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Coffee decoded: Coffee syrup and coffee milk

Over the next few weeks, Kit McDonnell is going to tell you everything you need to know about coffee. In part 1 of Coffee Decoded, Kit tells us everything we need to know about coffee syrup. 

I am shamelessly sold on anything that contains the word “coffee” in its title. So upon spotting samples of “coffee milk” at Whole Foods – and probably enjoying myself too much – I logically had to try some. I’m at a loss of how to quite describe it. Think hand-tapped Vermont maple syrup + a cold shot of café au lait (heavy on the lait). Ironically, however, it’s the official state drink of Rhode Island, not Vermont. But regardless of where its state loyalties lie, this drink is absolutely delicious and so easy to make! Simply mix 1 cup of milk with 2 tablespoons of coffee syrup and enjoy!

What is coffee syrup, you may ask? It’s a wonderfully sweet reduction of sugar,

water, and coffee that serves as a complementary topping for literally anything. Since discovering coffee syrup, I have been dreaming up even more combinations…

  1. Drizzled over buttermilk pancakes or waffles for breakfast
  2. Simmered with steel-cut oats, walnuts, a dash of vanilla extract, and a pinch of cardamom
  3. Foamed with milk for your morning latte
  4. … in which you can then dip gingerbread biscotti or cinnamon-nutmeg scones
  5. Added to brownie mix for a subtle hint of coffee
  6. Poured over affogato for dessert

I’ll spare you from what would be an infinite list!




1  cup ground coffee

¾ cup sugar

3  cups water

2  tbsp vanilla extract (optional)

1  tbsp Kahlua (optional)

Bring the sugar, water, vanilla, and Kahlua to a boil for about 5 minutes. Pour over coffee grounds for 10 minutes then strain or use a French press. Enjoy with whatever you’d like!

(adapted from and

Tell us your combination ideas!

Kit McDonnell

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