This week I got a email from one of our regular customers, asking about the flavors listed on the front of our bags. They wanted to know if people with nut allergies should avoid drinking our Mexico La Lagunilla, which has "sweet almond flavors."
The answer is no. “Sweet almond flavors” is a description, not an ingredient. I've gotten similar questions before, so I thought it would be interesting to learn more.
Coffee is somewhat like wine---we have tastings (you can read about that process here) and find flavors to help describe what we taste. There's even a flavor wheel to help you out with coffee tasting. The Specialty Coffee Association of America has a standard one, but I like this expanded one from Counter Culture Coffee:
We like to let the coffee speak for itself, so we don't add any flavors, but of course there are companies that do. Generally natural or artificial flavors are added to coffee by coating the beans directly after roasting. There are some downsides: that coating can be hard on your coffee grinder and of course artificial flavors are made from potentially unhealthy chemicals.
If you want specific flavors in your coffee, we recommend infusing your beans with natural ingredients like cinnamon and vanilla, or making your own flavor syrups. There are some great ideas in this article.
We'd love to hear your thoughts on flavored coffee! Leave a comment below.
-Jessamyn at Voyage Coffee Roasters