Coffee Roasters, what coffee do you use as a base ...

... for the application of flavors. NCSicilian is a new member expressing frustration about all the 'purists' out there who poo-poo the idea of selling flavored coffees and flavored beans in their businesses.

Mr. Sicilian wants a straight answer to the question, "...what bean to use for flavored coffee?" I think he deserves an answer without any judgment about whether a business person should or should not flavor their coffee.

Anybody care to weigh in?

What coffee as a base for application of flavors?

I am not a roaster. I've been through plenty, and have seen how the flavors are applied. It's not very technical nor very pretty. But what do I know?

I would guess a very flat and unremarkable bean with a light to medium roast would be perfect for the application of flavors. You wouldn't necessarily want the coffee to compete with the flavor you're adding.

The only fairly pleasing flavored coffee I've tasted is from Seattle's Best Coffee. Their rap is that they somehow apply the flavor before roasting. I can't imagine that working, forget about the mess it might make in the roaster.

Seems to me, flavoring coffee is a great opportunity for roasters to use low cost mediocre quality coffee. The flavors can be a great mask for lots of undesirable coffee traits. I've always believed that this is why the flavors in flavored coffees in New England are so pronounced. They cover a multitude of sins with heavy application of flavors. And somehow the flavored coffee is less per pound here than anywhere else. It makes you wonder.



New member
Oct 18, 2006
Old England (UK)
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Best bean to take flavours is a simple Brazilian Santos of reasonable quality, especially as it can be taken to a wide range of degrees of roast and has an basic coffee flavour, with medium brightness. It is not special in any way that may detract from the flavouring used and is inoffensive to almost everyone (unlike say Monsooned Malabar, OBJ or even a heavy Sumatran)

Oh and you flavour after roasting, using one of those plastic bucket electric cement mixers 8)

Another tip, if you flavour, don't go too heavy, most of the flavouring is in the smell (in terms of how the brain interprets taste), so a little to give the coffee a nose, is all that's needed. If you go to heavy, the whole coffee experience becomes horrible for the consumer.