Hazelnut. French Vanilla… Cinnamon. French. Toast.
Specialty flavored coffee beans have become a mouth-watering staple at coffee shops and cafes over the last several decades, giving coffee lovers a virtual kaleidoscope of options to choose from.
But have you ever wondered how flavored coffee beans are produced?
Today, we pull back the curtain and shed some light on the process.
It all starts with a quality coffee base.
For regular, caffeinated, flavored coffee, Orinoco’s Master of Flavoring, David Ramirez, uses Brazilian coffee beans, which are lighter, less dense, and absorb liquid (and, subsequently flavoring agents) more readily.
Our decaf flavored coffees utilize a decaf Colombian base, while organic coffees call for a Peruvian bean.
Flavoring agents are selected.
Whole roasted beans are paired with respective liquid flavoring agents, which run the gamut from the sweet almond notes of our Amaretto Royal to the delicate caramel taste of English Toffee and beyond.
Unlike flavored teas – which can often utilize actual bits of fruits and cinnamon to provide some zing – coffee flavoring agents must be artificially flavored; an industry-wide practice.
Orinoco is one of the only roasters in the area offering certified organic flavored coffees. We carefully select an organic flavoring agent that not only meets the standards of organic certification, but also tastes as flavorful as any non-organic offering.
Ingredients are then combined using a proprietary ratio of flavoring per pound of coffee.
Then we shake things up.
After the whole beans are initially treated with flavoring, they are placed into a tumbler, which is then placed into an agitator which mixes the ingredients until everything is fully coated.
When the newly-flavored beans emerge from the tumbler, they to sit for 24 to 48 hours, allowing for complete absorption of flavor, before any further processing or packaging takes place.
We get ready to do it all again.
Tumblers are thoroughly cleaned after every use to avoid cross-contamination of flavors.
Due to organic certification guidelines, however, organic flavored coffees are prepared using separate, dedicated tumblers.
In fact, when preparing organic coffees, everything – from measuring cups to containers – must be kept separate from non-organic products. If one piece of equipment, whether a scoop or a mixer, should come in contact with a non-organic ingredient, the coffee being processed can no longer be considered organic, and the process must begin anew.
At Orinoco, we pride ourselves on guaranteeing a fresh, evenly roasted bean and great tasting cup of coffee with each and every product we sell, whether regular, decaffeinated, Fair Trade, or flavored. Taste the difference and try one of our flavored roasts today.