Starbucks Sauce vs Syrup: How Are They Different?

Starbucks Sauce vs Syrup
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Starbucks offers an array of drinks that are flavored with various types of sauces and syrups.

Choose from coffee-compatible flavors like hazelnut, vanilla, chocolate, caramel, and peppermint. Or, try fruity flavors like pineapple ginger and raspberry in teas or lemonades.

No matter what you’re craving, Starbucks is sure to have something that you’ll enjoy!

With so many options, you might be wondering what’s the difference between Starbucks syrups and sauces. Below, we will go over both options so that you will know exactly what to add to your drink.

Starbucks Sauce vs Syrup Facts

Starbucks offers patrons the option of choosing syrups and sauces for flavoring their beverages. Even though “Starbucks coffee syrups” and “Starbucks sauces” are terms that sound similar, they have different meanings.

Starbucks sauces are thicker in consistency and often contain more calories. Starbucks syrups, on the other hand, are slightly thinner in viscosity and tend to go better in cold drinks.

The syrups also have more flavor options to choose from.

Both of these drink ingredients can impart sweet and delicious flavors to your coffees, smoothies, frappes, and cold brews. However, there are differences in consistency, calories, and how they are used.

What Are Starbucks Coffee Syrups?

Starbucks coffee syrups are fluid and versatile as they easily mix into hot and cold drinks. They are available in over a dozen vegan and sugar-free options and each regular syrup pump contains between 15 to 30 calories.

starbucks coffee syrups
Starbucks coffee syrups add flavor and sweetness to hot and cold drinks

Starbucks their own syrup brand that is made by Fontana. Most of these syrups are vegan-friendly as default, but some do contain honey.

Starbucks coffee syrups come in a wide range of flavors including classics like vanilla, caramel, and hazelnut. Newer syrups like brown sugar and pineapple ginger have also gotten popular as of late.

There are also seasonal flavors, such as Pumpkin Spice, Chestnut Praline, and Gingerbread syrup.

So how exactly can you use Starbucks syrups in your drinks?

These versatile syrups can be used to flavor all kinds of drinks including frappuccinos, lattes, iced coffees, and even cold brew coffee. Usually, the strongly flavored syrups are added by the pump, and a little bit goes a long way.

Each syrup pump is dispensed in the cup, often before other ingredients are added to a drink. Starbucks has specific guidelines regarding the way pumps of syrup are dispensed. Larger drinks will require more pumps of flavoring syrup.

A tall drink will get three pumps of syrup typically. A grande drink will get four, and a venti will get five. If you get an iced venti, six pumps are used, because an iced venti coffee is four ounces larger than a hot venti latte.

Starbucks Syrup Ingredients

Common Starbucks syrup ingredients are Sugar, Water, Natural Flavors, Potassium Sorbate as a Preservative, and Citric Acid. The natural flavors used vary in the different types of syrups.

Generally, when you ask for flavoring at Starbucks, it will come in the form of a coffee flavoring syrup. The reason is that syrups outperform sugars, dry ingredients, and sauces in many beverages. This is especially true for cold beverages because the thinner syrups tend to distribute evenly and blend quickly with other liquids.

What Are Starbucks Sauces?

Starbucks sauces are thicker and more viscous than syrups. These sauces have about 30 to 40 calories per pump and are often used as toppings, to line the inside of clear cups, or to add additional sweetness to a gourmet beverage.

starbucks caramel sauce
Starbucks caramel sauce drizzled on top of cold foam

If you have ever ordered a Caramel Macchiato before, then you have tried Starbucks caramel sauce. Namely, the Caramel Macchiato comes with a thick caramel sauce drizzled on the inside of the cup.

If you got an iced Macchiato with whipped cream, you probably got an extra drizzle of caramel sauce on top as well.

Starbucks sauces can be squeezed or pumped into drinks and contain about 30 to 40 calories per pump. The sauces are flavorful and add body to your drink. They also serve an aesthetic purpose and impart a textural element.

Popular sauce flavor options include Caramel and Dark Caramel Sauce, Mocha Sauce, White Chocolate Mocha Sauce, and many more.

Starbucks has seasonal sauces, such as Pumpkin Spice and Caramel Brulee. Most sauces contain dairy and the only vegan option is the mocha sauce, which is unfortunate for vegans.

Starbucks Sauce vs Syrup: Main Differences

Here is a breakdown of the primary differences between Starbucks sauces and syrups:

  • Consistency: Syrups are thinner than sauces.
  • How to Use: Syrups flavor most drinks while sauces add an aesthetic element and additional sweetness.
  • Selection of Flavors Syrups come in many more flavors than sauces.
  • Ingredients: Sauces contain many ingredients, sometimes including fruit purees or dairy. Syrups are mostly corn syrup, sugar, and flavorings.
  • Calories: Sauces tend to contain more calories than syrups.
  • Availability: Syrups can be bought for at-home use, while sauces are available exclusively at Starbucks stores.
  • Vegan and Dairy-Free Options: Syrups come in sugar-free and dairy-free options. Most Starbucks syrups are also vegan-friendly. Sauces, on the other hand, usually contain dairy ingredients.

Final Thoughts on Starbucks Syrups and Sauces

The bottom line is that Starbucks has plenty of syrup and sauce flavors to make your drinks burst with diverse flavors. When compared to Dunkin Donuts flavored syrups, Starbucks has way more options to choose from.

Syrups are more often used to flavor drinks, while sauces can be added as toppings for a boost of gourmet flavor or sweetness. Both of these options pair wonderfully with a range of popular Starbucks beverages.

It all depends on what your taste buds are in the mood for.

If you want bold flavors with lots of options to choose from, syrups are the way to go. For a touch of additional sweetness or that chic aesthetic look, add a sauce.

Or, go all out and combine different sauces and syrups. Get creative and try a few different combos until you have created your perfect signature drink!

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