Although there are many coffee purists out there, millions of coffee lovers around the world still prefer their coffee with some kind of flavoring. Whether it's a simple French Vanilla flavor or “double chocolate fudge mint with raspberry filling”, it's not hard to see the appeal of flavored coffees. But you might wondering, “How is flavored coffee made?” and “what is the process of flavoring coffee like?”
Obviously, coffee beans don't pop out flavored and there's no rare specie of coffee plant that naturally produces ginger bread-flavored coffee beans.
How is Flavored Coffee Made?
The process is fairly straight forward.
Flavor is almost always added to the coffee beans after roasting. If you added flavor before the roasting process, the heat would cause the flavoring syrup to dissipate before being fully absorbed into the bean.
Once roasting is complete, you'll want to add the flavor while the coffee beans are still warm and not hot. Introducing flavor to coffee beans that are piping hot will cause you to lose valuable flavor. At the same time, if the beans are cold then the syrup will have a hard time penetrating the hardened skin of coffee bean. This results in having to use twice as much flavoring to compensate.
As I mentioned at the beginning, flavor is “almost always” added to roasted coffee beans. In some rare circumstances, the flavor is introduced before roasting.
Barrel aged coffee is a prime example of this. Some pioneering coffee roasters have added Whiskey, Bourbon, Rum and even wine flavors to their coffee. And they don't do this by using syrup. Instead, they take green (unroasted) coffee beans and store them in a freshly-emptied cask or vessel which at one point contained a desired alcoholic drink.
The unroasted coffee beans are left to sit in these barrels for months at a time. This ensures that the coffee beans have had enough time to absorb all that flavorful goodness that will ultimately be expressed in a fine cup of brew. Coffee beans are porous in nature and so they naturally soak up aromas and flavors that permeate the surrounding area.
If you're interested in trying such coffee, we'd recommend going with Cooper Cask Coffee. What we specifically like about them is that their flavor is strong and bold. You'll definitely be able to taste the Whiskey, Rum, or Bourbon and it's a real treat.
The question of “How is flavored coffee made” is something most coffee drinkers would rarely think about. But if you're the inquisitive type or are roasting coffee yourself, it's a common question. For those who are looking to flavor their own roasted beans, check out the following steps below.
How to flavor your coffee beans:
- Start off by choosing beans that you match your flavor profile.
- It's all about the ingredients. Make sure to use high quality syrup as it WILL make a big difference in the final outcome. Personally, I prefer syrup that delivers a natural flavor as opposed to something so concentrated that it tastes artificial.
- Add this to freshly roasted beans that are still warm and put them in a mixer.
- According to Roastarie, you should add 3% of the weight of beans in syrup. Some roasters go with a higher or lower percentage depending on the intensity of flavor they're aiming for.
- Spin everything together in the mixer for around 15 minutes.
- After this point, the beans will now be fully-infused with the flavor AND aroma of the syrup used. Again, coffee beans are very porous so they'll be quick to absorb whatever is around them.
And that wraps up our discussion on how flavored coffee is made. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. We'd love to hear from you.