Flavored Coffee Syrups

Get out of the rut of drinking plain black coffee by adding flavored syrups.

Although many coffee lovers would say that they prefer their coffee black and strong, the tradition of adding flavorings such as milk, cream or sugar to coffee has been going on for generations. Those who can't dream of a life without coffee have usually adjusted to a particular taste when it comes to coffee. Cream only, sugar and cream together, just black. - whatever the preference, "as long as it's coffee" is the general sentiment.

New liquid flavorings for coffee have hit the markets and are preferred by many over the new flavored beans. Grinding flavored beans often leaves behind the flavor of the previous bean in the grinder, no matter how well you clean it. Liquid flavorings, which are added to coffee after it's brewed or into each individual cup, are sweet and decadent. Some add just a hint of nut flavoring like hazelnut or pecan, whereas others are fruity like raspberry, blueberry or cherry. Then there are the luscious varieties like peppermint, chocolate, caramel, cinnamon, peanut butter or Irish creme. Although many coffee lovers will pass on the flavored coffees, thousands of brave souls have tried it and never gone back to regular coffee again.

Some syrups are created to add a little flavor to the coffee without necessarily adding sweetness. If you usually take coffee with sugar, replace the sugar with sweet flavorings. For those who prefer coffee black, try just a few drops of flavoring with no sugar added. Diabetics and those who can't have sugar will appreciate the extra flavoring that hints toward sweet, but actually contains no sugar. Read the contents label to make sure that the product does or does not contain sugar, according to your preferences. The same goes for syrups which contain additives or preservatives, since some manufacturers add them for extra shelf life and others don't.

Check the brix content to see what percent of the mixture is flavoring. The brix basically tells how much flavoring is in the syrup. Some syrups can contain very little flavoring, meaning you'll use more each time. Quality syrups should have a brix of at least 50% or more. The higher-brix syrups generally cost more but will last longer than those with low brix contents.

There are different types of syrups, especially created for desserts, drinks or baking. The difference is usually in the consistency and sweetness. Check to see that you are purchasing either general purpose flavorings or flavorings made specifically for coffee. General purpose flavorings are ideal, since they are perfect for coffee and other beverages, dessert toppings, sweets recipes, milk shakes and cake baking. Combine two or more of the flavors like chocolate and peppermint or caramel and chocolate for delicious taste combinations.

A few drops of the flavoring are usually all it takes to get a good cup of coffee flavored to perfection. Many of the syrups require refrigeration after opening, so check the label. To keep the flavoring from cooling your coffee too quickly, put some in the bottom of the cup, microwave for a few seconds, and pour the coffee over the top, stirring well.

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