Ask the Expert: Andrea Ramirez on flavored coffee (and more!)

July 5, 2014 | By | Comments (3)

We asked Andrea Ramirez, customer marketing manager at Torani, for her expert advice on how to use flavoring syrups at home.

Andrea Ramirez, Torani

Andrea Ramirez, Torani

My husband and I sip (decaf!) coffee on our patio every night, but it’s so warm in summertime. What can we do to tweak our evening routine for the hot weather? –Jody Scoutten, Grand Junction, CO

Iced decaf coffee is a delicious and refreshing change of pace during the warm summer months.  With a little planning ahead, you can have fantastic coffee for the week with minimal preparation.  Brew up a batch of coffee using the cold-brew method, with a Toddy® Cold Brew Maker.  It steeps your coffee overnight and creates a smooth low-acid coffee that’s perfect for sipping.  If you don’t have a special brewer, try making ice cubes out of your leftover coffee in the morning.  Brew up a couple of batches of decaf when you get home and let it come to room temperature, then chill your brewed coffee with those – that way you don’t have any dilution from regular ice.

I’m obsessed with flavored coffee in the morning, but I’m the only coffee drinker in my house and usually get tired of a flavor before it runs out. What else can I make with my syrup? –Alex Kealey, Reno, NV

Flavoring syrups are incredibly versatile and you might be surprised by all you can do with them.  You can simply drizzle them over your oatmeal or greek yogurt or use them to enhance your fruit salad.  If you’re more adventurous, here are some other ways to use Torani:

  • Swirl 2 Tbsp. of your favorite flavor into 2 cups of vanilla ice cream along with ¼ cup of milk and mix well with an immersion blender.  Pour into two tall glasses, and you’ll be sipping fantastic milkshakes in no time.
  • Beat together 2 Tbsp. of flavored syrup along with ½ pint of whipping cream to create a delicious flavored whipping cream.  Enjoy that along with fresh berries or other fruit.
  • Try adding a couple of tablespoons of flavoring syrup to your favorite waffle recipe for an extra boost of flavor.
  • Spritz flavor over stovetop popped popcorn at the end of the popping cycle and stir it for a minute over low heat for flavored kettle corn.

I was recently diagnosed as diabetic and I’m having a hard time finding a flavored coffee syrup that’s safe and that I like (everything tastes fake!). What do you recommend? –Erica Ramsey, Bend, OR

If you’re making the switch to sugar-free flavors from full-sugar ones, start by making a batch of home-made creamer in a dairy or non-dairy base that contains a bit of fat, i.e. low-fat milk, 2% milk, unsweetened coconut milk, unsweetened almond milk or the like.  Start with 2 Tbsp. sugar-free syrup in 1 cup of your base.  The small amount of extra fat can help ease the transition for your taste buds to sugar free.  Use 1-2 Tbsp. of your homemade creamer per cup of coffee.  Try experimenting with sugar-free flavors by sampling new flavors at your favorite coffee shop to see which ones you like or by picking up a smaller bottle of a new flavor before committing to a large one.

Andrea Ramirez is a seasoned flavor expert at Torani, a San Francisco-based food company best known for their flavored syrups. When she’s not hard at work developing beverage menus for large-scale, national restaurant chains, she’s at home in San Mateo, California, tending to her newly redesigned edible garden and hanging out with her cats.

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