We sat down with Global Brand Ambassador for Britvic, Boris Chlebec, to hear what he has to say about the ever-evolving marriage between syrup and coffee.
What trends do you see in the industry with respect to syrups and flavouring in coffee?
Consumers are seeking a variety of new and interesting flavours — caramel, hazelnut and vanilla just don’t cut it anymore. But consumers aren’t just looking for a wider range of flavours, they’re looking to make their coffee more sophisticated and are moving from flavoured coffees to speciality coffees that are carefully crafted by mixing different flavours and ingredients together to achieve a nice complexity. Coffee infused cocktails are also growing… all mixed coffee drinks offer plenty of scope for flavouring, the same is true for iced coffees. But it doesn’t end there. Seasonality continues to be a big trend in coffee outlets and that extends to lemonades and other non-coffee drinks. This provides syrup with a great opportunity to shine and show its versatility.
How can the integration of syrups into cafe menus help businesses’ bottom line?
Syrup is and always has been a high margin item. By adding a shot of syrup, you can increase your margin significantly. Our rich and expanding range of Teisseire flavours is opening up endless creative possibilities and versatility for your drinks menu, helping to enhance your customers’ experience, and enabling you to grow sales. On the other hand, Teisseire provides great service for customers helping them train and develop their staff, plan menus and seasonal beverages.
The speciality coffee scene has been reluctant to integrate syrups into its cafes. What would you say to this?
I understand the position of baristas and coffee enthusiasts who are reluctant to add syrup to their coffee as they think it will conceal the great taste of their coffee. But with Teisseire that fear is unfounded. The high quality of Teisseire syrups means that it enhances rather than detracts from the finished drink.
Our team of flavour masters who develop the flavours are committed to making sure that our syrups taste great with coffee. We have a different approach when it comes to flavouring coffee with Teisseire. We’re not trying to cover the taste of the coffee but complement and enhance it. Ultimately, it’s always about having a great base for flavouring. As much as Teisseire can improve a cup of coffee, the coffee needs to be good to start with. So, while the industry might be reluctant to use syrup in its precious coffee, I am reluctant to mix my beloved Teissseire syrups with bad coffee!
What are the latest innovations in syrups and flavouring?
On top of all the flavours that syrup producers have in their portfolios, lots of new flavours are still emerging. They are split into two current trends:
- Experimental/intriguing flavours – they are rich and complex, such as food flavours, culinary ingredients or alcohol flavours.
- Flavours delivering a sensorial experience – they play on more senses than just taste and can deliver, for example, the warming sensation of spices or cooling effect of herb or green flavours.
Of course, tapping into the second trend ourselves, we just released new Teisseire Cucumber syrup – a refreshing green, sensorial flavour.
Syrups and flavourings have a strong and critical place in the cocktail mixology scene. Do you see parallels between this world and the coffee industry?
The role of baristas has expanded now and they are more like mixologists working with the art of flavour, so their creations absolutely include many interesting ingredients that add flavour – like syrup. Continuing the trend of personalisation and visible preparation in outlets, baristas are carefully watched and seen as experts in brewing and mixing coffee. Just like bartenders, they need to come up with new methods and drinks using unusual ingredients, and provide a touch of theatre to their outlets.