Home Recipe IndexBeverages Brown Sugar Latte (Korean Burnt Sugar Syrup Latte)

Brown Sugar Latte (Korean Burnt Sugar Syrup Latte)

by Emily
Brown Sugar Latte

Every once in a while, our usual morning cups of coffee just can’t seem to hit the spot. We want something different and unique–something that tastes delicious and also looks pretty. Basically, we all want a little magic we can carry around with us in a cup. In the end, isn’t that why beautiful drinks constantly trend on social media? Just think back to dalgona coffee, nitro brew, and pumpkin spice lattes if you want some examples. Our iced brown sugar latte idea comes from South Korea and, much like dalgona coffee, is a stylish drink that tastes as yummy as it looks. 

If you are like me, you may be trying to become a barista for your own home cafe. After all, it can save you a lot of money! Many of these coffee beverages on Instagram may seem daunting to make. While some do take time to learn, our iced brown sugar latte isn’t hard to make at all! All you need to make this drink is espresso, milk, and homemade burnt brown sugar syrup. 

A photo of a glass of burnt brown sugar latte. The milk is spreading out through the glass of dark brown espresso and brown sugar syrup.
A Delicious Glass of Burnt Brown Sugar Latte!

Components of a Brown Sugar Latte: 


Typically, to make a latte, you need brewed espresso. You can make espresso using a Moka Pot, an espresso machine (such as Breville or Gaggia), or a capsule espresso machine (Nespresso). 

If you do not have an espresso maker, you can substitute espresso with strongly brewed dark coffee. Though our brown sugar latte won’t taste as strong, rich, or decadent, it will still taste extremely yummy!  


For an iced latte, there is no need to steam or froth your milk. If you do, the hot milk will melt your ice once you add it into your glass. I know we all enjoy the foam on the top of a hot latte, but no one wants a watery iced drink! So, if you have just started making specialty drinks at home or don’t feel like taking a little extra time, skip making a mug full of hot cafe latte and go with an ice-cold version instead! You won’t regret it.

Further, whether it’s because of a dietary choice or restriction, I know many of you do not drink regular milk from a cow. If you continue reading, we listed some options we enjoy to replace milk in our burnt brown sugar latte!

Burnt Brown Sugar Syrup

A photo of a glass with burnt brown sugar syrup coating the sides.
First, Pour the Brown Sugar Syrup Into Your Glass. Then, Rotate the Glass Around to Coat the Sides of the Glass.

You may ask, what is burnt brown sugar syrup? First, let me preface by saying the syrup isn’t actually burnt. In fact, you need to carefully watch the syrup so you do not burn it. Instead of burning the sugar, you are caramelizing it. This caramelizing process produces a complex syrup that is rich and deep in flavor. You can add burnt syrup to coffee, cocktails, baked goods, and so on! 

You can make burnt sugar syrup from all different types of sugar (whether it be light brown, dark brown, white, and so on). For this recipe, you need dark brown sugar! 

The syrup takes very little effort to make. First, you need to measure out equal parts sugar and water. For this recipe, you need to measure based on weight, not volume. 

Combine the two in a small saucepan. Then, allow the mixture to come to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat enough to keep the mixture simmering. Allow the mixture to simmer for 15-20 minutes until it seizes and thickens. DO NOT STIR while cooking the mixture. Like caramel, you can ruin it by mixing. When making the burnt syrup, you should look for the mixture to turn slightly darker as it caramelizes and seizes. 

The brown sugar syrup makes your iced latte extremely pretty in the glass. Instead of just adding it to the bottom, slowly pour along the side of the glass so that the syrup drips down. This effect will show once you add the white milk. 

Mix Everything Together

Once we make all the ingredients, we can add everything together. Start by adding the burnt brown sugar syrup to the glass. Once again, you want to let it drip along the sides of the glass and down to the bottom. 

Then, add the next component: ice. Fill your glass with ice to keep everything nice and cold as you drink. I typically fill the glass 1/2 full!

Next, add the shot of espresso to the bottom of the glass. Finally, add the milk on top. Stir everything together with a straw or spoon. For straws, we recommend using a metal or glass straw instead of disposable plastic. Over time, it will save you money because you don’t need to constantly buy more. Not only will it save you money, but it is also better for the environment!

At this point, let’s look at some milk alternatives now that we have all the components listed.

A photo of the brown sugar latte being mixed with a metal straw.
Mix Together All the Ingredients Before Drinking!

