As the pumpkin spice season rolls upon us, you can walk into any convenience store and smell the sweet stench of the flavored coffees as they brew. Most will embrace this “pleasant aroma”, but it is more than enough to make a coffee roaster cringe as I scream in my head “Flavored Coffee Why would you?!?!” I just don’t understand given the length of time, amount of work, and care it takes to grow coffee, why someone would foul all that delicious flavor that Mother Nature has given us with sugary syrups?
Lets just begin with the brewers and the leftover syrupy residue they are left with after a brew. Not just the flavor, but the chemicals they use to produce those flavors. if you run a brew of Papua New Guinea after someone has brewed a flavored coffee, you will more than likely taste nothing but the flavored coffee remnants and the beautiful flavors of the P.N.G. coffee will have been wasted. Here is an overview of some of the chemicals used in an article from Spoon University. I strongly suggest you take a look if nothing else than for the notable fact that the people processing them are wearing Hazmat suits as one of the components is the same contained in anti-freeze that you put in your car. Flavored Coffee Why would you?
Don’t get the wrong impression that this article is to point out the chemical side effects so much ( as EVERYTHING has chemicals ) but more as to point out the mere disruption of flavor & taste the bean’s origin produces. Being Coffee Farmers, of one of the World’s most flavorful and intriguing coffees, we are advocates for drinking coffee black as mother nature intended it. If you are drinking something that needs a lot of flavor or sweetener, than what is the quality of the coffee you are drinking?
Take a look at the the 1000 flavor components already in a roasted coffee Bean to the left.
And to the right is a quick destruction of all that natural flavor and aroma.
Everyone of course has their own taste and it’s hard to even convince a sugar and cream drinker to try coffee black. Some only drink for the pick me up and others for the syrupy additives their local shop offers. But given all the natural flavors coffee brings on its own is something i suggest you try. Have you ever bitten into a roasted coffee bean? It is a wonderful experience! Us roasters do it on a daily basis as a starting point to see what the beans roast profile is at any given point. Of course the brew method and ratios will alter the final out come, but this is the best place to start from. If you buy whole bean coffee, I suggest you give it a try.
Lastly, from a roasters standpoint, lets not forget the smell. You need a separate grinder to grind flavored coffee as the odors foul the grinder for any non flavored coffee. If we did offer flavored coffee, it would need its own room and ventilation as the syrups are that overpowering and will linger and “adhere” to any other roasted or green coffee product. I was visited by a flavoring manufacturer, and given samples in a sealed box containing sealed samples. After being in the shop overnight, it had fouled a 4000 square foot room which is fortunately separated from any coffee storage. A few hours of ventilation and the samples in the trash, flavored coffee why would you?
No way I’d ever put that on our coffee.