Coffee beverages come in all types of different flavors. You can walk into your local coffee shop right now and get drinks flavored with anything from chocolate to pumpkin spice. In most cases these flavored coffee drinks gain their flavor from the extra ingredients that are added to the coffee, but did you know that you can get actual coffee beans that are flavored as well?
Flavored coffee beans may be shunned by coffee purists, but they can make some absolutely delicious cups of coffee for the rest of us. And if you’re a fan of eating coffee beans, then they can also make a tasty snack.
What Are Flavored Coffee Beans?
Flavored coffee beans are exactly what you think they are, they are coffee beans that have been infused with different flavors.
These coffee beans can be brewed to make flavored coffee or eaten as a snack without brewing. Flavors of these beans can be almost anything that the producer desires. There are blueberry coffee beans, butter pecan, caramel, coconut and more. Whatever your tastes are, you can probably find a coffee bean that has a similar flavor.
In fact, there are some coffee beans that are finished in whiskey and rum barrels to give them that subtle alcohol taste as well.
Flavored coffee beans have been around for hundreds of years but started gaining a lot of popularity during the 1990’s when new oils were developed in a variety of different flavors.
There are a couple different ways of making flavored coffee, one you can do at home and one that is done before the coffee beans are bagged and shipped to the customers or the stores. Unfortunately, true flavored coffee beans use chemical flavoring which may not appeal to some people, but if you’re not a fan of the way coffee tastes, this may be the easiest way to jump in.
How Are Flavored Coffee Beans Made?
The easiest way to get flavored coffee at home is to mix in spices with your ground coffee in your coffee maker. Essentially just fill your coffee maker with your ground coffee and add in the desired spices. This will cause the spices and the coffee grounds to brew together, which will give you a unique, flavored, coffee once it’s finished.
Of course, this isn’t really a substitute for flavored coffee beans, but it can be useful in bringing old stale coffee back from the dead or adding flavor to coffee you may not have enjoyed the first time around.
To create real flavored coffee beans the flavoring process must be done shortly after roasting, while the beans are still warm.
Flavored syrups are added to the warm roasted coffee beans and then mixed thoroughly to coat all of the beans evenly. Once the coffee beans have absorbed all of the flavoring, they are ready for packaging.
Coffee beans are very porous and act like a sponge to soak up all the syrup and the aroma of the syrups. This gives the coffee beans the desired flavor and smell that the producer is going for. These flavors and smells will now stay with the beans until they are ground, brewed, and ready to be served.
Why Coffee Makers Don’t Like Flavored Coffee Beans
As we mentioned above, coffee purists are very against the use of chemical flavoring agents used to “enhance” the taste and smell of coffee beans. They believe that the natural taste of coffee is the way it was meant to be enjoyed, and if you’re really looking for a variety of flavors, then the roast of the beans as well as the soil and climate the beans are grown in, will provide a much more natural flavor variety.
One of the other reasons that coffee producers don’t like flavored coffee beans is that the process of making them is messy. The chemical syrups used to make flavored coffee gets into their machinery and can affect all parts of the processing afterwards. If a producer plans to roast and produce normal coffee beans, without flavoring, they would either have to have a separate processing area for flavored beans or thoroughly clean their equipment after each batch of flavored coffee.
In most cases this is not feasible for smaller roasters, so they opt to just create the best tasting, natural beans, possible.
Flavored coffee beans may not be for everyone, but there’s no doubt that they have an audience. Coffee has exploded in popularity over the years with the introduction of flavored coffee drinks so it’s only natural for people to want to try flavored beans as well.We prefer our coffee all natural when roasting and producing, but we understand those people that want to spice up their beverages a little bit.