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Starbucks Syrup vs Sauce: The 5 Differences You Need To Know

Many of us cannot imagine a single day without a cup of coffee, and for many people, coffee is just a synonym for Starbucks coffee. Whether you’re a long-time consumer or you’re just caving into trends, it is impossible to ignore the quality of Starbucks coffee.

The Starbucks menu, however, can be quite confusing. It offers a wide array of coffees, as well as other beverages, and even pastries. 

What seems to be creating the biggest confusion is the selection of sauces and syrups, and the difference between them. If you’re unsure what beverages you should pair the Starbucks sauce or syrup with, keep on reading!

What is Starbucks sauce?

Let’s start off with the Starbucks sauce, which is the thicker, creamier option many people prefer over syrups. While many cafes use their coffee sauces simply to decorate the glass, this isn’t the case with sauces such as the Starbucks caramel sauce.

The Starbucks coffee sauces are there to add some extra flavor and aroma, and not only to decorate the beverage. They’re extremely flavorful, aromatic, and they can elevate the simplest cup of black coffee into a whole new coffee experience.

When it comes to Starbucks flavorings, the following sauces are available to customize your drink: caramel brûlé, mocha sauce, dark caramel, pumpkin sauce, toasted white chocolate mocha sauce, and white chocolate mocha sauce. 

While you can add these coffee sauces to any drink of your choice, they’re far more suitable for hot drinks than coffee syrups. This is the biggest difference between the two and is due to the structure and thickness of coffee sauces.

While coffee sauces will blend perfectly with hot beverages, you cannot expect this kind of thick consistency to be mixed into cold drinks as effortlessly. 

How to use Starbucks sauce

In addition to being used in coffees, lattes, frappuccinos, cappuccinos, mochas, and many other beverages, you can pour coffee sauces on top of pastries and desserts such as waffles and croissants

These sauces have a very strong flavor and aroma and very dense consistency. That means that a little goes a long way – especially if you don’t like your coffee too sweet. They can also improve the texture of your beverage if it’s too liquid for your taste.

If you like a fruity flavor in your coffee, you’ll definitely enjoy the warm, tangy pumpkin sauce. Mocha sauce is a great choice if you like a simple, sweet, whipped cream sauce in your beverages. 

White chocolate lovers will have to choose between two delicious varieties: the original white chocolate and the toasted white chocolate, which is a bit nuttier and smokier, with a noticeably stronger aroma. 

Finally, there is nothing better than a drizzle of caramel sauce. It could be the caramel brûlé or the intense, deep-flavored dark caramel sauce in a cup of mocha. However, why not pick a straight-up black coffee every once in a while, if you’re looking to change up your routine.

What is Starbucks syrup?

As opposed to the sauce, the Starbucks coffee syrup isn’t as thick and dense. That’s why there shouldn’t be a problem when it comes to mixing it into a cold beverage. However, since it is not as thick, it may dissolve and disappear in hot drinks.

While it is true that syrups are generally good for cold beverages, Starbucks syrups aren’t just any coffee syrups. These high-quality syrups won’t disappear in your drink as easily, as they’re full of flavors and intoxicating aromas. 

If you thought that Starbucks offered a bunch of options when it comes to coffee sauces, you probably haven’t even seen the whole syrup menu

The most popular Starbucks syrups flavors include caramel, apple brown sugar, cinnamon dolce, Irish cream, peppermint, toffee nut, raspberry, hazelnut, and of course, vanilla – both the classic and sugar-free options. 

Another fact about coffee syrups is that the majority of syrups are dairy-free. It may be considered a huge advantage over coffee sauces. This contributes to the overall versatility of these delicious coffee additions.

Since the syrups have a thinner consistency, they will not create a clumpy texture in your drink. It could happen if you try to blend some coffee sauce into your cold beverage. Syrups easily dissolve in liquids, as they’re liquids themselves.  

How to use Starbucks syrup

Just like coffee sauce, many Starbucks syrups have many culinary applications other than being added to coffee beverages. These delicious syrups can be added on top of pastries, cakes, cookies, and especially ice cream. 

