Flavoring coffee

Cappi

New member
Oct 5, 2004
3
0
Alaska
Hello,
I'm new to this roasting about 4 months. Have come up with a good combo for our main coffee selection. Now I what to flavor it like with vanilla or choco. rasberry. Should I flavor before roasting or after?
Could use some feed back! Thanks from Alaska
 

topher

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Staff member
Aug 14, 2003
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Boca Raton
definatly before :twisted: just kidding...don't you dare put flavoring in your roaster..not only would all your coffees taste like flavoring but you would have a nice little fire....flavor after words when your coffee has cooled. Which flavoring company did you go with?
 
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Cappi

New member
Oct 5, 2004
3
0
Alaska
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Good morning,
Thank you for answering my question. I went with flavor waves It seems to be pretty good! :p I only had a few choices but I'll keep looking because this stuff is fun.
 
Definitely flavor after roasting - if you roast flavors, you get 1.) carbonized flavoring 2.) sticky, gunky roaster.

There are different ways to deal with grinding flavored coffee. If you don't mind flavor residue in your grinder, you can flavor first. If you have a good mixer, you can flavor after grinding. The mixing is important because if you don't mix a lot, you get uneven flavoring.
 

topher

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Aug 14, 2003
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I can't see flavoring after you grind...unless you are using power bean...If you are going to use liquid on ground coffee it will clump. You should just dedicate one grinder to flavoring.
 

topher

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Aug 14, 2003
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I still do not understand how you flavor coffee after it is ground....when you brew coffee the coffee grounds stick together...add flavor(a liquid) it will do the same thing.
 
Coffee absorbs flavoring much like it absorbs water. And as long as we're here, let's acknowledge that coffee when brewed absorbs 2x its weight in water. 1.75 oz of coffee when brewed will absorb 3.5 oz of water. And as anyone knows who has handles wet coffee grounds - they are sticky.

The trick is to flavor the coffee, not to brew it with flavoring.

Here are 2 examples you can try in a home kitchen:
Take some ground coffee, a mixer and some flavoring (lemon extract, for example). Start the mixer and pour in the flavor. Voila - clumps.

Take some ground coffee, a mixer and some flavoring (vanilla or lemon if you really like that). Instead of pouring in the flavoring, use a mist sprayer - like those being sold these days for olive oil or spraying vermouth on a martini. At any given point of contact between flavor and coffee, there is enough flavoring to flavor the coffee but not enough to get it to clump. Viscosity of the flavoring is important - you don't want maple syrup consistency. It has to be thinner.

After all that, it is easier and less expensive to pour whole beans in the mixer with the flavor and grind afterwards.
 

topher

Super Moderator
Staff member
Aug 14, 2003
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Boca Raton
Yes...I think I will stick to flavoring whole beans...time and energy would be a lot less. What is with your signiture? God shot? and before breakfast no less :p
 

phaelon56

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Sep 25, 2003
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Syracuse NY
Call me a stick in the mud (many have) but I'll stick with just using flavor syrups to add to the liquid coffee or espresso drink after it's brewed. There are so many issues with flavored coffee....

- artificial aftertaste to the flavor
- adds flavor to the grinder
- if you're using airpots or carafes it flavors them and they need serious cleaning before regular coffee is used in them
- leaves flavor residue in the brewing equipment

I know this doesn't address the issue of satisfying retail or online customers who want to buy "flavored coffee" but that's where the process of educating the specialty coffee consumer comes in. If we don't do it no one else will.
 
In a lot of forums, questions of trade-offs between alternatives come up.

One of the advantages of flavored coffees over syrups is cost per serving. Flavor shots add about 25 cents per serving. That is twice the cost of the coffee.

There are also questions of freshness with syrups. Not all syrups move at the same speed. Though it is not a coffee example, it is illustrative. 20+ years ago when I was in high school working at a Friendly restaurant scooping ice cream, we noticed that nobody under 50 ate maple walnut ice cream. It was OPIC - old people's ice cream. As a result, by the time we got to the bottom of a 6 gallon can, it was pistachio.

If you have a lot of syrups, one of them is going to be pistachio by the time you get to the bottom.

There are different qualities of flavors. Most leave a heavy chemical aftertaste. There are some that don't. This is one of those cases where in general you get what you pay for. Cheap flavors taste cheap.

Even with good flavors, they actually taste better with cream and sugar. The fats in the cream bond with the flavors and spread them out more evenly over your palate - cream and half and half are better than skim from a flavor perspective. Then you need a little sugar to take off whatever chemical flavor there is.

So there are cost trade-offs, freshness and convenience. And yes, never, never, never put regular coffee in an airpot that had a flavored coffee in it. You'll never get enough of the flavor out so that customers won't notice. Better to mark them. P-Touch labels are waterproof and last a very long time - and they don't look cheap.
 

Coffee Guy

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Oct 19, 2003
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Seattle,Washington USA
AArrggg, do away with flavored coffee :twisted: They're smelly, they stick to everything, and if you don't balance the flavor, you're killing everyones taste buds. Just kidding, over the years we've found that it depends on how much of each flavor you want to roast. It's difficult to do evenly if you are roasting small amounts. Not only that, but there are so many flavors out now, it's hard to keep up without a score card :wink: Have any of you noticed a decrease in flavored coffee orders???
 
About 25 percent of our volume is flavored. Five million pounds. I don't drink it, but there is a very big market for good flavors. If you don't offer them, you're missing part of the market.

As much as I like twin tiger stripes in the morning, I have to put on my business hat when I go to work. I am not the market.

If you're in business for yourself, you can do it your way. But if you're there for your customers, shareholders, wife, kids and pets, you might want to look at the best ways to make money, not just the best ways to make the best espresso.
 
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