Starbucks Sauce vs Syrup: Unraveling the Delicious Differences

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Discover the delightful battle of flavors as we dive into the world of Starbucks sauce versus syrup.

In this intriguing comparison, we’ll explore the unique qualities of each delectable option, unlocking the secrets behind their distinct tastes, textures, and best-suited uses.

Whether you’re a seasoned coffee connoisseur or an adventurous flavor enthusiast, join us as we unravel the art of elevating your favorite Starbucks beverages to new heights with these exceptional sauce and syrup offerings.

Get ready to tantalize your taste buds and find your perfect flavor companion!

AspectStarbucks SauceStarbucks Syrup
TextureThicker and more viscousLighter and more liquid
FlavorRich and concentratedSweet and lighter in taste
Suitable for Hot DrinksIdeal for hot beveragesWorks well in both hot and cold drinks
IngredientsContains powdered milk (dairy)Mostly an emulsion of water and solids
Dietary RestrictionsLimited vegan optionsMany flavors are vegan and dairy-free
AvailabilityNot widely available at StarbucksMore readily available and can be made at home
VarietyLimited flavor rangeOffers a broader range of flavors
CaloriesMore calorie-denseLower calorie content

Decoding Starbucks Sauce: A Delectable Addition to Your Coffee Experience

Starbucks sauce is a luscious and dense sweetener, carefully crafted to impart rich flavor and depth to various coffee beverages and other drinks.

Unlike its counterpart, Starbucks syrup, which is more fluid and ideal for cold beverages like iced coffee, the sauce’s velvety texture finds its perfect match in hot drinks, blending seamlessly to enhance their taste profiles.

Beyond its taste-enhancing role, Starbucks sauces also serve as an aesthetic touch, as some coffee shops artfully coat glass mugs with these delectable concoctions.

While Starbucks offers seasonal sauce variants like Pumpkin Spice and Caramel Brulee, it’s essential to note that most sauces contain cow’s milk or honey, making them unsuitable for those following dairy-free or vegan diets—though the Mocha sauce provides a vegan-friendly option.

When you visit Starbucks, expect expert baristas to skillfully add sauce to your drinks through precise squeezing or pumping, while individual coffee sauce bottles are also available for a personalized experience.

Discovering Starbucks Syrup: A World of Flavorful Customization

Starbucks syrup, a delightful sweetener, takes center stage as it lends its flavorful touch to a wide array of Starbucks beverages.

Compared to the denser texture of Starbucks sauce, the syrup offers a lighter consistency while infusing drinks with sweetness and taste.

The tempting variety of syrup flavors at Starbucks includes hazelnut, caramel, mint-infused simple syrup, honey ginger simple syrup, brown sugar syrup, toasted vanilla syrup, sugar cookie syrup, and many more, presenting a plethora of choices to suit every preference.

Among them, classic syrup stands out as Starbucks’ liquid sugar, employed to sweeten shaken iced coffees and teas, featuring natural flavors, citric acid, and potassium sorbate.

Though not utilized in hot brewed coffees like Pike Place and Blonde Roast, iced coffees often receive two pumps of classic syrup, with the option to request unsweetened alternatives.

Beyond coffee, Starbucks syrups elevate various beverages, including iced tea, Refreshers, lemonades, and iced coffees, leading to a staggering 80,000 potential drink combinations for the ultimate customized experience.

Unveiling the Differences: Starbucks Sauce vs Syrup


Syrups sweeten beverages, while sauces enhance taste with added sweetness and a flavorful boost.

Starbucks sauces boast richer flavors due to their higher solids content.


Starbucks sauces exhibit a thicker, creamier consistency, thanks to the inclusion of powdered milk.

Syrups maintain a thinner, more watery texture, ideal for both hot and cold drinks, though they excel in cold beverages.


Starbucks syrups consist of an emulsion of water, some solids, and dissolved coffee extract.

Starbucks sauces contain powdered milk, providing them with a thicker consistency and natural ingredients.

While most syrups are vegan and dairy-free, some flavors, like pumpkin spice or pistachio, are not.


Starbucks syrups are more accessible and can be made at home to recreate Starbucks-style drinks.

On the other hand, Starbucks sauces are harder to purchase directly from Starbucks, often requiring specific retailers.


Starbucks syrups offer a broader range of flavors, including hazelnut, vanilla, and caramel syrup.

Starbucks sauces are limited to Mocha Sauce, Dark Caramel Sauce, and White Chocolate Mocha Sauce, with other options varying by location.


Baristas use Starbucks syrups in both cold and hot drinks, whereas sauces are exclusive to hot beverages due to their easy dissolvability.

