Starbucks Sauce vs Syrup: The Ultimate Guide

Starbucks Sauce vs Syrup

Well, we’ve got the answer: Their coffee syrups and sauces improve their coffees, making them less bitter and easier to enjoy.

But, is there any significant difference between these two Starbucks condiments?

In this article, we will explore the key difference between – Starbucks sauce vs syrup – and their uses in various Starbucks drinks.

Starbucks sauce vs syrup: a selection of Starbucks syrups on a countertop

For starters, their contents differ, and their uses vary. The thicker sauces have fewer dairy-free and vegan options compared to their liquid syrups which feature greater choice and versatility. 


What Is Starbucks Sauce?

When sipping a hot beverage from Starbucks, you’re probably not thinking about what’s going on behind the scenes.

But, if you did, it’d be pretty cool to know that there are a few secret ingredients mixed in with your drink.

One of these is the rich coffee sauces. These viscous sauces add massive body, aroma, and flavor to a drink.

They pair well with hot beverages because the heat ensures they dissolve easier despite the thick, creamy consistency.

Starbucks caramel sauce and mocha sauce bottles among a selection of Starbucks syrup bottles

Famous coffee sauces include:

  • Caramel Drizzle Sauce
  • Mocha Sauce
  • Pistachio Sauce
  • Toasted White Chocolate Mocha Sauce
  • White Chocolate Mocha Sauce
  • Coffee Sauce

Sauces aren’t just for drinks, though—they have another use: Starbucks mixes them with waffles, pastries, baked goods (cookies and cakes), ice cream, and other menu items in-store.


What Is the Secret Behind Starbucks Sauces?

Ever wondered why Starbucks drinks consistently taste so good? Well, it’s all in the all-natural ingredients they use in the sauces.

An important difference between Starbucks and other companies’ sauces is that they contain true-to-advertising natural ingredients. 

Because of this, sauces such as chocolate and white mocha sauce elevate drinks like the Rich Hot Chocolate, Caffe Mocha, Caramel Macchiato, Mocha Flavored Lattes, and Cappuccinos, giving them a smooth flavor.

Starbucks sauce vs syrup: a selection of sauces and syrups near a red espresso machine on a kitchen counter

What Is Starbucks Syrup?

Do you know what goes into making a good cup of coffee spectacular?

Well, a pump or two of Starbucks syrup!

You may be thinking, “What? I love coffee as it is—I don’t need to mix in syrup from Starbucks!”

 Starbucks Syrup

But, we’re here to tell you (if you’re not a purist) that these liquid syrups sure do elevate a cup of Starbucks coffee.

Starbucks has a long history of offering a wide range of flavors, from the traditional and festive to the unusual.

The most popular syrups from this iconic coffee brand include:

  • Caramel Syrup
  • Brown Sugar Syrup
  • Cinnamon Dolce Syrup
  • Coffee Syrup
  • Gingerbread Spice
  • Hazelnut Syrup Blend
  • Peppermint
  • Raspberry 
  • Salted Caramel Mocha
  • Toffee Nut
  • Vanilla

These are just some examples! There are so many options available for you to try!

Starbucks syrups also have a higher fluidity than its sauces due to their watery consistency. This means they won’t stick to the inside of the cup if poured over ice cream or another frozen treat!

You only need a small serving, dispensed from pumps, to customize your Starbucks drink, although larger drinks require more pumps of syrup compared to cold beverages.

Cold drinks typically have more syrup than hot beverages because the ice dulls the flavors.

As a rule, the larger drinks’ sizes contain proportionally more syrup than the smaller Doppios and Macchiatos.


The Differences between Starbucks Sauce vs Syrup

What are the fundamental differences between Starbucks sauce vs syrup?

Well, the biggest difference is that they’re both sweet, but that’s where it pretty much ends.

The Differences between Starbucks Sauce vs Syrup

Here are some key differences:

  • Syrups mostly sweeten a beverage. In contrast, the sauces improve a beverage’s taste by giving it sweetness as well as an extra flavor boost.
  • Baristas use Starbucks syrups in both cold and hot drinks. In contrast, they use sauces only in hot beverages. This is because the sauces dissolve easily in hot drinks. (A barista would only pour a sauce at the bottom of a cold drink glass/to-go iced drink cups for aesthetic reasons).
  • Starbucks sauces have more flavor than syrups due to the higher solids content.
  • The sauces contain powdered milk (dairy), giving them a thicker consistency.
  • Starbucks syrup has approximately 20 calories per serving; the sauce is more calorie-dense, containing 30 calories per serving.
  • Starbucks sauces contain only natural ingredients, while syrups often contain artificial flavors and coloring.
  • Starbucks Classic syrup is vegan, although it may at times contain honey. In contrast, most of its sauces contain dairy with very few vegan options.
  • Sauces, unlike its syrups, are proprietary; you can’t purchase them in stores, online, or in grocery stores.
  • Starbucks has a broader range of syrups.

