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How to Make Flavored Coffee at Home

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While coffee is meant to be enjoyed for its flavor as much as the effects it can have on mood and energy, some people just don't like the strong taste or the acidity. That doesn't mean that they can't still get a caffeine boost, or that they won't enjoy the taste of coffee once it's been spiced up with some additives. Flavored coffees are popular both at coffeehouses and as grounds to make with a home coffeemaker. However, flavored coffees often overpower the beans' natural taste entirely and may be produced by some dubious methods. Consider making your own naturally flavored coffee at home - it's easier than you may think and can produce great results.

Worth the Taste?
According to Serious Eats, coffee is usually flavored with chemical additives rather than real ingredients. Hazelnut and vanilla are common coffee flavors and ones that could be added with natural means, but it's usually cheaper or easier to use a concoction mixed up in a lab. After roasting, beans to be used for flavored coffee are coated in flavoring chemicals along with solvents to help the flavor stick. This coating could gum up your equipment and leave residue that imparts their taste to future coffee batches. Serious Eats suggested that adding flavoring may be a way for roasters to cover up the taste of poor quality or old beans.

Hands-Off Flavoring 
If you want your morning mug of coffee but can't stomach it without a dash of extra flavor, you're in luck. It's simple to add natural flavors to your coffee. Make magazine offered the simple solution of just sealing whatever flavor enhancers you want in with your coffee beans.

Coffee absorbs many of the odors that fill the space around it. Many people find that storing coffee in the refrigerator gives their brew the unwanted addition of tasting like whatever else they were stored with. You can use that to your advantage by putting them with something more appetizing. So if you want cinnamon-flavored coffee, just toss some cinnamon sticks into a mason jar with your coffee and let their aromas mix for a few days. Make found more success by crushing up the ingredients - hazelnuts were also tested - rather than letting them sit in the container whole.

In the Mix
For a quicker solution, you can add ground spices in with your coffee when you're ready to brew. While it may take a few days to get a significant cinnamon taste into your coffee beans, this method can impart it instantly. Just add a small amount of the spice in with the coffee grounds in your coffeemaker. It doesn't take much to add flavor this way, so start with just a pinch and work your way up if that's not enough.

Sweet Treats 
One of the major advantages of adding spices to beans or grounds is that you can infuse flavor without adding sugar, as you would using syrups. However, if you want to sweeten your coffee as well as flavor it or want a variety of premade flavors, you can make your own syrup. When coffeehouses make their own flavor additives, they often start with simple syrup, also known as sugar water. It's not the healthiest flavoring option, but it may be better for you than using store-bought syrups and you'll certainly be consuming fewer synthetic chemicals. To make your own simple syrup-based flavors, just create the syrup by simmering equal parts water and sugar, then add spices or other enhancements to the mix and continue to simmer until the taste is extracted. This also gives you the option of adding flavors from sources beyond spices, such as fruit and herbs.