Flavored coffee is enormously popular. However, natural flavors for coffee are far and few between.
Most of the time, the flavored coffee beans you buy are impregnated with artificial flavors from high-tech chemistry labs.
How else do you think they get a coffee bean to have the flavor of blueberry cheesecake?
Here’s how it works...
When you buy flavored coffee beans, the flavoring has been added after the roasting process.
So how to they get the artificial flavor to impregnate the coffee bean? They use a chemical called propylene glycol.
The propylene glycol acts as a medium to help the artificial flavoring make its way into the bean.
Propylene glycol is a supposedly safe food additive, but it does stay in the bean and also adds a rather unpleasant, chemical sweetness to the taste.
So when you buy those exotic, flavored coffee beans, you end up drinking the coffee, the propylene glycol and the lab-created artificial flavoring.
Are there any natural flavors for coffee?
There are very few. One good example is roast chicory. Chicory has been added to coffee for many years, both as an inexpensive filler, and as a welcome additional flavor.
You can also add cocoa or finely cut vanilla pods while you’re brewing. Some people also like to add cinnamon and even cloves to their coffee. For example, here is a simple recipe for homemade iced spiced coffee, with cinnamon and cloves.
NOTE: I recently found a company that does sell flavored coffee without the use of propylene glycol. Check out Flavorbean Coffee.
If you want natural flavors for your coffee, here’s what to do...
Simply buy regular coffee beans, make your coffee and add a flavored syrup to your cup.
There are plenty of natural flavors for coffee available, mostly in the form of syrups.
An additional advantage here is that you can buy just one bag of regular beans, but have as many different flavored syrups as you like.
So you’ll never be stuck with a full pound of a particular flavored bean to finish.
Just use the natural-flavor syrups to add whatever flavor you feel like, to each cup of coffee.
Or, if you don't like syrups, try making your own coffee creamers. There's a link to a recipe for making French Vanilla coffee creamer below.
More on naturally flavored coffee...