Humor me while I talk about sugar and water please.

my favorite cold brew coffee with homemade vanilla bean, blackberry, almond and cinnamon-brown sugar syrups I howsweeteats.com

Late last night I was all prepared to tell you about chicken today. It was the plan. But then I was all… it’s Monday. Coffee Monday. Who cares how simple? We must discuss.

These syrups. We gotta talk about them.

I made homemade vanilla bean syrup. Traditional and easily loved by me. Cinnamon brown sugar syrup – because earlier this winter I was losing my mind over the dunkin donut’s flavor. Homemade almond syrup, because anything amaretto flavored makes me nutty. Pun intended. And my real – but shocking – favorite: fresh blackberry syrup. GAH. I love it so much.

I don’t care much for raspberry flavored things, but the idea of blackberry? I was all over that. It is SO good. And you can obviously use these syrups for other things, I mean this is embarrassing because they are literally just flavored simple syrups.

But, like, why haven’t I been doing this for a year?

my favorite cold brew coffee with homemade vanilla bean, blackberry, almond and cinnamon-brown sugar syrups I howsweeteats.com

Ever since making this fresh mint syrup for iced coffee, I’ve been read-my-lips-OBSESSED with making homemade coffee syrups. And even though I lost my taste for coffee a few weeks after sharing it, I was still so in love with the whole coffee experience that I wanted to KEEP drinking it. Kind of like how I forced myself to drink it in the first place.

The problem was that I’d go get some and no matter how small the size was, I’d only take a few sips and have to be done. Just couldn’t do it. I did go a few weeks completely without a drop of coffee, but then the taste came back to me and I’ve thoroughly been enjoying it – iced only.

Sometimes I’ll still head out and get coffee – though I’ve never been able to finish one, so it’s much better if I just make it at home. And EASIER! And cheaper. Says my raging basic Starbucks addiction.

my favorite cold brew coffee with homemade vanilla bean, blackberry, almond and cinnamon-brown sugar syrups I howsweeteats.com

Back in April I also shared a cold brew concentrate method with that but over the months have been loving this one below so much more. It’s kind of a major pain to grind the beans but I tell you: the flavor is so much better. I’ve done regular and decaf beans. I’ve experimented over and over with using filtered versus unfiltered water and surprisingly prefer the filtered. I didn’t think it would make a difference, but it does. TOTALLY. Is it less acidic? Are my taste buds just in overdrive? Either way, I’m finding it WORTH IT.

Big deal for this person.

my favorite cold brew coffee with homemade vanilla bean, blackberry, almond and cinnamon-brown sugar syrups I howsweeteats.com

Also, I find it easiest to just use a bowl or a pitcher. I have a Toddy, but it’s rather obtrusive and, well, the real issue is that my husband LOATHES coffee and the scent so much that if it’s in his view or if he gets one whiff, he throws a major tantrum. I think that’s weird because even though I’ve spent most of my life hating coffee, the scent always brought me back to my childhood and gives me warm and cozy nostalgic feelings.

my favorite cold brew coffee with homemade vanilla bean, blackberry, almond and cinnamon-brown sugar syrups I howsweeteats.com

My not-so-secret love for the blackberry syrup comes partially from the color. It kind of tints your coffee (if you’re using cream) to a purpleish-fuschia color and I think it’s gorgeous.

Leave it to me to like a drink for the color. I mean, it tastes great too but just look. It’s PINK. Or red. Whatever.

my favorite cold brew coffee with homemade vanilla bean, blackberry, almond and cinnamon-brown sugar syrups I howsweeteats.com

So I’m just in love with this idea of homemade syrups and multiple syrups, and having them on hand so you can have little coffee parties with pals. The syrup mixes into iced coffee beautifully – but after a while some will settle on the bottom just as it would with iced coffee you order out. My simple solution is adorable mixers. It works in hot coffee perfectly and I can’t get enough. And it can work in other things too – like even making some almond hot chocolate and all that jazz. But let’s not talk about that in summer.

