Flavored drip coffee is popular in our area, but I don't want to carry a lot of different beans. Has anyone compared using flavored beans to using a flavored syrup in a regular coffee on a per cup basis?
When we bought our place just over a year ago we dropped flavored coffee beans from the menu completely...a few people were bugged, most accept regular dark roast that we serve...but it was strange to me almost "NONE" of the fans of flavored coffee wanted a syrup added in lieu of flavored beans. I almost went back and added them but am glad I didn't. It took several months but the requsts for flavored coffee are gone now almost 99% - people know what we offer and come for it - thankfully.
we opted for syrup flavored coffee only. we tried brewed and it just didn't sell, a few people ask but not many, we offer 20 different torani flavors just for coffee and we sell alot, 3 pumps in a 16oz cup seems to give the right amount of flavor. Remember brewed flavors only means that the beans were roasted and then a concentrate flavoring was added to the bean after, most people don't realize that it is almost the same thing.
We have a big following for flavored coffee in our area. I did find a supplier that sells excellent flavored coffee. We keep only 3 kinds on hand.
At Thanksgiving & Christmas time we'll bring in a seasonal flavored coffee and it does extremely well.
When we first opened I didn't want to do flavored coffee, but I have such a demand for it - that it became a necessary evil. I also realized, that it's not about your personal beliefs sometimes, it's about customer demand and that they are willing to pay for your product.
I've been giving this exact question some thought lately so glad to find this thread. I really don't want to mess with flavored beans and was thinking I would just use the syrups for the same effect.
To take it one step further though, do you guys think it would be "unethical"
to add the syrup to a batch and not tell the customer? By this I mean, let's say we'd post the daily flavor as being hazelnut, yuk, or whatever and then just brewing up a carafe of regular and flavoring the brew.
I can't imagine most people even asking but...ya never know. :-D
I haven't run the numbers on it, and I don't run a shop yet, just so you know. However, from my research on everything so far, I would venture that the flavored beans are going to be more cost-effective on a straight up basis. However, if you don't have a big enough demand for flavored then you would probably need to factor in the cost of the extra grinder plus the extra carafes/airpots etc. From what I've read about it some flavored coffees are so strong you have to dedicate a carafe to them. Then factor in wasted coffee if you're not selling each pot in a reasonable amount of time....and the issue gets murkier...know what I mean?
Again, it's all going to come down to your customer base and whether or not there will be enough demand. I know that some shops can't seem to stock enough flavors.....others none at all.
I'm thinking mine will have very little demand for flavoreds....I hope :-D
cost is about the same and you will have the syrups on hand anyway for lattes etc...plus syrups don't go bad like flavored coffee does. I don't think its unethical. It is kinda a gripe of mine but in general people who drink flavored coffee all the time don't know and don't care. I only carried one flavored bean in my shop and it was a seasonal favorite(pumpkin pecan in the fall)and it was localy roasted and naturaly flavored...people loved it and I could get it in small batches. I often ran out but this only added to the alure.
I too find that flavored coffees are in general of lesser quality with the flavor used to mask the poor natural flavor of the coffee.
We purchased a shop and opened in April. We went through this same stuff then. We have a great local roaster who recommended syrups. He encouraged us to get a good quality syrup, as to not belittle the excellence of the coffee. We use Monin and have nothing but good response. We use the syrups in frozen drinks (blended), espresso drinks, and steamers (milk without coffee ).
We do make batches (small ones) with these as well. To help cut-down on the waste, we make a full batch of regular, split it between two or three pots, then flavor each pot. This allows us to offer a wide variety of flavors without tossing 10 gallons every few hours. We have to be careful not to offer too many flavors though, since we want to have the occassional syrup sale as an add-on.