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Flavored coffee fans have few options, especially if they want fresh, quality coffee. The selection at any grocery store is limited, and most of those bags are stale long before you even get around to opening them. Fortunately, there’s a better way.
In this article, I’ll show you how to flavor coffee beans yourself. These easy methods are perfect for the flavored coffee connoisseur or anyone who wants to become their neighborhood’s most unique DIY barista.
1. Use Your Favorite Wine, Liquor, or Beer
Imagine a coffee with the aroma and flavor of merlot, aged scotch, or your hometown IPA.
There’s a reason that barrel-aged coffees (like the ones by Cooper’s Cask Coffee) have become so popular recently—they’re absolutely delicious. You can’t entirely recreate that process at home, but this is the next best thing.
All you have to do is place your coffee beans in a jar with your favorite wine, hard liquor, or beer. Then, place the jar in a cool, dark place for at least 24 hours. You can choose vodka, bourbon, whiskey, scotch, or whatever else you have available.
Once the recommended amount of time has passed, brew yourself a cup of coffee with the soaked coffees and enjoy!
2. Add Spices to Your Coffee Grounds
Many coffee drinkers love the taste of cinnamon, nutmeg, and other spices. And you don’t have to wait until after your coffee is brewed to start infusing those flavors.
You can easily pair your favorite spices with your coffee grounds while you’re preparing to brew a cup of coffee. The flavors of the spices will mix with the grounds while it’s brewing, creating an incredible-tasting mixture that you’re going to love.
3. Try Some Tasty Oil Extracts
Imagine infusing apple, brandy, hazelnut, or cinnamon into your next cup of coffee. There are an endless array of flavorful oil extracts that can transform your coffee beans from mediocre to magnificent. All you have to do is soak your beans in the oil until you’ve achieved the flavor intensity level that you’re seeking.
You may have to experiment with how long to soak the beans because the longer you soak them, the stronger the taste is going to be. Be sure not to soak them too long because the taste could end up being overpowering.
Try a five-hour soak the first time. If that flavor is too weak, you may need to go as far as eight hours. With a little experimentation, you’ll be able to consistently brew coffees pre-infused with exactly the right intensity of any flavor under the sun.
4. Grind Your Beans with Whole Spices
Whole beans are fresher than grounds, and they also provide a better route for adding spices to your brew.
By grinding your coffee beans and whole spices simultaneously, your beans will become immersed in the yumminess of the spices. The delicious, intense flavor you’ll get from this process simply cannot be beaten.
Start off with cloves, nutmeg, or cinnamon if you want something traditional. But feel free to experiment with a range of other options too. Here’s a hint: if you’ve ever seen it in a hot cocoa or cider recipe, it will probably work great in your coffee.
One quick warning: Don’t do this with a burr coffee grinder. In every other circumstance, I recommend blade grinders over burr grinders, but spices could clog or break your burrs. Just pick up a good blade grinder like the Krups Silent Vortex.
5. Experiment with Flavored Syrups
When you purchase flavored coffees from your local barista, it is highly likely that the coffee was flavored using syrups. Why not do the same for your home brews?
You could even make your own healthier syrup alternatives without all those preservatives and artificial flavorings. Simply take 50% water and 50% sugar and add in the flavor of your choice. Orange peels, spices, vanilla beans, and chocolate are some great starting points.
The syrup that you make will flavor your coffee and not the actual beans, but you could try soaking your coffee beans or grounds in flavored syrup and experiment until you achieve the perfect results.
6. Use Brown Sugar or Cocoa Powder
Saturate your coffee beans or grounds with coffee sweetener alternatives like brown sugar, cocoa powder, molasses, or honey to add a delightfully sweet flavor to your coffee beans.
You will have to experiment with how long to leave the beans or grounds in the sweets before brewing. Some flavorings will take longer than others.
Some people can learn to enjoy black coffee. Others choose to buy premium flavored coffees or keto-friendly flavored beans. But let’s be honest: none of those options are as fun as flavoring your own coffee beans at home. Enjoy the experience, and don’t forget to show off your coffee-flavoring skills to all of your friends.
Any of these tricks will work best if you’re buying fresh, whole-bean coffees. So don’t forget to check out our top picks for coffee grinders and in-depth guide to grinding coffee beans. Once you taste freshly ground, home-flavored coffee beans, you’ll never look at a cup of joe the same way again.