You can request sauces and syrups in most Starbucks drinks, including espresso, mochas, hot chocolates, and cappuccinos. In addition, Starbucks offers these flavor add-ons in regular coffee, instant coffee, cappuccino foam, and Starbucks cold beverages, including peach tea, cold coffee, milk, iced lattes, and frappuccinos.

That said, if you compare the ingredients of a Pumpkin Spice Latte to the foundation ingredients of say, the seasonal Caramel Brulée sauce or Pumpkin Spice Sauce, you’ll spot some significant differences, which could cause confusion.

These products have more in common with thick-pouring dipping sauces and food condiments.

If you’re a purist or abhor strong flavor, you can always try flavoring your Starbucks coffee with other options.

These include coffee sauces, coffee syrups, and dairy-free milk (coconut, soy, oat, or almond milk for vegan or lactose-intolerant customers).


Discontinued Starbucks Coffee Sauces and Syrups for Hot Drinks and Cold Drinks

Agave Syrup

This product simply didn’t take off with consumers.

However, the coffee chain still offers agave syrup or honey packets with all coffee shop Blueberry Oatmeal orders.

Original Raspberry Syrup

Bugs, yes, bugs caused Starbucks to discontinue the original product!

This is because the artificial dye came from bugs.

The coffee chain reintroduced it later in a clear version.

Local barista preparing liquid syrup for a adding to a cold beverage such as iced coffee

Sugar-Free Mocha Syrup

This syrup is now no longer available at Starbucks. The coffee chain offered it as a sugar-free option to the original mocha syrup but it didn’t excite Starbucks coffee drinkers.

Sugar-Free Cinnamon Dolce Syrup

Just like the sugar-free mocha syrup, the low uptake of this syrup among customers caused Starbucks to discontinue it.


Starbucks Sauce vs Syrup: FAQs

How many pumps of Starbucks syrup are in a Grande?

4. Starbucks baristas usually put 4 pumps in this size brew.

How many pumps of Starbucks syrup are in a Venti?

Starbucks typically puts 5 pumps of syrup in a Venti Latte (6 if it’s an Iced Venti Latte or Frappuccino as these coffee drinks are 4 ounces larger). But, don’t feel limited by that—you can ask your barista for an extra pump or two if you want added flavor or taste in your drink.

What flavor syrups does Starbucks have?

The good news is that Starbucks has tons of syrup flavors, including seasonal, dairy-free, and vegan options. Some of these include Vanilla, Caramel, Peppermint, Hazelnut Blend, and Macadamia. Seasonal flavors include Cinnamon Dolce, Toffee Nut, White Chocolate Mocha, Toasted White Chocolate, and Pineapple Ginger. Some special/new flavors include Apple Brown Sugar and Hazelnut Raspberry Irish Cream. Blend 

Is there a difference between Starbucks caramel and Starbucks dark caramel sauce?

Starbucks dark caramel sauce has a richer and sweeter taste than regular sweet caramel sauce and syrup. It’s also thick, making it ideal for use as a cappuccino drizzle topping or for lining the sides and edges of frappuccinos or other cold drinks or beverages.

What does no classic mean at Starbucks?

“Classic Syrup” is the name of Starbucks’ simple syrup. Starbucks uses this flavorless sweetener for its vegan or iced drinks like the Frappuccino. When a customer says “no classic” on their order, they do not want the barista to mix this syrup in their cold drink.

How many calories are there in one pump of Starbucks caramel syrup?

One pump of this syrup contains 20 calories.

Can you buy Starbucks syrups and Starbucks sauces to use in your own home?

You can buy the Vanilla, Hazelnut, and Caramel Starbucks syrups at your local grocery store, Amazon, or Starbucks coffee shops/website.

However, you can’t purchase premium or seasonal syrup flavors, such as Fall Pumpkin Spice, Cinnamon Dolce, and Toffee Nut.

 Starbucks sauce vs syrup: A selection of Starbucks syrups next to a baby blue Italian-style Moka pot on a table ready for home use

You cannot purchase the sauce blends via the Starbucks website; only external companies sell Starbucks sauces.


Starbucks Sauce vs Syrup: Final Thoughts

Now that you know all there is to know about these fantastic flavor add-ons for Starbucks hot and cold beverages, get creative and add them to your favorite drinks for a richer flavor. 

If you’re stumped for flavors or ideas to customize your morning brew or create a unique coffee experience, check out this article where we share some unique secret menu ideas.

Starbucks offers a wide variety of syrups and sauces, so why not experiment with them? We suggest that you use them in pastries and cakes, squeeze them into espressos and lattes to recreate store favorites, or even in smoothies! 

After all, Starbucks’ versatility and creativity are what makes this coffee chain so great!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top