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Maple Syrup in Coffee: Worth Trying?

Maple Syrup

Maple syrup is one of the tastiest sweeteners you can use in coffee but flies under the radar and isn’t very common compared to other ingredients. Artificially flavored syrups are the most common sweeteners in modern coffee shops and chains, but sugar and artificial sweeteners are popular too. Some natural sweeteners are gaining in popularity, but maple syrup usually isn’t part of the conversation.

In this article, we’ll tell you a little bit about why we like maple coffee and why it’s worth trying out. If you have a sweet tooth and like sweet coffee, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t give maple coffee a try.

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The Basics

Maple is a common flavoring for artificially flavored coffees, but recipes that use actual maple syrup in coffee are surprisingly rare. Many fall-themed specialty coffee beans have maple flavors, and people associate maple with cozy autumn mornings and winter nights by the fire. If you like the sound of that but don’t typically like artificially flavored coffee, the good news is you can get a similar effect using plain old maple syrup.

If you decide to try maple syrup in coffee, we recommend sticking with 100% real maple syrup. Imitation syrups labeled as being “maple-flavored” or “pancake syrup” don’t work well for two main reasons. The first is that they don’t usually use authentic maple and therefore are packed with artificial sweeteners and chemicals. We like to steer clear of these whenever we can, and maple syrup is one of the easiest places to avoid them.

maple syrup in coffee
Image credit: Unsplash

The second reason is viscosity. Real maple syrup is very thin, allowing it to mix well with coffee and not form clumps and blobs. Artificial syrups are goopy, thick, and don’t dissolve easily in coffee.

Real maple syrup is more expensive than artificial alternatives, but not by much. If you have a very tight budget, you can consider trying an artificial syrup, but we recommend buying the smallest real maple syrup you can find if you need to save money. It doesn’t take much syrup to make maple coffee, so even a small bottle will last you for quite a while.


Simple Maple Syrup in Coffee Recipe

Let’s start with a very straightforward recipe. If you’re new to maple coffee, this is a great first recipe to take for a test drive.

Ingredients
  • 1 cup of your favorite coffee
  • 1-2 teaspoons of 100% real maple syrup
  • Milk (to taste)
Equipment
  • Coffee maker
  • Large coffee mug
  • Microwave
  • Spoon

1. Brew a cup of coffee.

Brew your favorite coffee however you normally would. If you have a choice, we like medium and dark roasts (like Lifeboost’s tasty low-acid dark roast) for maple coffee.

2. Heat maple syrup.

In the bottom of your mug, add 1-2 teaspoons of maple syrup. Heat the maple syrup for 10-15 seconds in the microwave. It doesn’t take long to heat such a small amount of maple syrup, and you just want to take the chill away, so your coffee isn’t cold.

3. Mix coffee, maple syrup, and milk.

Pour the coffee over the maple syrup. Stir until the maple syrup is well-mixed. Add milk to taste.

If you usually take sugar in your coffee, give this recipe a try without it first. Maple syrup is practically all sugar, so it might be sweet enough without any additional sugar.

Syrup and coffee
Image Credit: I am R., Flickr

Advanced Recipe

If you’ve been around the maple coffee block a few times and like the flavor, this recipe is an extension of the simple version. We love making spiced maple coffee and think the flavors chosen here compliment each other well. We’re calling this the “advanced recipe,” but it’s not any harder to make than the simple recipe; it just has a more complex flavor profile.

Ingredients
  • 1 cup of your favorite coffee
  • 1-2 teaspoons 100% real maple syrup
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Milk (optional)
Equipment
  • Coffee maker
  • Large coffee mug
  • Microwave
  • Spoon

1. Brew coffee.

Just like for the simple recipe, brew your favorite coffee as you usually would.

2. Heat maple syrup and spices.

In the bottom of your mug, add 1-2 teaspoons of maple syrup and a pinch each of ground nutmeg and ground cinnamon. Heat the maple syrup and spices for 10-15 seconds in the microwave.

3. Add coffee and enjoy!

Pour the coffee over the maple syrup and spices. Stir until it is well-mixed.

Optionally, you can add milk to taste. Be careful adding milk to this one because many people don’t like how milk tastes in spiced coffee. We recommend trying it first without milk.

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Conclusion

Maple coffee is one of those things that makes perfect sense when you think about it, but somehow not many people stumble upon this ideal combination. It’s easy to make, tastes great, and is an upgrade over artificially flavored fall coffees that become popular each autumn. We like having control over our ingredients and the freedom to add or subtract flavors to craft the perfect cup for us.

We hope you enjoyed this short maple coffee guide and that you’ve been inspired to try it yourself. When you make your own maple coffee, try to use 100% maple syrup if you can. It mixes better than artificial syrups and is free of additives and chemicals.

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Featured Image: Pixabay, Pexels

Sean Brennan

Sean’s obsession with coffee started when he received his first French press as a gift almost ten years ago. Since then, his love of coffee – and the number of coffee gadgets he owns – has grown considerably. A scientist by training, there is no stone he has left unturned in the never-ending quest for the perfect cup of coffee. He has spent many hours tuning his pour-over technique, thinking about how to best compare grind quality, and worrying about whether the Nicaraguan or Kenyan beans will make the best cold brew.These days he favors the Hario V60, and starts each day by hand grinding his coffee before enjoying a cup prepared with care and attention to detail.

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