Flavored Coffee - am I doing it wrong, or expecting too much?

Created by sarahsdad on July 28, 2013, 3:26 p.m.
  • I've been drinking coffee pretty much daily for the last 8 - 10 years. For most of that time, it's been Maxwell house, or one of the other big, mass market brands.

    On a whim the other day I bought a pound of New England Coffee brand French Vanilla (already ground), with the idea that maybe instead of adding creamer or something to my coffee every morning, I could just brew up a cup of this, and have a bit of flavor without adding anything to the coffee.

    Made a cup this morning, and while it certainly smelled like a bit of vanilla, that didn't carry over to the taste. It certainly had a bit sharper flavor than the Maxwell house, but who can tell if that's just from it being fresher coffee, using slightly different beans.

    So...was I expecting too much, to have that flavor carry over? Are my taste buds just burnt out? Is New England Coffee just a poor brand for that sort of thing?

  • Nope, your tastebuds are fine. Flavored coffees are almost universally terrible. Your better adding flavor to good coffee.

  • @johndeere97 said:

    Nope, your tastebuds are fine. Flavored coffees are almost universally terrible. Your better adding flavor to good coffee.

    Thanks for the note. I was just getting ready to post a follow-up with this morning's results. It definitely seemed less bitter than the Maxwell house when drinking it just black, but I still didn't notice any hint of actual flavor other than 'coffee'. Ah well. At least it only cost a few dollars to find out.

  • Other than a few, expensive, flavoured coffees I have ALWAYS had much better results adding syrup myself, especially with lattes or other espresso derived coffees. Even cheap syrups can give good results. But that is just me Im afraid.

  • Flavored coffee is a good way for distributors to move inventory of lower quality and dated beans, this is also true with some teas. Their goal is hoping you will not taste and notice what they are trying to cover up. The origin of beans naturally produce their own unique flavor, it is better to experiment with coffee grown in different regions if you seek variety in taste for your pallet.

    If the coffee is bitter and your goal is to modify the taste and not need cream or use less sweater, this is usually a reflection of how recent the roast is (no I do not mean fresh sealed) due to having a short shelf life. The bitterness is often is the result of the bean decomposing and over time you have to start adding creamer and sweater depending on your tolerance. I only warn once you go down this path, there is no going back as many souls become lost in an obsession for the perfect cup.