Keep in mind that Starbucks syrups are quite strong. Make sure not to go overboard as they’re quite sugary. A single pump goes a long way, especially if you’re just getting used to adding them to your coffee.

Starbucks also offers vegan options of syrups, including macadamia, hazelnut, almond, gingerbread, caramel, toffee nut, peach, and mocha flavors. There are also many low-calorie varieties in case you’re tracking your intake.

What is the difference between Starbucks sauce and Starbucks syrup?

True, they may seem quite similar as they come in similar flavors. However, there is a significant difference between syrup and sauce at Starbucks. Keep on reading to discover the key differences and find what’s suitable for your favorite Starbucks order.

1. Texture

A very important difference between Starbucks syrups and sauces is in the texture.

Starbucks syrups are more on the liquid side, which makes them quite versatile. While they are generally more suitable in cold beverages, you can also add them to hot ones. They blend well with both hot and cold beverages since they’re much thinner than sauces.

Starbucks sauces, on the other hand, have a very thick, dense, rich texture which can often create clumps. Therefore, they’re not suitable for cold beverages, as they cannot properly dissolve in these drinks.

Not only are they prone to clumping, but they may end up stuck on the bottom of the glass, unable to dissolve.

Nevertheless, if you’re a fan of hot beverages from Starbucks, you’ll definitely appreciate the creamy, rich consistency of Starbucks sauces. It is also important to mention that both sauces and syrups can be added to pastries, cakes, and ice cream.

2. Versatility

When it comes to the category of versatility, coffee syrups take the win without a doubt. They’re more suitable for cold beverages, but can also be added to warm drinks.

While sauces work like a charm in hot drinks, they are quite thick and dense. Hence, they are not suitable for cold beverages as they will clump and not blend as seamlessly.

However, both sauces and syrups can be added on top of your favorite Starbucks pastries. Not only that: also on ice cream, cakes, and cookies, which makes both products quite versatile. 

3. Selection of Flavors

When it comes to Starbucks coffee syrups and sauces, there is certainly a wider range of syrup flavors. This could be due to the fact that syrups are far more versatile since they can be added to both hot and cold beverages.

However, we believe that sauce lovers will be able to find a delicious option for their hot beverages, whether you’re a fan of mocha whipped cream, caramel, or white chocolate. 

Overall, it is safe to say that Starbucks offers a great selection of beverages, pastries, as well as coffee sauces and syrups.

4. Dairy-Free Selection

Once again, Starbucks syrups prove to be more versatile than the sauces, since the majority of these sauces are dairy-based. This is exactly what makes them so creamy, thick, and rich, so if you can have dairy, you’ll definitely enjoy these.

On the other hand, if you’re lactose-intolerant, or you simply don’t consume dairy, you should go with Starbucks syrups. There are also low-calorie options if you’re trying to curb your liquid calories.

5. Vegan Options

Finally, Starbucks doesn’t offer vegan sauce options (which is understandable since they’re dairy-based). However, there are plenty of vegan syrup options to choose from.

Some of the vegan syrup flavors include almond, macadamia, mocha, peach, gingerbread, hazelnut, caramel, sugar-free caramel, as well as the good old simple syrup. 

Are Starbucks sauce and syrup the same?

No, Starbucks sauces and syrups are definitely not the same. They might have similar aromas, flavors, and uses, but other than that, they’re quite different. 

Starbucks sauces, on one hand, are thicker, denser, and richer in texture, so they’re used mostly in hot beverages, as well as with some pastries, cakes, and ice cream. They’re not suitable for cold drinks as they will clump and change the texture of the drink.

Starbucks syrups, on the other hand, are more watery which makes them easier to mix with both hot and cold beverages. They can also be added on top of your favorite pastries, ice cream, and cakes for added flavor and aroma.

These syrups also come in a variety of options and flavors, which are mostly vegan and dairy-free

All of these advantages certainly make Starbucks syrups the more versatile option, but we still suggest you try the sauces, as well, if you don’t mind the dairy component.

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Passionate chef, in love with everything related to food and cooking it to perfection!
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