Now please go make this for a million friends. (invite me.)

my favorite cold brew coffee with homemade vanilla bean, blackberry, almond and cinnamon-brown sugar syrups I howsweeteats.com

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Four Homemade Coffee Syrups and My Favorite Cold Brew

Yield: serves 2 to 4, depending on your caffeine addiction

Total Time: overnight for coffee, a few minutes for the syrups

Ingredients:

my favorite coldbrew coffee
1 cup whole coffee beans
5 cups filtered water (this made a HUGE difference in how I liked iced coffee at home!)
regular ice or coffee ice cubes

vanilla bean syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

blackberry syrup
2 cups fresh blackberries
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup sugar

cinnamon brown sugar syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup water

almond syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon pure almond extract

Directions:

my favorite coldbrew coffee
First things first: coarsely grind the coffee beans! Yeah, this is annoying. For a year I'd try to make coldbrew coffee with already ground beans, and grinding them definitely is better. I used my grinder thing for my vitamix. Just make sure they are COARSELY ground, this way you won't have granules floating in your drink (which is one of the worse things ever in life, in my opinion). Once the beans a freshly ground, add them to a large bowl or pitcher/container/jar. Add the water and stir to mix. Let this mixture sit overnight in the fridge. I have heard both ways: at room temperature and overnight. I prefer it from the fridge. (Also as a note, sometimes I made this in my french press too. I just don't have a huge one.)

The next morning, strain the coffee through a few layers of cheesecloth or a coffee filter. It's key to reduce the granules. Now you have your coffee! Fill a glass with ice, add your desired amount of coffee and cream/milk - then go to town with the syrups. Note: the syrups should be stored in a sealed container in the fridge. They should last a week or two!

vanilla bean syrup
Combine the sugar, water, scraped vanilla beans, whole bean and extract in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk constantly until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is bubbling. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Let cool completely before storing in a jar. I usually don't remove the vanilla pod and just leave it in for flavor. You can remove it if you wish!

blackberry syrup
Add the blackberries to a blender with the water. Puree until completely smooth and blended, then strain over a fine mesh sieve into a bowl - so all you have is blackberry juice. Combine the juice and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk constantly until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is bubbling. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Let cool completely before storing in a jar. This syrup can get extra sweet due to the flavor of your berries, so feel free to play along with water and sugar ratios.

cinnamon brown sugar syrup
Combine the sugar, cinnamon and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk constantly until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is bubbling. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Let cool completely before storing in a jar.

almond syrup
Combine the sugar, water and extract in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk constantly until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is bubbling. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Let cool completely before storing in a jar.

my favorite cold brew coffee with homemade vanilla bean, blackberry, almond and cinnamon-brown sugar syrups I howsweeteats.com

Okay. I’m done being boring with coffee now. Swear.

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126 Responses to “Four Homemade Coffee Syrups and My Favorite Cold Brew.”

  1. #
    51
    Abigail — July 14, 2014 @ 6:43 pm

    Gah!!! I LOVE blackberry syrup in coffee! I usually get the strangest looks when I order it, which is ridiculous because they’re the ones offering it! One time, though, a barista in the know told me that I should try Ethiopian coffees because they tend toward berry and fruity notes! And they do! So if I’m somewhere with fancy pour over and other such silliness I go for it, otherwise I’m all syrup!

    Reply

  2. #
    52
    Kristen — July 14, 2014 @ 6:56 pm

    I love making cold brewed coffee! I prefer it so much more over Starbucks. These syrups sound fab! I have to try (after Whole 30). My husband CANNOT stand coffee, but he loves the smell. The last time we were at Costco he had a moment with their coffee grinder. Ha!

    Reply

    • Jessica — July 14th, 2014 @ 8:30 pm

      can you do ANY sugar on whole 30? i’ve been using organic cane sugar to make these syrups and well… makes me feel SLIGHTLY better. ha.

      Reply

      • Susan — July 15th, 2014 @ 12:16 pm

        Sugar is not allowed on the Whole30. I did the Whole30 and felt so much healthier.
        Sugar is evil for our bodies but why does it taste so good!??

  3. #
    53
    Jenni — July 14, 2014 @ 6:58 pm

    This post is literally (and I mean literally LITERALLY) torture for me because I have adrenal fatigue and a thyroid problem, and am medically not allowed to drink coffee right now. Those swirls!! Gah. Perfection. Cinnamon brown sugar syrup sounds so perfect for coffee I can’t even take it. I would tell you to go die right now for being so cruel to me, but you’re pregnant and all. Also, I would have never thought about turning coffee into a fruity thing, but blackberry syrup sounds freakin incredible. Your genius never ceases to amaze me.

    Reply

  4. #
    54
    Amy — July 14, 2014 @ 7:05 pm

    Made some homemade blackberry syrup today funny I now find a recipe
    Use in green tea with a little lemonade just like Starbucks ! Yummo!

