In the wonderful world of coffee, there are a plethora of flavors, additions, and cool tricks you can learn to make your coffee experience new and exciting. The coffee industry is always growing and developing new flavor combinations, new specialty drinks, and unique ways to make coffee fun. Despite the many new crazes in the coffee world, sometimes it’s better to keep things simple.
Today, we will be diving into a classic flavor addition: vanilla. Sweet and simple, vanilla may just be what your daily cup needs to balance out that delightfully bitter edge to your morning brew. Read on to learn more about how you can sweeten up your daily coffee!
The Difference Between Natural Flavors and Added Flavors in Coffee
One fascinating thing about coffee is that it contains what the coffee world calls natural flavor notes. When looking at a bag of specialty coffee, you may see flavor labels like brown sugar, toasted vanilla, chocolate, or caramel on the bag. These flavors come out naturally in the coffee once the beans are roasted and are not added at any time during the roasting process.
Depending on the region the beans come from, your coffee may have a range of flavor notes, from smooth and chocolatey to fruity and citrusy. These flavor notes do not add any sweetness to the coffee; they just enhance the coffee beans’ natural taste. These flavor notes can be subtle or strong, depending upon the bean.
If you want to try and identify the flavor notes in your coffee, you can use a flavor wheel. It’s a fun test where you can check the wheel to try and distinguish what natural flavors your coffee may have.
During the roasting process, coffee roasters may add flavor oils to the beans to develop a specific flavor quality in the coffee. French vanilla, hazelnut, and other sweet flavored coffee beans exist due to the oils being added during roasting — not from any sugary sweetener or from the beans themselves.
Since coffee is full of naturally sweet flavors, it is easy to enhance these flavors to develop an even sweeter and more flavorful drink. Flavors like chocolate, caramel, vanilla, and brown sugar are wonderful additions to coffee because they intensify the already present natural flavors.
These added flavors can sweeten your coffee, but they are not meant to overpower the natural flavors entirely. The flavor oils are intended to complement the coffee while still promoting the smooth, natural flavors that we all know and love.
Vanilla Is the Flavor of Choice
If you love the rich taste of coffee and want to sweeten it ever so slightly without covering up its natural flavors, vanilla may add just the right touch. Known for being added to baked goods to give them that warm, melt-in-your-mouth feeling, vanilla is simple and classic. You just can’t go wrong with choosing vanilla.
We love vanilla so much that it’s added to over 18,000 products that we consume on a daily basis. We just can’t get enough of it.
Despite vanilla being so broadly used, do you ever stop and wonder if it’s beneficial to have in your diet? Let’s read on and see how vanilla is not just good to taste, but also good to have in your diet!
Vitamins and Vanilla
We often think of vanilla as the little brown bottle of extra on the shelf or the dark specks in our ice cream, so it’s strange to think of vanilla containing vitamins.
However, vanilla naturally comes from a plant and it contains noteworthy levels of magnesium, potassium, calcium, and manganese! All of these vitamins are crucial for balancing hormones, stimulating your metabolism, and aiding in digestion.
Another health benefit of vanilla is that it aids in relaxing our muscles, and it contains natural pain relieving chemicals.
Sweeter Than Candy
Want to have a sweet coffee without all the sugar? Vanilla is naturally sweet and it contains no added sugar. The smell of vanilla has calming effects and the taste is naturally sweet, making vanilla the best natural addition to your daily cup of coffee.
In the harvesting process of vanilla, these beans can produce from 250 to 300 flavornotes to enhance any food. Vanilla is not just for sweet drinks and foods. It can also be used to add to savory and herbaceous dishes like chicken, cheese, or grilled vegetables. If you’re looking to sweeten things up without any extra added sugar, vanilla is the way to go.
How To Add Vanilla to Your Coffee
Now, you are well informed about the benefits vanilla can have on your lifestyle. It’s time to check out the different ways you can add vanilla to your coffee for that enhanced coffee experience.
1. Vanilla Extract
Simple and easy, vanilla extract can be a quick addition to your morning coffee routine. Add one to two teaspoons into your cup and you’re good to go! You can skip the extra sugar to really bring out the natural flavors of both the coffee and the vanilla. Plus, this way you can keep all that unnecessary added sugar and those additional calories out of your diet.
However, if you can’t go with a little extra sweetness, brown sugar is a great addition to vanilla extract. Try it out in your next cup and enjoy the added flavor experience!
2. Vanilla Syrup
Vanilla syrup is a wonderful invention and we should all thank whoever first discovered its beautiful combination with coffee. The world has never been the same. Typically, vanilla syrup does contain sugar, so everything in moderation is the key.
You can make your own vanilla syrup by mixing half a cup of sugar, half a cup of hot water, and six tablespoons of vanilla extract. When making vanilla syrup, feel free to add more vanilla till it's golden in color. The sugar can overpower the vanilla flavor, so it may take some adjusting for the ideal strength of vanilla flavor, depending upon your preference.
3. Vanilla Coffee Concentrate
If you want a vanilla-flavored coffee without any added sugar, a vanilla coffee concentrate may be exactly what you are looking for. Still containing rich flavor, but not overpowering the coffee, a vanilla coffee concentrate like our delicious Iced Vanilla Cream Drizzle Coffee Concentrate is a wonderful alternative to adding extra sugar. Whether you want it hot or iced, it’s great either way.
It’s also super easy and convenient to add into your daily coffee routine. Just add one to two tablespoons into water, add cream or your alternative milk of choice, and you’re good to go!
Good coffee shouldn’t be complicated, and coffee concentrates allow you to enjoy good coffee without all the hassle. If you’re looking to find the easiest way to make vanilla coffee that also avoids the sticky mess of sugar water, coffee concentrates are available and will help fulfill your need for vanilla coffee.
What About Vanilla Creamer?
Despite being easily accessible, flavored coffee creamers are not always the best option for those seeking to add flavor into their coffees. Flavored coffee creamers typically contain a substantial amount of trans fat, which over a long period of time can negatively impact your cholesterol. Specifically, non-dairy flavored coffee creamers contain a slew of artificially manufactured ingredients. Despite these options being low calorie, it is better to consume natural ingredients as opposed to chemically enhanced products.
It may be quick and easy to grab flavored coffee creamers, and the immense flavor options available may be tempting. However, it may be healthier to skip the extra fats and go straight to the real cream and sugar.
Cream and Sugar, Please
In the long run, it is better to drink the cream with real sugar as opposed to artificial sweeteners. For those seeking non-dairy alternatives, try to find ones that contain oat milk and real sugar. Better yet, skip the sugar altogether and head straight for the vanilla!
Flavor as Old as Time
Vanilla is a classic flavor dating back many centuries and it has been in our society for hundreds of years. Known for being a great addition to sweet treats, vanilla is a timeless flavor that can be added to just about anything. Since it has such a classic, simple, and sweet taste, it is a great addition to coffee. As a truly iconic combination, you can never go wrong with adding vanilla to your coffee.
Try adding it to your daily cup, and you can’t help but feel your sweet tooth being satisfied in the simplest way.
The Bittersweet Story of Vanilla | Science | Smithsonian Magazine
Is Coffee Creamer Bad for You? | Medical Associates of Northwest Arkansas
Vanilla: Sweet — and Savory | Chicago Botanic Garden
(PDF) Vanilla: Potential Health Benefits | Researchgate