coffee Sauce (Side By Side Comparison!)

Coffee syrup vs coffee sauce

When it comes to coffee syrup vs coffee sauce, what exactly is the difference? And how does each one affect your cup of coffee?

In general, both coffee syrups and sauces are primarily used to add flavor to coffee. However, there are also significant differences between the two. Syrups don’t contain milk, while coffee sauces normally do. In addition, sauces add viscosity and are also commonly used to garnish coffee beverages.

Because of these significant differences, coffee syrups and sauces are used in the preparation of different styles of coffee drinks.

If you want to learn more about what you can do with each of these coffee additives, keep reading!

Coffee Syrup vs Coffee Sauce Comparison

Coffee SyrupCoffee Sauce
Ingredientsprimarily made of water, sugar, and flavoringsmade of water, sugars, milk, and several other ingredients depending on the flavor
Flavorsyrups are available in several flavorssauces are available in several flavors
Viscositywatery and fluidsauces are thick and viscous
How It’s Usedadd flavor without affecting the textureto add flavor, body, and also aesthetic purposes
Table: coffee syrup vs coffee sauce comparison

What Is Coffee Syrup?

By definition, a syrup is a sweet, sticky liquid made by dissolving sugar in boiling water. A coffee syrup could refer to a coffee flavored, but in most cases, it’s used to describe a flavored syrup that’s added to coffee.

While coffee purists may reject the use of additives, many coffee drinks (such as those from Starbucks and other coffee shops) are mixed with syrups to expand their flavor profile.

But keep in mind that there’s no specific class of syrups called coffee syrups. Instead, this name simply refers to flavored syrups that are commonly added to coffees. There are many other flavored syrups that don’t go well with coffee and instead are more suited to teas and cocktails.

coffee syrup vs coffee sauce

What Is Coffee Sauce?

A sauce is a liquid or semi-liquid mixture that’s added to food. The phrase “coffee sauce” could refer to a sauce that has the flavor of coffee, but it usually refers to a sweet, flavored sauce that’s used to enhance the appearance, taste, and body of a cup of coffee.

Many coffee sauces are thickened with creams, starches, or other ingredients. And unlike syrups, which are basically sugar and water, sauces can have a wide range of components depending on the flavor.

Also, because of how coffee sauces are made, there’s a smaller selection of flavors available as compared with syrups.

coffee syrup vs coffee sauce

What’s The Best Way To Use Coffee Syrup?

The best way to use coffee syrup is as a flavor additive.

Because syrups are watery, they blend well with both hot and cold drinks. So, whether you like hot coffee or iced coffee, syrups make a great addition.

However, because syrups are liquidy and fairly transparent, they can’t be used to decorate or thicken coffee.

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What’s The Best Way To Use Coffee Sauce?

It’s best to use coffee sauce to decorate your coffee or to add flavor to hot coffee.

Because syrups are thick and semi-liquid they don’t dissolve well in cold coffee. However, they do mix quite well into hot liquids.

In addition, coffee sauces are effective for garnishing your coffee cup or decorating your coffee.

Just keep in mind that sauce won’t float on top of your coffee. So, the best way to adorn your coffee with sauce is by first placing steamed milk or whipped cream on top of the coffee and then drizzling the coffee sauce on top of the milk or cream.

coffee syrup vs coffee sauce

Pros And Cons Of Coffee Syrup

works well with hot and cold drinkscan’t be used to decorate coffee
typically less pricey than coffee saucesrequire more pumps for strong flavor
can be used in other drinks besides coffeeWatery consistency in some syrups, medicine taste like
sugar-free versions, lower calories, veganaftertaste in some sugar-free version
Table: pros and cons of coffee syrup

Pros And Cons Of Coffee Sauce

adds texture to coffeewill not be dissolved in cold drinks
can be used aesthetically in coffeemost contain dairy
intense flavorfewer sugar-free options
versatile use ( coffee, desserts, ice cream) shorter life span once opened
Table: pros and cons of coffee sauce

Who Is Coffee Syrup For?

Coffee syrups will work well for anyone who likes to add flavor to either hot or cold coffee without affecting the texture of the drink.

Second, most syrups don’t contain animal products or have sugar-free versions. So if you’re vegetarian or vegan, most coffee syrups can be incorporated into your diet without any issues.

Finally, syrups are commonly added to teas, cocktails, and even homemade sodas. So they’re great for people who like to flavor drinks other than coffee.

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Who Is Coffee Sauce For?

Coffee sauces are for people who like to add flavors and thickeners to their hot coffee.

They’re also for anyone who wants to adorn their coffee or prepare mocha lattes, frappuccinos, or caramel macchiatos at home.

Finally, most coffee sauces contain dairy, so if you’re a vegan or vegetarian you may want to pass on coffee sauces.

Popular Drinks That Use Coffee Syrups And Sauces

Many coffee drinks don’t use just either a syrup or a sauce. Instead, they use both.

If you’re a fan of Starbucks, you may know that most of their drinks have a few pumps of syrup, a shot or two of espresso, and are topped with whipped cream and sauce.

Here are a few of the most popular drinks that add syrups or sauces.

coffee syrup vs coffee sauce


A frappuccino is a cold coffee-flavored drink that’s somewhat similar to a milkshake. It starts with a coffee base that’s blended with ice and flavored syrups. It’s then normally topped with whipped cream and a coffee sauce.

Caramel Macchiato

A caramel macchiato contains one or two shots of espresso that are blended with milk and flavored syrups. It’s then topped with whipped cream and a caramel sauce.

Unlike a frappuccino, a caramel macchiato can either be served hot or cold.

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Mocha Latte

A regular latte is equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and milk froth. A mocha latte simply adds chocolate sauce to the mix.

The sauce can either be blended into the latte, drizzled on top, or both. And of course, if you want a caramel latte instead, you can simply substitute caramel sauce for chocolate sauce.


A cappuccino is traditionally made with espresso, steamed milk, and foam. And it doesn’t have to contain sauces or syrups.

However, some type of sauce is often drizzled on top for aesthetic purposes.

Coffee Syrup vs Coffee Sauce – Key Takeaways:

  • Syrups are effective in both hot and cold coffees
  • Sauces only dissolve in hot coffees but can be used to decorate either hot or cold coffees
  • Syrups are often vegan with sugar-free versions
  • Sauces often contain dairy and have fewer flavor options

Cheers Coffee Lovers!

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