    Reply

    • Jessica — July 14th, 2014 @ 8:30 pm

      omg yes! brilliant!

      Reply

  5. #
    55
    Lily — July 14, 2014 @ 8:28 pm

    Wow. I am trying this as soon as I have the opportunity to. Blackberry iced coffee? I am so there. Sounds delicious. Absolutely why-have-I-never-tried-this amazing. I love iced coffee as it is but this just sounds fantastic. I’m so happy I found this blog post :D

    Reply

  6. #
    56
    Carolyn — July 14, 2014 @ 8:39 pm

    Making the cold coffee seems too easy….really just grind and soak in filtered water overnight? Am I missing something?! thanks!

    Reply

  7. #
    57
    Julianne — July 14, 2014 @ 8:43 pm

    oh man, i love coffee. oh man, this looks so freaking delicious!!

    xo Julianne
    http://reallifesurreallife.blogspot.com

    Reply

  8. #
    58
    Laura — July 14, 2014 @ 9:34 pm

    I dont know why but i’ve never ever thought to make my own coffee syrup, let alone have coffee at home…
    I personally like strong black coffee with a tad of milk and a touch of flavouring… I should try perfecting my own coffee at home!

    Reply

  9. #
    59
    Liz @ Tip Top Shape — July 14, 2014 @ 10:31 pm

    Ooohh that cinnamon brown sugar one sounds good!!!

    Reply

  10. #
    60
    Dawn Marie — July 15, 2014 @ 12:13 am

    I tried looking in the comments for an answer in case this question has been asked, but not all the comments are showing, so sorry if someone asked it already.

    How long do the syrups keep, say if I make a larger batch? cause you know, this would be awesome gifts.

    Reply

  11. #
    61
    Sarah @ SnixyKitchen — July 15, 2014 @ 1:02 am

    i’m dying over the marble swirl of that cold brew. Gorgeous, Jessica!

    Reply

  12. #
    62
    nueyork — July 15, 2014 @ 1:08 am

    Every post on cold brewing has made the whole process seem complicated and annoying but you’ve really simplified it for me! Thank you so much for sharing.

    nueyork.blogspot.com

    Reply

  13. #
    63
    Lisa — July 15, 2014 @ 5:34 am
  14. #
    64
    Nicole @ Liberty Belles — July 15, 2014 @ 10:02 am

    your cold brew explanation was the easiest to understand that I’ve found, but I still may leave it to the (coffee shop) pros :)

    Reply

  15. #
    65
    Annie @ Annie's Noms — July 15, 2014 @ 11:24 am

    I am all over that blackberry syrup! How have I not tried fruity coffee before?!?! Cinnamon, chocolate, caramel, have them all the time, but blackberry? NEED to make this ASAP! :)

    Reply

  16. #
    66
    Susan — July 15, 2014 @ 12:19 pm

    Jessica,
    Are you going to avoid coffee while you are pregnant? I couldn’t stand the smell of coffee or the mention of hotdogs when I was pregnant. Both sent me to the bathroom with morning sickness!

    Reply

  17. #
    67
    PinkPanthress — July 15, 2014 @ 1:19 pm

    Ooh, these are awesome! I especially like the blackberry & almond recipes.
    I am not a coffee drinker, but I guess I could use the Syrups for something else!?

    Reply

  18. #
    68
    Car — July 15, 2014 @ 3:18 pm

    Cool! My hubby would love this. But he likes Truvia. Can I make it with that??

    Reply

    • Jessica — July 15th, 2014 @ 9:03 pm

      i’ve never used truvia in large amounts, so i’m not sure how it would work. i’m sure it will dissolve in the water but you may need to play around with some ratios since occasionally stevia can have that bitter flavor!

      Reply

  19. #
    69
    Erin — July 15, 2014 @ 3:43 pm

    I literally just ran out of vanilla syrup and was about to buy some at Roast & Toast in Petoskey this morning when I saw your post. Then, I made the cinnamon-brown sugar syrup and it reminded me of delish coffee drinks from my waitressing days. And then I wanted one…and then I remembered I was pregnant so that’ll have to go on the “in 3 months list”. Congrats on your pregnancy, too!

    Reply

  20. #
    70
    Quaintrele Georgiana — July 15, 2014 @ 3:47 pm

    This article is very helpful, thank you a milion times :3

    Reply

  21. #
    71
    Amy @ Dusty's Sister — July 15, 2014 @ 3:50 pm

    Game changer.