Milk Alternatives

For those of you who do not drink regular milk, you can easily use milk substitutes. We recommend using more neutral-flavored substitutes such as almond or oat milk when making our brown sugar latte.

Below, we listed some considerations to think about when picking out your milk alternative:

Almond Milk:

First, remember that nut milks do have a slight ‘nutty’ flavor. Do not be surprised if it alters the taste of your coffee slightly. 

Secondly, when picking out your almond milk, know that some brands mix into coffee better than others. This tends to be more of an issue with hot coffee drinks–some almond milk brands curdle easily when combined with heat. Luckily, some brands like Silk do not have issues combining with hot or cold drinks! So, we recommend getting Silk when making your coffee. 

Finally, make sure to get plain almond milk without any added sweetness or flavors. 

Oat Milk 

Oat milk tends to be a favorite among coffee shops as an alternative to regular cow’s milk. It has a rich creaminess much like regular cow’s milk. If you are making hot drinks, we recommend spending a little extra money for the barista oat milk variations. These are creamier and work best for steaming and frothing. For iced coffee drinks, you can choose to use the less creamy oat milks!

For reference, try using Earth’s Own Barista Edition for a good and rich oat milk! 

Two glasses of homemade iced latte next to a bowl of espresso beans.
Two Glasses of Homemade Iced Latte

Which Milk Alternative Do You Use?

Do you use a specific milk alternative and brand when making coffee at home? If so, we would love to hear your preferences! Drop us a comment below! 

Do You Like Our Brown Sugar Latte? 

If you like our brown sugar latte, let us know in the comments below! If you have any questions about this recipe, you can also email us at [email protected]. We love hearing from you and will answer any questions or comments right away!

If you want further variations of this drink, we recommend topping your glass of iced brown sugar latte with a dusting of cinnamon, a drizzle of caramel, or a sprinkle of dulce de leche. 

In the end, if you would like to try further drinks available on our website, you can check out: 

Finally, we would love to hear from you through our social media as well! You can follow us at @carvingajourney on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. Or, if you would like more articles like these, you can subscribe to our blog by joining our mailing list. We hope you enjoy our ice-cold burnt brown sugar latte. Thank you so much for stopping by! 

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Brown Sugar Latte (Korean Burnt Sugar Latte)

Recipe by Emily
5.0 from 3 votes
Course: Recipes, Beverage, DrinksCuisine: Korean, CafeDifficulty: Easy


(16 Oz Glass) Iced Latte
Prep time


Cooking time




  • Burnt Brown Sugar Syrup (Makes 2 Servings)
  • 100 Grams Dark Brown Sugar

  • 100 Grams Water

  • Latte
  • 2 TBSP Burnt Brown Sugar Syrup (1 Oz)

  • 1/2 Glass of Ice

  • 1 or 2 Shots Espresso (1 or 2 Oz depending on personal preference)

  • 6 Oz Milk


  • Burnt Brown Sugar Syrup
  • Combine together 100 grams of dark brown sugar and 100 grams of water in a small sauce pan. Stir to combine the two evenly together and to remove any sugar clumps.
  • Turn your stove on high. Without stirring, let your mixture come to a boil. Then, turn your stove down to low and let the mixture continue to simmer for 20 minutes. Do not mix your mixture!
  • Once your timer goes off, remove your burnt brown sugar syrup from the heat. Let it cool.
  • Burnt Brown Sugar Latte
  • Make one or two shots of espresso per your preference of latte strength. Set your espresso aside to cool.
  • Add 1 oz (2 TBSP) of your brown sugar syrup into the bottom of a 16 oz glass. Then, slowly rotate your glass allowing the syrup to coat the sides.
  • Add a little less than half a glass of ice to the bottom of your glass. Then, top with your cooled espresso.
  • Finally, add your milk or milk substitute on top of the espresso, ice, and brown sugar syrup. Serve!
  • Before drinking, make sure to stir everything together with a straw or spoon.

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katie March 7, 2021 - 9:57 am

i made this last night and it was delicious, but after being in the fridge overnight, it’s too hard to drip. is there a way to salvage this batch (a hot latte maybe?) and how can i prevent this next time and keep it syrupy? thanks!

Emily March 7, 2021 - 10:41 am

Hi! Thank you for the question! If you microwave the mixture 15 seconds at a time and stir in between each 10 seconds, the mixture will come back together! Make sure not to bring it to a full boil though! Microwave just enough for the sugar to dissolve again. Unfortunately, because of the sugar content, it will crystalize no matter what in the refrigerator overnight. I hope this helps!!!


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