Quality coffee is rich in flavors and taste. But sometimes, we want the comfort of familiar flavors in our cup of java. And that’s where the best flavored coffee comes into play. Artificial flavors added to the coffee make it more fun and more enjoyable.
Purists might look down upon flavored coffee. But that doesn’t change the fact that flavored coffee is comforting and enjoyable. And yes, we can enjoy some decadence with our dose of caffeine.
It’s the huge variety of available flavors that makes things all the more exciting. And it’s always interesting to see the seemingly crazy combinations that end up stimulating the taste buds.
More often than not, flavored coffee uses more subdued flavors. These can be additions that play on the taste notes of coffee and enhance them further. Hazelnut, caramel, and cocoa are the most popular choices and very satisfying to taste.
Nevertheless, some offbeat and creative flavors make the rounds too. And these can be as exciting. Bacon, cinnamon rolls, strawberry, and a lot more flavors are available too. Coffee and bacon? Whether we like it or not, that’s not a match we can resist trying!
Editor’s Choice: Lifeboost Healthy Coffee Hazelnut Flavor
Lifeboost Coffee has made a name for itself with high-quality gourmet coffee. The beans are sourced from Nicaragua, where they are grown at an elevation ranging from 4000-5500 feet. Lifeboost’s coffee is organic, low-acidity, and has certifications from USDA Organic and Fair Trade.
The hazelnut coffee is made from the same high-quality coffee beans. Lifeboost says its high-altitude shade-grown coffee is amongst the top 2% of the global supply. For its hazelnut coffee, the company uses medium roast beans and adds the hazelnut flavor.
Keep in mind, this package won’t count as an organic coffee since artificial flavor (hazelnut) is added. Apart from that, the quality control and the company’s well-regarded service remain the same.
The flavoring doesn’t include added sugar or calories. It’s available as regular coffee and decaf coffee. Other buying options include a choice between ground coffee and whole beans and the number of packages to buy.
Hazelnut flavor feels like a good choice for this coffee. It’s good as whole beans and also one of the best flavored ground coffees available. I think the flavoring works better with the pre-ground coffee. Conventional sense says buy whole beans and grind them right before you brew.
Nevertheless, it might be more sensible to buy ground coffee when considering flavored coffee.
- Hazelnut flavor
- Medium-roast beans
- Available in regular and decaf options
- Available to buy as whole beans or ground coffee
More Great Flavored Coffees For 2021
- Volcanica Coffee Amaretto Flavored Coffee
- Lion Coffee Toasted Coconut Coffee
- Cameron’s Coffee Highlander Grog
- Mystic Monk Coffee: Royal Rum Pecan Whole Bean
- Fall In Love Pumpkin Spice Flavored Coffee
- New England Coffee Blueberry Cobbler Medium Roast Ground Coffee
- Folgers Simply Gourmet Natural Caramel Flavored Ground Coffee
Volcanica Coffee Amaretto Flavored Coffee
Quality coffee often shows off nutty flavor notes that are both satisfying and enjoyable. Amaretto kicks it up a notch. The sweet Italian liqueur offers an enhancement to the taste notes, but holds its own in the flavor as well.
Amaretto may be made from peach stones, apricot kernels, and/or (bitter) almonds. Volcanic Coffee has chosen almonds for its flavored coffee. And it’s an excellent pick. The coffee tastes delicious and makes an excellent case for flavored coffee.
Note that though Amaretto is a liqueur, Volcanica’s version involves no alcohol. Still, the flavor is robust and adds to the overall profile of the brew. I could see it going well even with an espresso.
Volcanica Coffee offers its Amaretto Flavored Coffee as whole beans or as your choice of grind. Available ground coffee options include espresso (fine grind), drip coffee (medium grind), and French press (coarse grind).
- Amaretto flavor (no alcohol)
- Medium roast coffee
- Available as whole beans or your choice of grind size
Lion Coffee Toasted Coconut Coffee
Lion Coffee Toasted Coconut Coffee is an all-around amazing brew with great flavor and taste. Impressively flavorful, the coffee even made it to our list of the best coffee beans. The coconut flavor is pleasing for sure.
It’s sort of surprising how well the coffee and the flavor add up together to create something that’s larger than the sum of its parts.
Lion Coffee as a brand has several well-received coffee offerings under its belt. However, the coconut flavor seems to have gone beyond even the (high) expectations from this brand. Well, I suppose it is natural for Hawaiian coffee to go along with coconut flavoring!
It’s an excellent breakfast coffee. The light roast brings out the flavors and taste characteristics of the java, while the coconut flavoring does its own thing and makes this deliciously refreshing.
Coffee and the nutty taste generally go well together. Coconut, however, isn’t all that common for the coffee ‘nutty’ flavoring. But even if it’s not all that rage as a natural taste note, it seems to be absolutely wonderful as part of the flavored coffee.
