Coffee beans can come in many variations, origins, or roasting levels. Recently, a series of flavored coffee beans have started to appear that can be prepared in any way. Is it a good alternative and a substitute for the flavors we would normally add?
How does coffee get flavored?
Flavored coffee beans appeared more as a necessity to meet the growing demand for flavored coffee, but also to cover low-quality or improperly roasted coffee. How is it obtained? There are 4 methods for infusing coffee beans with different flavors.
Infusion with flavored oil
This method is the most popular and used and is very easy to obtain. In a coffee bean container, a few tablespoons (depending on the recipe) of flavored oil with various flavors such as vanilla, caramel, chocolate or others are poured, homogenized so that all the beans are covered, and left to infuse for a minimum of an hour.
The longer the infusion period, the more the coffee beans will soften with oil and a more intense flavor will be obtained.
Infusion with syrup
Syrup is another method of obtaining flavored coffee. Preparing syrup is simple and is obtained from one part sugar and one part water in which syrup flavors such as caramel, peppermint, pumpkin or others are poured. This syrup is then used to infuse coffee beans.
Infusion with spices
Simple and practical, this method involves combining coffee beans with various spices such as cinnamon, anise or vanilla beans in an airtight container. The longer they are in contact, the more the coffee will take on the flavor of the spices. Usually kept between 24-48 hours.
Infusion with alcohol
Although less commonly used, it is sometimes a practice for companies looking to get something unique or different. The most common alcoholic drinks used to infuse coffee are rum and whiskey.
Alcohol is poured over the coffee beans in a container and left to infuse for 24 hours. Afterwards, the coffee beans are strained and left to dry, then stored in airtight containers.
The preparation of flavored coffee
Flavored coffee beans can be used with any preparation method. The most common method of preparing flavored coffee beans is espresso. This way, there is no need to add other flavors to drinks such as cappuccino, latte, or even espresso.
In certain areas, it is a good alternative to traditional coffee obtained at a coffee shop. Instead of the classic spices placed in the server where the coffee drips, it is more practical to use already flavored beans.
Frequently asked questions about flavored coffee beans
How long can flavored coffee beans be stored?
If prepared at home and stored in airtight containers, it can be used for up to 6 months. If purchased, the expiration date imposed by the manufacturer must be respected.
What is the best way to store flavored coffee beans?
In general, coffee beans are best stored in one-way valve bags that allow the oxygen inside to be removed, but do not allow oxygen from the outside to come into contact with the coffee.
Are there chemicals in flavored coffee beans?
Yes. Major brands use an ingredient called propylene glycol which is a solvent used to hasten the infusion process of flavors into coffee beans.
What is the best method of infusing flavored coffee beans?
Of the 4 methods, spice infusion is the least invasive to coffee beans and does not modify their structure. On the other hand, oil infusion is the quickest, but also the most pronounced in taste.
Is flavored coffee good for health?
Because most brands use various chemicals to obtain flavored coffee beans, this does not make it healthy for the body. On the other hand, if prepared at home with ingredients such as fresh cinnamon, there is no danger to health.
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