    Reply

  22. #
    72
    Beth @ bethcakes — July 15, 2014 @ 4:16 pm

    I am totally going to try this. Maybe all of them. They just sound so good! :)

    Reply

  23. #
    73
    Lauren Everson — July 15, 2014 @ 7:59 pm

    That cinnamon brown sugar syrup is calling my name!
    I freeze fresh brewed coffee in ice cube trays to use for my iced coffees – that way it doesn’t get watered down!

    Reply

  24. #
    74
    Thalia @ butter and brioche — July 15, 2014 @ 8:41 pm

    yum.. yes please! that almond syrup is one i definitely will be making. what an awesome idea. thanks for the inspiration!

    Reply

  25. #
    75
    Robin — July 16, 2014 @ 4:31 pm

    I think my life might have just been radically changed…for the better.

    Reply

  26. #
    76
    Mike — July 16, 2014 @ 7:18 pm

    Put ground coffe put whole raw egg in smash it and blend with grinds add water boil then strain to serve , lovely.

    Reply

  27. #
    77
    Leah — July 16, 2014 @ 7:34 pm

    These syrups look amazing! Can you figure out a chocolate and/or peanut butter syrup??

    Reply

  28. #
    78
    Nathalie C. @ Devoted Foodie — July 16, 2014 @ 10:46 pm

    Everything looks so good…I don’t even know where i would begin. Yum.

    Reply

  29. #
    79
    Michelle — July 17, 2014 @ 7:17 pm

    OMG!! I’m gonna have to try the blueberry syrup with my ice coffee! All of this sounds deelish! Thanks for the recipes

    Reply

  30. #
    80
    Samanta — July 18, 2014 @ 8:07 am

    I know it is cliche but the Blue Bottle New Orleans coffee is hard to beat, I wish we had it in London. Any amazing cold brew suggestions here? I always get it when I am in the US. Sam

    Reply

  31. #
    81
    LittleYellowButterflies — July 19, 2014 @ 7:05 pm

    I really really love the idea of iced coffee but the only kind of coffee I actually like is plain black – does iced coffee taste any good on its own or would I need to put stuff in it?

    The syrups look amazing btw!

    Reply

  32. #
    82
    Tracy | Pale Yellow — July 20, 2014 @ 9:51 am

    These look fantastic! I never know what I do because I love flavored syrups but hate the funky chemicals. I can’t wait to whip myself up a few batches!

    Reply

  33. #
    83
    Laura@Baking in Pyjamas — July 20, 2014 @ 4:30 pm

    Thank you for these syrups, I’ve been treated to a coffee machine and rather buy some syrup to go with it I’m so going to make these. I don’t care if it’s too hot for coffee. Got any other flavour recipes??

    Reply

  34. #
    84
    Aurora Ventura — July 31, 2014 @ 9:29 am

    Hey Jessica! is it possible to replace the vanilla bean with vanilla bean paste? It’s so hard for me to find the actual bean anywhere.

    Reply

  35. #
    85
    theresa — August 1, 2014 @ 9:20 am

    i lost my taste for coffee early in pregnancy too!!! thankfully it did eventually return…now i’m just waiting for these babes to be born, any day now! :) hope you’re feeling well!

    Reply

  36. #
    86
    kirien — September 7, 2014 @ 10:21 am

    This is amazing, thanks so much for sharing!

    Reply

  37. #
    87
    Alleson — September 14, 2014 @ 1:42 pm

    I’m sorry if you already answered this, but how long do your syrups usually last? Just curious. Thanks!

    Reply

  38. #
    88
    Morgan — September 14, 2014 @ 6:23 pm

    What is your favorite type of coffee bean to use for this?!

    Reply

  39. #
    89
    Kate — September 25, 2014 @ 1:59 pm

    If I haven’t left a comment already – YAY! Cinnamon brown sugar? Guess what’s on the stove right now? YES. Thanks for the great idea… and probably a month’s worth of great coffee! :)

    Reply

  40. #
    90
    فوائد الزنجبيل — September 26, 2014 @ 10:09 am

    I am all over that blackberry syrup! How have I not tried fruity coffee before?!?! Cinnamon, chocolate, caramel, have them all the time, but blackberry? NEED to make this ASAP! :)

    Reply

  41. #
    91
    Abby — October 14, 2014 @ 9:10 pm

    So easy!!! I’ve always been a little scared to make syrup but this wasn’t scary at all! I’m totally making these syrups on the reg.

    Reply

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