Flavored coffee is the bread and butter of Coffee Beanery, truly one of the staple items we've become known for throughout the past 40-some years of business. We definitely get the most questions about flavored coffee so we're here to tell you all about flavored coffee, how we make it, and do a little myth-busting while we're at it.
What is Flavored Coffee?
Flavored coffee is made by infusing coffee beans with additional flavors to enhance the taste and aroma of the beverage. There are several methods used to create flavored coffee, and here are a few of the common ones:
1. Flavoring during roasting: One method involves adding flavoring agents to the coffee beans during the roasting process. This can be done by applying liquid flavorings or sprays onto the beans before they are roasted. As the beans roast, the flavors penetrate the surface and become absorbed, resulting in flavored coffee.
2. Flavoring after roasting: Another approach is to flavor the coffee beans after they have been roasted. This is typically achieved by using flavored oils or extracts. The roasted beans are mixed or coated with these oils, allowing the flavors to adhere to the surface. The coffee beans are then left to dry, enabling the flavors to be absorbed.
3. Natural flavoring: Some flavored coffees use natural ingredients to add flavor. For example, whole spices, such as cinnamon, vanilla beans, or cocoa nibs, may be added to the coffee beans during the roasting process. As the coffee beans roast, they absorb the natural flavors, resulting in a subtly flavored coffee.
4. Flavored syrups: Flavored syrups are also commonly used to add flavor to coffee. These syrups come in various flavors such as vanilla, caramel, hazelnut, or chocolate. They are added directly to brewed coffee as a sweetener and flavor enhancer, allowing the coffee drinker to customize their beverage according to their preferences.
What Flavoring Method Does Coffee Beanery Use?
Coffee Beanery uses the second method listed; flavoring quality beans fresh from the roaster. After we've roasted a fresh batch of specialty grade Arabica beans, we combine them with flavor oils in a mixer that sprays the flavoring on the coffee, resulting in perfectly flavored coffee beans like Amaretto, Hazelnut, Sea Salt Caramel, Michigan Cherry, Pumpkin Spice Muffin, and over 40 additional flavors.
For our single-serve pods, fresh coffee grounds are deposited in each cup and then the coffee flavor is added to each individual cup, ensuring that each cup has optimum flavor notes.
One common misconception about flavored coffee is that companies use flavoring to cover the negative or sour notes of low-quality beans. That may be true for others, however, we are committed to using grade 1 specialty coffee which is high-quality coffee.
Coffee Beanery excels at marrying top-quality coffee with high-quality flavor compounds to make a coffee that highlights both the amazing coffee and flavor equally for superior tasting notes.
Natural and Artificial Flavors
We get asked about the flavoring oils we use all the time and the answer is that we use a combination of natural and artificial oils.
Natural flavors are those that are derived directly from plants and animals or plant and animal products found in nature. If you walk into a field and pick a blueberry, the path that blueberry has taken is not totally known or controlled. Did you also know that some natural vanilla is sourced from parts of a beaver that are definitely not from a vanilla pod (google it if you dare)? This would be an example of natural flavorings.
Artificial flavors mean that the product was created in a lab under the strict guidance of food scientists to ensure the purity of the flavor.
Some people are natural flavor fans and that's totally ok; for us, we find a combination of the two gives us the desired flavor we're looking for.
Is There Sugar in Your Flavored Coffee?
A lot of people tend to think "sweet" when they think of flavored coffee. While it's true that 85% of flavored coffee drinkers like to add a splash of sweetened cream, our flavored beans are sugar-free. Our flavored coffee beans are also gluten-free, and lactose-free and carry a Kosher Pareve label. Additionally, our flavors are free of the top eight allergens.
Flavor carriers are a common ingredient in foods and flavoring oils as they help the flavor maintain its consistency, moisture, and texture. We're often asked if we use propylene glycol in our flavorings and the answer is yes, some of them use PG as the carrier. But let's talk about PG, an ingredient that is classified as GRAS (generally recognized as safe) by the FDA.
Propylene glycol is sometimes confused with ethylene glycol, a product used in antifreeze but they are NOT the same. Their similar names often get mistaken for the other again, PG carries a GRAS label and is safe for consumption.
A Taste for Everyone
Overall, flavored coffee provides a wide range of options to suit different tastes and preferences, allowing coffee enthusiasts to enjoy a variety of flavors in their daily cup of joe. From flavors that carry a cream note, like our Crème Brulee and Irish Cream, chocolate notes like Chocolate Fudge Brownie and German Chocolate Cake, fruit notes like Blueberry Cobbler and Banana Nut Bread, nutty notes like Toasted Almond and Caramel Pecan Pie and spice notes like Cinnamon Spice and French Toast, we have over 40 flavors to choose from; we're pretty sure you're going to find your favorite flavored cup!
We hope you've learned a few things about flavored coffee. If you have more questions or if you have specific dietary concerns, please feel free to reach out, we love hearing from you!