Read these 7 Flavored Coffee Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Coffee tips and hundreds of other topics.
A coffee snob or purist may insist on keeping coffee the way it comes out of the pot, but when it comes to flavored coffee, flavor lovers have a lot of company out there. Using coffee as a foundation for flavoring is not a new concept.
In the Middle East, adding cardamom to coffee is a tradition. In Mexico, cinnamon has been added to coffee for years. Coffee companies do a lot of the work for you by producing the flavored coffee. Although you might give your coffee snob friends a kick start, you can add to it by adding syrups, creams, cinnamon or milk.
Did you know that there are more than 100 different varieties of flavored coffee, according to the International Coffee Organization? That's a whole lot of flavor, but how does the flavor actually get in the beans?
The coffee beans are roasted first and flavoring is applied to the roasted bean or roasted ground coffee in precise amounts to match the desired flavor.
So, where do those flavors come from? Natural and artificial flavors, including essential oils and plant derivatives, deemed safe by the Federal Drug Administration. The United States rules that natural flavors are composed of extractives from plants or animal sources and aroma chemicals derived from these sources by physical or biologically derived means.
We have even more good news about your coffee! According to a study by Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, Calif., coffee may help counteract cirrhosis of the liver. In a study of over 125,000 people, one cup of coffee a day can decrease the risk of alcoholic cirrhosis by 20 percent. The same study also showed that coffee drinkers had healthier results on blood tests used to measure liver function. It's just one more reason to feel good about your daily java fix.
Though it tastes indulgent, much like regular coffee, many flavored coffees have virtually no calories, fat, carbohydrates or sodium. They also don't have additional sweeteners or sugars of any kind. What flavored coffee does provide are trace minerals such as Thiamin, Niacin, Foliate, Phosphorus and Magnesium – all of which your body needs. Coffee is also a good source of Potassium and Riboflavin.
When it comes to the new and more exotic flavors of coffee, it can be hard to commit to a full-sized bag. That's where sample selections come in. Many flavored coffee companies offer sample selections in three and four bag combinations. Samplers are a great way to experience flavors you might not ordinarily try. Many coffee companies package their samplers beautifully and have flavors that reflect the season, making these ideal holiday gifts. Try the Green Mountain Flavored Sampler found at www.greenmountaincoffee.com, which includes Vanilla Cream, Fair Trade Rain Forest Nut and Hazelnut Green.
Americans weren't the first inventors of flavored coffee – not by a long shot. By the middle of the 15th Century, people in Arabian countries were enjoying coffee with spices such as cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Next came additions like chocolate, citrus and even spirits. Now, flavors of coffee have grown exponentially, from the more well known like vanilla and hazelnut to the more exotic such as wild mountain blueberry or cinnamon roll.
Flavored coffee is generally divided into four categories: vanilla-based flavors, chocolate-based flavors, fruit-based flavors and spice-based flavors. Vanilla-based flavors include creams like Irish cream and French Vanilla and nut-based flavors such as hazelnut and macadamia nut. The chocolates include decadent flavors such as chocolate mint and chocolate macadamia nut. Orange and chocolate raspberry are part of the fruit family and spiced flavors include cinnamon and nutmeg. Not sure which coffee is worthy of your favorite mug? That's no problem! First, think about your favorite foods and aromas. Do you prefer praline pie to chocolate mousse? Do you love the summery smell of citrus or the warm winter scent of Allspice? Choose a few new flavors that emulate your favorite foods, and you're sure to find a flavor that suits you.
Fall and winter are great seasons for coffee lovers who also enjoy sweets. This is the time of year coffee companies offer seasonal coffee flavors inspired by popular desserts. How does pumpkin pie without the calories sound? How about gingerbread or eggnog? For a special treat, enjoy them on their own in the afternoon, after dinner, or pair them with dessert.
You are probably not the only coffee lover in your circle of family and friends and special coffee flavors make great hostess or holiday gifts. If you prefer more traditional flavors, there are also year-round favorites, including vanilla and hazelnut. Flavored coffee is a good gift whether or not the person you plan to give it to is watching calories.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|