Tired of the usual black coffee? Why not add some twist? Here’s a list of the most popular coffee flavors you must try in 2021.
While you may have carefully chosen the best quality coffee bean brand, coffee grinder, and coffee-making method to craft your perfect cup of coffee, having that same coffee drink every day can begin to get stale. Sure, it’s good, but it’s nice to have some variety every once in a while, you know?
Enter flavored coffee. It may not be something that you want to replace your regular cup of coffee with every day, but sometimes it can certainly hit the spot. With flavored coffee, you also do not need to worry about adding any unnecessary sugar or syrups to your mug to change it up, making it a healthier option than some of the flavored drinks you would find at your local coffee shop.
If you are looking to add more variety to your regular coffee drinking habits, then keep reading for our list of the 8 most popular coffee flavors you should know about in 2021.
How Is Flavored Coffee Made?
Typically, flavored coffee is made by adding flavor compounds such as coffee syrup or oils to regular coffee beans. The compounds may be either natural or artificial, depending on the desired flavor.
Natural flavors are typically extracted from chocolate, vanilla, nuts, spices, and berries. You could even try adding some of this flavor to your regular coffee beans by storing them with your own blend of spices or vanilla beans. This will only give you a hint of the flavor, though, so stick to the store-bought flavored varieties if you like a stronger taste.
If you want more modern flavors, like maple bacon or French toast, then you will be purchasing artificially flavored coffee. A lot of these may come with added sugar to get the desired taste, though, so if you are concerned about sugar or the extra calories that come along with it look for sugar-free varieties or stick with the natural flavors.
Once the roasters have chosen their flavor source, they add it to the beans when they are still warm (but not hot) from the roaster. They then let them mix for around 15-30 minutes. You probably already know that coffee is quite absorbent because it needs to be stored in an airtight container to preserve freshness, so it probably will not surprise you that the coffee beans can absorb these flavors so quickly.
If you would like to try the roasting and flavoring process yourself, check out our guide to the best home coffee roasters.
Does the Roast Matter with Flavored Coffee?
It certainly does! Certain flavors can be highlighted more prominently depending on the roast of the coffee. For example, light roast coffees are known for having a more mellow body, so they tend to be the best option for lighter-tasting fruity and floral flavors.
As the roast gets darker, it starts to get more of a toasty, caramel flavor, which would typically overpower any attempt to add fruity or floral notes. Therefore, darker roasts tend to be better suited for blending with stronger flavors such as nuts and chocolate.
What About Bean Origin?
If you are a coffee enthusiast, you may know that beans grown in different parts of the world tend to have different flavor profiles. The whole point of flavored coffee is to make the coffee taste a particular way, though, the natural coffee flavor of the beans tends to get a bit lost during the flavoring process. Therefore, it does not matter if you choose single-origin beans or a blend, as you may not be able to taste much of the natural flavor of the beans anyway.
That being said, you may find that most flavored coffee is from a blend of bean varieties. This is not necessarily for the unique flavors the beans produce together, but more for the general balance in flavor and acidity you can get from a blend. You could almost consider it to be more of a neutral flavor, which makes it easier for roasters to get the tastes and aromas they are looking for in their coffee.
The 8 Most Popular Coffee Flavors of 2021
Now that you have a better idea of what to look for in your flavored coffee, let us get into some of the most popular coffee flavors of 2021. If you are a decaf drinker, you can find some of these flavors in our list of the best flavored decaf coffee.
1. French Vanilla
First in our list of the most popular coffee flavors is our all-time favorite—French vanilla! French vanilla continues to be one of the most popular coffee flavors around. Why French vanilla, and not just regular vanilla, you ask? The name “French vanilla” actually refers to the distinct way the French make vanilla ice cream. They use an egg custard base instead of a cream base, and this gives a deeper, sweeter, and smoother flavor than regular old vanilla.
French vanilla is great in all types of coffee – lattes, macchiatos, cappuccinos, or even just plain black coffee. It can also be good with all types of roasts but tends to be at its best when paired with light- or medium-roasted beans.