Lion Coffee Toasted Coconut Coffee is available in multiple bag sizes, so you can buy it to fit your specific requirements. It’s available as whole beans and ground coffee. The ground coffee is only available in a smaller 10 oz package, which is a good choice considering ground coffee loses its freshness (and natural flavor) faster than whole beans.
- Coconut flavor
- Light roast coffee
- Available as ground coffee or whole beans
- Good value for money
Cameron’s Coffee Highlander Grog
Highlander Grog is a popular flavoring that often leads to the best tasting coffee. Cameron’s does this flavoring remarkably well, delivering the flavoring essence of rum with butterscotch, caramel, and vanilla masterfully.
As an aside, I’m not a big fan of rum, the drink. Nevertheless, I find it irresistible as a flavoring agent in chocolates and even raisins. It makes perfect sense for this to shine well with coffee flavoring too.
Cameron’s Coffee manages its flavored coffees especially well. The brew is smooth and the flavor shows up in the coffee as well as the aroma. This is important for the more exotic flavors too.
Often, flavored coffees stay limited in flavor to the aroma and the taste doesn’t quite make it to the brew. Cameron’s Coffee manages to go around this problem effectively. The Highlander Grog has no issues with flavor. In fact, the Highlander Grog flavor tastes as wonderful as its heady aroma would suggest.
- Highlander Grog flavor – Rum with butterscotch, caramel, and vanilla
- Ground coffee
- Excellent pricing
Mystic Monk Coffee: Royal Rum Pecan Whole Bean
Mystic Monk Coffee: Royal Rum Pecan Whole Bean Coffee is roasted by “real monks” in the Rocky Mountains. I’ve no idea what kind of monks are sitting around in the Rockies and why they’re roasting coffee. Maybe that’s why they’re Mystic Monks, heh.
Anyways, whatever they’re doing, they’re roasting their coffee just right. And they’re doing a good job with the rum too. Well, I’ve already said I find the flavor of rum quite enjoyable. Plus, with the pecan flavor added, this coffee gets a whole lot flavorful.
Pecans, like hazelnut, go very well with coffee. As an added flavor, they bring out and enhance the taste of coffee beans, while covering some of the flaws in taste. The whole bean coffee is freshly roasted, smooth, and overall quite enjoyable.
- Rum and pecan flavor
- Whole bean coffee
- Masterful blend of coffee beans and flavor
Fall In Love Pumpkin Spice Flavored Coffee
Pumpkin Spice is usually hot and in vogue in the autumn. But the flavor is amazing any day of the year. Sure, we can give some extra love to the brew in autumn, but its flavor remains lovable throughout the year.
If you’re not already in love with pumpkin spice, Fall In Love Pumpkin Spice Flavored Coffee will do it for you! It’s the same warm and sweet flavor we’ve all come to love and enjoy.
The medium roast coffee is flavorful by itself and the pumpkin spice adds more to the overall profile. It doesn’t contain any added sugar or sweeteners. There is, of course, the added artificial flavor. It does seem like it’s going a bit overboard when you open the package but that goes away once the coffee is brewed.
- Pumpkin spice flavor
- Ground coffee
- Certified kosher
New England Coffee Blueberry Cobbler Medium Roast Ground Coffee
New England Coffee Blueberry Cobbler Medium Roast Ground Coffee matches the intense flavor of blueberries with the spicy notes of coffee. The flavor is rich, just like the coffee it matches up with.
The company uses its classic blend for this offering. Coffee beans from Central and South America come together in a masterful blend that’s highlighted with a medium roast. Then comes the flow of the blueberry flavor, giving this coffee its distinctive flavor.
New England Coffee Blueberry Cobbler Medium Roast Ground Coffee is smooth and certified kosher. The careful blend and flavor addition works wonders for this coffee. Though the blueberry flavor is strong, it never gets to be overpowering. Similarly, though the coffee beans brew a strong cuppa, they dutifully avoid getting bitter.
- Blueberry flavor
- Ground coffee
- Medium roast
- Certified kosher
Folgers Simply Gourmet Natural Caramel Flavored Ground Coffee
Folgers is often accused of mass-producing its coffee without giving it adequate attention. Considering the volume of coffee this company moves, it might not be able to afford the same luxuries to its coffee as artisanal roasters can. But that doesn’t make it bad coffee.
As a conventional store-bought coffee, Folgers isn’t very concerned with the date of roasting and freshness. So you could probably accuse it of being a mediocre coffee and not be far from the truth.
But sometimes, there is a touch that pushes Folgers ahead to the limelight. Folgers Simply Gourmet Natural Caramel Flavored Ground Coffee is an excellent example of that. Caramel as a flavor goes with coffee naturally.
This coffee takes great advantage of that affinity and lets the blend be delicious and somewhat decadent. It’s remarkably flavorful and shows off a strength of flavor and taste that’s quite remarkable and enjoyable.
- Caramel flavor
- Only uses natural flavors
- Ground coffee
Getting The Best Tasting Coffee Flavor For Your Cuppa
How Is Coffee Flavored?