Syrups mix well with both hot and cold beverages, particularly excelling in iced coffee and frappuccinos, while sauces are drizzled on top or used as a finishing touch.


Starbucks syrup contains approximately 20 calories per serving, while the sauce is more calorie-dense, ranging from 30 to 40 calories per pump.

Certain Starbucks sauces, like caramel brulée, toasted white chocolate mocha, and white mocha, contain 40 or more calories per pump.

Syrups with 20 calories per pump include brown sugar, caramel, cinnamon dolce, hazelnut, raspberry, peppermint, toffee nut, and vanilla syrup.

Unique Starbucks Drink Combinations with Sauces and Syrups

Indulge in a world of delightful flavor fusions with Starbucks sauces and syrups, creating unique and enticing drink combinations that cater to every craving.

Elevate your coffee experience with these irresistible concoctions:

Cinnamon Roll Latte

Add cinnamon dolce syrup to a latte for a sweet and spicy flavor reminiscent of a freshly baked cinnamon roll.

Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew

Mix vanilla syrup with heavy cream and cold brew coffee for a creamy and sweet beverage perfect for warm days.

White Chocolate Mocha

Blend white chocolate mocha sauce with espresso and steamed milk for a luxurious, creamy drink with a hint of indulgence.

Caramel Apple Spice

Combine caramel syrup with apple juice and steamed milk for a comforting and cozy beverage, evoking the essence of fall.

Peppermint Mocha

Mix peppermint syrup with espresso and steamed milk for a refreshing and minty treat, perfect for the holiday season.

Dark Caramel Latte

Infuse dark caramel sauce into a latte with espresso and steamed milk for a rich and indulgent delight.

Toffee Nut Latte

Blend toffee nut syrup with espresso and steamed milk for a nutty and sweet creation that’s both comforting and delightful.

Mocha Frappuccino

Indulge in a chocolatey and creamy delight by mixing mocha sauce with milk and ice for a frosty frappuccino.

White Chocolate Raspberry Latte

Combine white chocolate mocha sauce and raspberry syrup with espresso and steamed milk for a fruity and sweet masterpiece.

Caramel Brulée Latte

Experience the sweet and caramelized goodness by mixing caramel brulée sauce with espresso and steamed milk.

These examples merely scratch the surface of the endless possibilities that Starbucks sauces and syrups offer.

Starbucks Sauce vs Syrup: Which Is Better?

The preference between sauce and syrup ultimately depends on personal taste and the specific drink or dish being prepared.

Both sauce and syrup have their unique characteristics and uses, making them suitable for different purposes.

Syrups are generally lighter and more liquid, ideal for sweetening and flavoring a wide range of beverages, such as coffee, tea, and iced drinks.

They blend seamlessly into both hot and cold beverages, allowing for easy customization and a consistent flavor profile.

On the other hand, sauces offer a thicker and more viscous consistency, enhancing the taste of beverages with a richer flavor profile and added body.

They work exceptionally well in hot drinks, as they dissolve easily, imparting a more indulgent and creamy experience.

For those who enjoy sweetening their beverages without altering the flavor significantly, syrups may be the preferred choice.

Alternatively, if a more pronounced and flavorful taste is desired, sauces might be the better option.


How many pumps of sauce are in a grande?

Typically there are 4 pumps of syrup or sauce in a standard grande latte or espresso drink.

What sauce does Starbucks use?

Starbucks uses a house brand of syrup made by Fontana with its logo printed on every bottle. 

The syrups Starbucks uses are all Starbucks-branded, but they are made by Fontana.

What flavor is Starbucks classic syrup?

Starbucks Classic Syrup is a simple syrup that has no flavor. 

It is a liquid cane sugar with no flavoring of any kind at all. 

According to the Starbucks website, hot brewed coffee, such as Pike Place and Blonde Roast, doesn’t contain classic syrup or sugar water. 

The classic syrup is used to sweeten shaken iced coffees and teas. It contains natural flavors, citric acid, and potassium sorbate as a preservative

If you order an iced coffee, it often comes with two pumps of classic syrup.

If you order an iced tea, it comes with three pumps.

If you prefer unsweetened beverages, you can specify that in your order.

Does Starbucks syrup have sugar?

Yes, Starbucks syrups contain sugar.

The amount of sugar varies depending on the type of syrup.

For example, one pump of brown sugar, caramel, cinnamon dolce, hazelnut, raspberry, peppermint, toffee nut, or vanilla syrup in a hot drink has 5 grams of total carbohydrates and 3 grams of sugar

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Jacob Harris

Jacob is a coffee enthusiast who turned his passion into a career. As the owner and editor of Karma Coffee Cafe, he shares his extensive knowledge and recommendations, captivating fellow coffee lovers.

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