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Vanilla Syrup vs Vanilla Extract: What Coffee Drinkers Should Know

One of my favorite coffee drinks is a piping hot vanilla latte, but do you make that at home with vanilla syrup or vanilla extract?

Which is better for adding to your coffee?

Or is there really any difference between these two vanilla flavoring agents?

Keep reading and we’ll breakdown what you need to know – and which one you should use in your coffee.

What’s The Difference?

Since both vanilla extract and vanilla syrup have that vanilla flavor, you may be curious what the differences are.

Here’s the basic way these two liquids differ.

Vanilla syrup has a sweet flavor, while vanilla extract has a more bitter flavor. This is because vanilla extract is made by soaking vanilla beans in ethyl alcohol, while vanilla syrup is made by combining sugar, water, and vanilla extract.

You can even make your own vanilla extract with vanilla beans and vodka at home!

And then take your homemade vanilla extract and make your own vanilla simple syrup for coffees.

Vanilla Extract vs Vanilla Essence (Flavor)

Something else you may come across in your grocery store is vanilla essence, which is another type of vanilla flavoring.

Vanilla essence is a cheaper alternative to vanilla extract.

We do not recommend vanilla essence because, while it is free of alcohol, it contains potentially toxic ingredients like colorings and petrochemicals.

In terms of taste, you won’t notice much difference between vanilla essence and vanilla extract.

However, vanilla essence is weaker than vanilla extract, which means you need to use more of it to get the same overall flavor.

Can You Put Vanilla Extract In Coffee?

Yes, you can use vanilla extract in coffee to give it a vanilla flavor.

You won’t really notice the bitterness, unless you add too much to your cup.

The best way to add vanilla extract to your coffee is to do it one drop at a time unless you reach the flavor that you desire.

Because adding too much will result in a bitter flavor.

Personally, I don’t use vanilla extract in my coffee but it is a good alternative to vanilla syrup if you are trying to avoid sugar.

How To Use Vanilla Syrup In Coffee

I definitely prefer using vanilla syrup in my coffee because it gives it a slight sweetness with that yummy vanilla flavor and aroma.

I often find that a half-pump is enough to add the sweetness without giving me too much sugar, but I recommend that you start with the half-pump and see how you feel about the flavor.

Keep in mind that a half-pump of vanilla syrup is approximately a half-tablespoon, or 0.25 ounces of syrups.

For one tablespoon of vanilla syrup, you’re looking at consuming 40 calories and 10 grams of sugar.

So, with a half-tablespoon, you get 20 calories and 5 grams of sugar.

We recommend: Monin Vanilla Syrup

How To Make Homemade Vanilla Syrup

If you want to try making your own vanilla syrup at home, it is very easy to do.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar (or an alternative like honey or golden syrup)

1. Melt the sugar

In a sauce pan, put in your sugar and water and cook it over medium heat until all the sugar dissolves.

You can use as much sugar as you need for the amount of syrup that you want to make, if you don’t want to follow our recommendations above.

2. Remove from heat once melted

After the sugar is completely dissolved, you are left with just liquid in the pan.

Once that happens, remove the pan from the heat.

3. Add vanilla extract

Once you have removed the pan from the heat, add your vanilla extract to the liquid and stir.

4. Pour into airtight container

Once your syrup is ready, you just need to pour it into an air tight container for storage.

For best results, store it in your refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Final Word

As you can see, there is a distinct difference between vanilla extract and vanilla syrup.

As a lover of vanilla lattes and vanilla coffees, I recommend that you stick with vanilla syrup for flavoring your coffee drinks.

And to save some money, use our recipe above to make your own vanilla syrup at home.

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