Beyond the Bean: Sweetbird Syrups / Zuma Cocoa

Sweetbird Syrups. Vegan Coffee Syrups

Coffee, Hot Chocolate, Mocha, Granita, Cocktails, Lassi... courtesy of cafe-bar drinks specialist Beyond the Bean. The Bristol company specialises in everything a coffee shop could need... except for the coffee itself. They sent us some samples of their Sweetbird line of syrups and their Zuma hot chocolate powder (plus a range of teas we'll review separately). We took them along to the legendary veggie/vegan Alley Cafe Bar in Nottingham for our review:

We were joined by a couple of people from Vegan Nottingham and we roped in a selection of other punters to give us their opinions of the drinks. Thanks must go to our host for the night, the inventive Alister behind the bar (yes that's how you spell it) who seemed to have the perfect recipe for everything we presented him with. Here's a sample of the drinks we put together on the night, and our collective thoughts on them.

Chilli Hot Chocolate. This was so good we nearly drank it all before remembering to take a photo! Made up with the Zuma dark hot chocolate powder, steamed soya milk and a shot of Sweetbird Chilli syrup. Chilli and chocolate are now a familiar combo, but it works so much better in hot chocolate than in chocolate bars. The gentle warmth on your throat makes the hot chocolate magical.

Toffee Apple Cocktail. Alister's cocktail-mixing skills found a natural home for the Sweetbird Toffee Apple syrup. Blended with Vodka, Calvados and Apple juice, this was a sweet caramely version of a cocktail the Alley Cafe serve. We thought the toffee apple syrup was the hardest flavour to pair with hot drinks, but for granitas and cocktails it's a natural fit.

Mint Mocha. Another absolute winner and something we'd never have thought of. This one is based on an idea printed in the Beyond the Bean leaflets in our samples box. Espresso coffee, steamed soya milk, Zuma Dark Hot Chocolate, and a shot of the Sweetbird Mint syrup. We could have drunk this all evening if we didn't have lots of other things to review. The mint enlivens the rich taste of mocha even further.

Marshmallow Lassi. A cool, milky lassi with a shot of the Sweetbird Toasted Marshmallow syrup. The lassi was blended up with soya milk, soya yoghurt and crushed ice, plus the syrup. The syrup gave the lassi a sweet vanilla kind of flavour which was really great. The 'toasted' part of the flavour was only just evident as a little caramel overtone in the syrup. We'd have liked this even further if we'd had some vegan marshmallows on hand to toast on top!

Wrap up.

We tried lots of other drinks combinations on the night, but that should give you a flavour of what you can concoct with the Zuma hot chocolate and a selection of the Sweetbird syrups. You'll probably have to lean on your local veggie cafe-bar if you want to try these drinks yourself, as Beyond the Bean mainly supply to the wholesale market. You can buy the syrups on Amazon though, according to a quick google we did.

The Zuma range of hot chocolate powders (except the flakes), and the whole Sweetbird range of syrups are certified vegetarian and vegan. We've shown you just a small selection of the flavours available in the Sweetbird range, with toffee, banana, amaretto and loads of other flavours on offer too. Have a look at for the whole range.

We'll bring you our review of the Cosy range of organic teas once we've managed to get through them all!

Buy from
Sweetbird Mint Syrup + Pump 

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