There are several ways to add flavor to coffee. Generally, spices or oils are added to the beans while they’re still hot in the roaster. This allows for a more natural mixing of the flavors and better distribution.
Not all flavors have natural oils or spices, so synthetic options are widely used. Synthetic flavors are cheaper and easier to handle for commercial/industrial use. This is also the reason why more playful and eccentric flavors come into play.
Chosen methods can also vary by the choice of flavor. For example, many rum flavors come from ‘aging’ coffee in casks that were previously used for rum. This gives the coffee a natural and woody rum flavor that’s quite enjoyable.
The Mixing Of The Flavor And The Coffee
Our olfactory senses are connected to our tastebuds. The aroma of the flavored coffee often has a direct impact on how we feel the taste. But many flavored coffees also struggle with these ideas.
When the coffee is brewed, many flavors live more in the aroma than in the brew. The result often is coffee with a rich aroma of the flavor, but no taste in the brew. In many cases, the brew will be flavored enough and buoyed by the aroma, the overall taste and feel will remain enjoyable.
However, in some cases, this doesn’t quite come to pass. While your nose will be rich with odors of the flavor, the tongue never gets to experience them. This creates an awkward situation where the flavor gets more annoying than enjoyable.
Flavored Coffee vs Coffee Syrups
It’s a common misconception that brewing flavored coffee would be the same as adding a flavor syrup to your coffee after brewing. While the end-results might be similar, with getting flavor in your brew, the process is quite different.
For one, flavored coffee achieves its flavor through (usually) synthetic flavoring and doesn’t add to the calorie count. Meanwhile, syrups tend to be rich in sugars and will push the calorie count up as if it were a skyscraper.
Flavored Coffee rarely has any effect on the texture or the overall brew quality. Meanwhile, syrups can affect the texture and will change the overall flavor of your brew.
Even the way the flavor is achieved and tastes will be different. You can use either method to add flavor to your coffee, just pay attention to what taste you prefer.
Flavored Coffee vs Flavorful Coffee
When discussing quality coffee, we often talk of the flavors, taste notes, and expected aftertaste. Whether your flavorful coffee has taste notes of honey, apples, spices, or anything else, they will always be natural. That is, these flavors are inherent to the coffee beans themselves.
They could have been achieved by the local growing conditions, soil, temperature, and similar combinations. It’s believed that farming techniques like the growth of shade-giving trees in the coffee plantation affect the flavor too. In any case, flavorful coffee is a descriptor for naturally occurring flavors in the coffee beans.
Flavored coffee, on the other hand, essentially refers to flavors that have been added to the coffee beans. This is essentially a process of artificially or synthetically adding flavors to the coffee beans.
Yes, it’s adding flavors manually/synthetically even if you’re using natural flavors. Since the flavors aren’t natural to the coffee beans, they are artificial.
Coffee Bean Quality And Flavored Coffee
Ever notice that flavored coffee is often cheaper than regular coffee? Well, there’s a good reason for it. Let’s have a history lesson and go to the origin story of flavored coffee!
The 1960s saw a rise in the popularity of flavored coffee. During that time, conventional coffee had turned expensive and the sellers didn’t have quality affordable coffee easily available. So, they acquired cheaper coffee beans and pushed on flavor to mask the lower quality of the beans.
Then the market changed and the artificial flavoring was no longer necessary. However, a demographic had been opened that continued to love flavored coffee and demanded more of it. Of course, vendors had no problem continuing to sell it.
So what’s the takeaway from this story? When you’re buying flavored coffee beans, don’t forget about bean quality and general performance. Even in artificial coffee, look for coffee beans that are more in line with the available pricing of coffee. Don’t just buy expensive, but check and make sure that the coffee you’re buying doesn’t have an artificially inflated price.
Skip cheap flavored coffee and put more trust in coffee that’s priced more in line with the market.
Remember, bean origins don’t matter as much for flavored coffee. Origins usually affect the flavor of the coffee beans. For flavored coffee, that’s redundant because added flavors will be highlighted over natural coffee flavors.
Caffeine Content Of Flavored Coffee
Does flavored coffee have caffeine content? Certainly. It’s just regular coffee topped by some very desirable flavors. If you choose to go for low caffeine, look for decaf options.
The Flavored Coffee To Enjoy
Flavors for your coffee can make the brew more lively and enjoyable. Plus, it’s always fun to test some of the more eccentric flavors that often come to the market. They can be a fun break from the more conventional and common flavors.
Buying the best flavored coffee starts with putting your interest in flavors first. But never forget that it’s the quality of the beans that make all the difference. Several companies use cheaper coffee beans for their flavored options, betting on the flavors to mask the taste of the beans.
Budget-friendly coffee can be enticing, but rarely works out well. Avoid being driven simply by flavor – instead, start with the foundation, i.e., the coffee beans. Good coffee beans and good flavor make for a stunning brew.