Hazelnut coffee beans are one of the most sough-after flavored coffee beans. Everybody loves the sweet, nutty flavor. Coffee drinkers have been adding and mixing flavors to their cup for centuries. At first, the healthy way of adding flavors was to add the hazelnuts to the coffee, but with technology becoming so sophisticated and high quality beans were hard to access, we are able to “create” hazelnut coffee beans or any flavored coffee beans. But is it worth replacing the original, healthier way to flavor our coffees?
Hazelnut Coffee Beans
They Tend to Use Low Quality Beans
Now come imagine something with me. Imagine you just bought a bag of fresh high quality Arabica coffee beans. With any sort of roast profile. Alright let’s say your Arabica is light roasted. What would you do with it? Would you brew yourself the sweetest, most aromatic home-brewed cup of light roast? Of course!
Now you might be wondering why I’m asking you to imagine this, but let’s remember that Arabica beans are the quality coffee beans of the world, meaning that Arabica beans will give you the best taste and will not hide any flavor origin or aromas ever. Well, depends on the roast profile, but we’re talking about light roasts, and even though you dark roast your Arabica beans, they will still give you the least bitter taste of your dark coffee!
And what does that mean? It means Arabica beans, or high-quality, fresh beans do not need to be flavored, they will give you the best taste, just trust their potential. Say, the most known and probably most produced artificially flavored coffee beans, the hazelnut coffee beans, and these hazelnut coffee beans however, needed to be flavored to make the coffee delicious.
It needed to be flavored because the beans itself is low quality beans. The concept was to traditionally make bad coffee taste better, to hide the bad quality of the beans itself. And this is back when only lower qualities of beans that were easily obtained. This flavoring coffee was a thing, and it even seemed luxurious.
How about nowadays? Think of it this way, if you already have the best quality beans in your hands, why would you need to add flavor to it? Even if you wanted to artificially flavor high quality beans, you would be equal to adding too much Nutella to your chocolate cake. Yes it’s chocolate, but still very unhealthy, and the artificial flavoring process done to your hazelnut coffee beans is the very definition of unhealthy.
What Do They Put in Your Flavored Coffee?
Although it seemed like a luxury back then, the coffee flavoring process in your hazelnut coffee beans includes adding flavor compounds with a dangerous chemical solvent like the propylene glycol (known to be used in pharmaceuticals, also airplane de-icing compound!) to ensure the flavor chemicals are attached to the beans.
The flavor syrup is then added to the beans after the roast, and shook to create an even, fair coating. A roaster once shared his story in making flavored beans, he said that the procedure he was onto was, “put it in a large plastic bag, pour the flavor chemicals onto the beans, tie it closed, and then throw it into some cement mixer-type machine”. Now think about that next time you’re ordering some hazelnut coffee beans.