Most coffee fanatics will say that the best way to flavor your coffee is to leave it be. The rich, dark toastiness in each cup is enough for many to come back for seconds. But many people want something more. Whether it’s a subtle flavor addition to compliment coffee’s natural taste, or a blast of sugar and syrup, there are a number of ways that you can change up your coffee’s flavor to match your preferences.
There are a couple of ways to flavor coffee. You can flavor the beans before you brew you drink, or you can add flavor after to the final cup. Each one will have a different impact on your drink, so make sure to consider what you want out of your morning beverage.
There are 2 ways you can flavor your beans. Either use pre-flavored beans from companies like Starbucks, or add spices to your coffee grinds. These effects are very subtle, enhancing the flavor of your coffee without overwhelming it. You can add ingredients like cinnamon, baking spices, or cocoa powder to your coffee. Or you can purchase more robustly flavored coffees like hazelnut or french vanilla.
Syrups are added to the coffee after you brew, and are usually presweetened. You can get unsweetened ones, too, but the majority will be very sugary. When you get a vanilla latte at your local coffee shop, the barista is using vanilla-flavored syrup. Syrups come in a huge range of flavors, from vanilla to orange to hazelnut. Big-name brands like Monin specialize in syrup that easily dissolves into your coffee, making them a great way to add flavor to your morning cup of java.
How Flavored Beans Are Made
Flavored coffee beans first exploded in popularity in the 1990s with the gourmet coffee craze. Now you can get them in all sorts of flavors from a number of different sellers. While many coffee drinkers are only concerned with the taste, some want to make sure that the beans are made naturally. Fortunately, there are options for all coffee drinkers.
Coffee beans can be naturally flavored through the roasting process. By roasting the beans with other ingredients like vanilla bean or hazelnuts, and then grinding them together, the aromatics of the alternate ingredient mixes into the coffee. The result is a subtle, satisfying new blend of coffee and other flavors that smells great and tastes even better. This is the way to go if you’re uncomfortable with chemical flavorings.
Most coffee beans are flavored using a chemical mixture. In the modern culinary world, chemical flavoring lets roasters recreate any flavor you can imagine. By soaking the roasted beans in a chemical flavor for a few minutes, the beans absorb the flavor. Most of the flavored coffee beans you get are made this way. Fortunately, these chemicals are perfectly safe, so there’s nothing to worry about when enjoying these rich, aromatic grinds.
What Are The Different Starbucks Flavors
When you get a drink at starbucks, the beans are standard, unflavored coffee beans. All of the flavor comes from adding in syrups and sauces. However, you can still buy flavored Starbucks coffee beans, in addition to their syrups, letting you recreate your favorite sweet treats at home.
Starbucks is known for their nutty medium roasts and their bright light roasts. But you can also get their beans flavored with other ingredients. These are available as either coffee beans or as K-cups, giving any coffee drinker access to these delicious flavors.
Chocolate and coffee is a match made in heaven. The bold, bitter undertones of the coffee work perfectly with the semi-sweet flavor of a rich dark chocolate. This flavor is available as either whole beans or as K-cup, and is one of the most popular flavors that Starbucks offers. It pairs perfectly with a splash of half and half, or a couple of marshmallows to cut the bitterness of the coffee. But even the most puritan coffee drinkers will love the chocolatey compliment to the classic coffee taste.
Also available as both coffee beans and K-cup, caramel is an excellent complement to coffee. While not as bitter as dark chocolate, caramel has a comforting toasty flavor to evenly balance the nuttier overtones of coffee. The smell gives you the impression that the coffee is sweetened, even though the flavor is still that powerful coffee taste that we all love. Mis this with some milk or a little bit of coffee creamer for a decadent treat.
Vanilla is the sweetest of these flavors, and gives contrast to the bitter, dark coffee flavor. Whether you purchase it whole bean or as a K-cup, you’ll love the smell of vanilla just before the coffee hits your lips. For many coffee fans, vanilla is the go-to option for sweetening your drink. It’s a subtle flavor on its own, and with coffee beans it’s just the right thing to balance out the toasty, chocolatey flavor of coffee.
Hazelnut is an all-around great way to flavor your coffee. It’s one of the most popular additions to a cup of joe because it enhances the already nutty flavor of coffee. When you have a cup of hazelnut flavored coffee, you’ll smell it more than you can taste it. But half of the coffee drinking experience is the smell, so relish it as you enjoy your toasty, nutty cup of coffee. Mix in some hazelnut coffee creamer to add even more hazelnut to your day.
The Best Syrups
When you really want to change your coffee’s flavor, these Starbucks syrups are the best way to go. In addition to the rich aromatic flavor, you get a blast of sweetness. When you mix these syrups with milk, you’ll be able to get your favorite craft drinks at home.
Vanilla makes the list for both flavored beans and syrups because it’s such a great compliment for coffee. Vanilla syrup is a very discreet way to sweeten your coffee. The flavor adapts to the coffee taste without overwhelming your taste buds. This is one of the most popular syrup options to make your morning cup of coffee pop.
This one’s a bit of a seasonal offering, but peppermint works so well with coffee that it should go on any list about coffee syrups. Especially when you already have chocolate in your cup, peppermint adds some spice to your drink. It may not work with black coffee, but mixing in some cream or milk with this syrup will give you an excellent way to warm yourself up on a cold day.
Just like with flavored beans, caramel is a perfect addition to coffee. The toasty flavors of both the coffee and the caramel work well with the sweetener in the syrup, making for the perfect homemade caramel macchiato. You’ll enjoy this with or without milk, since the caramel flavor is so good with the coffee.
Nut flavors work perfectly with coffee, and Toffee Nut syrup is one of Starbucks’ best offerings. This sweet, nutty syrup will enhance your morning cup of coffee to give you a sugar and caffeine rush to start your day. It’s good with milk or with black coffee, depending on the texture you want.
The Best Starbucks Coffee Flavor
Of course, this is a subjective answer. But by understanding the flavor profiles of each of these offerings, you can make a perfect cup of coffee at home (maybe with some latte art?). It’ll taste just like it was made by a barista, and you can experiment in ways you never thought of.
For a rich cup
You can get pretty creative with the rich flavors of coffee beans. You’ll want to use either the caramel or mocha flavored beans to get a full-bodied cup of joe. The caramel or toffee nut syrup are some of the richer syrups. You can combine these flavors of beans and syrups with some cream, or just have them straight, to get a powerful taste out of your morning brew.
For a sweet cup
If sugar is what you’re going for, then you can’t go wrong with vanilla syrup. No matter what coffee you use, vanilla syrup will pack your cup of java with a delicious, sweet flavor that works perfectly with some cream. If you want a mid-afternoon treat or just want a sugar rush, add some vanilla syrup to your cup.
For that strong coffee flavor
The best way to get a coffee flavor is, of course, just drink coffee. But if that’s too strong, try getting a hazelnut flavored coffee and cut it with some milk. Hazelnut has a rich nuttiness that accentuates the coffee overtones, enhancing each sip. Coffee snobs and casual drinkers alike will enjoy the mix of coffee beans flavored with hazelnut.
Packing Flavor Into Each Cup
When you’re making your next brew, consider experimenting with new and exciting flavors. Don’t be afraid to open up your pantry and mix in some nutmeg. Or throw in some caramel caramel sauce with cream. You don’t have to wait until your next coffee shop visit to get a gourmet cup of joe. Just take the time to prepare the perfectly balanced cup of coffee.