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Know How to Flavor Coffee Beans?

Regular coffee gets flavored with cinnamon, cardamom, clove, nutmeg, black pepper as also by citrus peels, spirits, cream, sugar and chocolate to enhance the coffee flavor. These natural flavorings may be added to home made coffee while preparation. Commercially flavored coffees get many of their tastes that get added to the whole bean while it is still warm from roasting.

Flavoring the beans while they are still at high temperatures can destroy some of the flavor compounds. The appropriate amount of flavoring to be used must be determined before flavor oils can be added to the roasted beans. The rate of use typically varies between 2-3%, averaging 2.7% industry wide. A 3% usage rate means that three pounds of flavor oil are added to 100 pounds of roasted beans. The amount of flavoring required depends primarily on the type of flavor and its intensity, as well as the type of bean used and its roast level. Once the precise amount is set, the dosage is held constant for that particular flavor oil and roasted bean combination.

Flavors are typically added to roasted beans before they are ground. The beans are placed in a large mixer which is specially designed to gently tumble the beans without causing them damage. The flavors are usually introduced via a pressurized spray mechanism which breaks the oils into tiny droplets which allows for better mixing. Oils must be added to the beans very gradually to guard against areas of highly concentrated flavor called hot spots. The beans are agitated for a set amount of time to ensure the flavor is evenly spread. This process may take 15-30 minutes. When the beans are properly coated, they take on a glossy finish that indicates a uniform distribution of oils.

Flavored whole beans are usually separated into four categories-vanilla-based, chocolate-based, fruit-based or spice-based.

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