Try Cameron’s French Vanilla coffee for a rich and flavorful French vanilla experience.
This is another classic coffee flavor that is not going anywhere. Hazelnut can add a sweet, rich, and smooth flavor to any coffee beverage, but it is perhaps most at home in just a regular cup of coffee. Due to its nutty taste, you will find hazelnut is often paired with medium- and dark-roasted coffees as it blends well with the natural flavors of those types of beans.
Seattle’s Best Toasted Hazelnut coffee is a great option if you want that nutty flavor.
3. Pumpkin Spice
It almost seems difficult to not find this flavor featured in coffee shops once the leaves start changing color! Though the popularity of pumpkin spice in the fall is almost a joke at this point, it is undeniably a delicious addition to a cup of coffee.
What is it that gives pumpkin spice its distinct taste? Well, it may surprise you to learn that pumpkin spice does not contain any pumpkin. It is a mix of ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg that gives it that distinct smell and aroma that is reminiscent of pumpkin pie. The pumpkin spice latte is a well-known favorite, but this spicy and warm flavor can also be great in both iced and regular coffees.
Check out Stone Street Pumpkin Spice coffee for that fall feeling all year long.
If you are interested in trying something a little bit different, how about coconut coffee? Coconut tends to have a sweet yet salty flavor profile that pairs well with light-roasted beans, as the somewhat subtle taste can be overpowered in the darker roasts. It even has health benefits, as coconut flavor additives can be a source of antioxidants.
If you like a light and mellow roast and tropical flavors, then you have to give coconut a try. Sitting back and relaxing with a cup of coconut coffee can make you feel like you are on a mini tropical vacation (use your imagination!).
Give Lion Toasted Coconut coffee a try for that tropical feel.
Caramel can be a deliciously smooth and buttery option for those who like their coffee on the sweeter side. The sweetness of the caramel comes from its primary ingredient: sugar. While granulated sugar does not have much smell or color on its own, this changes when it gets exposed to heat. As it melts, it starts to get that characteristic sticky texture, yellowy-brown color, and toasty flavor.
While a caramel flavor is great for dessert coffees, it is also a popular choice for iced coffees, lattes, and macchiatos. Try it with a medium or light roast so you can really taste those caramel notes.
Cameron’s Sea Salt Caramel coffee is a great choice as it adds a little salt to balance out the sweetness.
Another well-known popular coffee flavor is mocha. When most people think of a mocha, they probably think of a drink that is usually made with some kind of combination of coffee or espresso and hot chocolate, but mocha beans are actual naturally flavored coffee beans out there. Mocha coffee beans are known for their naturally chocolatey taste, especially when prepared as a dark roast, and this flavor is enhanced by the addition of chocolate in the popular mocha drink.
Though there are mocha coffee beans out there, other coffee beans can be used with added flavoring to get that same characteristic mocha taste. It is also common to see other flavors like peppermint mixed with mocha, especially in the winter when candy cane-flavored everything seems to be in full swing. Since this is a seasonal favorite, you should try to get your fill of peppermint mocha coffee in the winter – it can be hard to find once the snow is gone!
If you like a mocha that reminds you of the holidays, try Kahlua Peppermint Mocha coffee.
7. Highlander Grog
Now, this is one you may not have heard of before. Highlander Grog coffee may remind some of a pancake breakfast due to its syrupy flavor, but more specifically it tends to have notes of butterscotch, vanilla, and rum. It is often paired with light and medium roasts due to this flavor profile and tends to have a light, approachable taste. If you normally add cream and/or sugar to your cup and are looking to cut it out of your diet, then try this for a mild-tasting black coffee.
Cameron’s Highlander Grog coffee is a popular choice when it comes to this flavor of coffee.
And lastly—but certainly not the least—in our list of the most popular coffee flavors is blueberry. While you may not always see a lot of fruit-flavored coffees out there, one kind of fruity coffee that has been gaining some steam is blueberry. Blueberry coffee offers that little bit of sweetness that can be great for both breakfast and dessert, so really you can drink it all day long.
For that blueberry taste to stand out, this flavor is great in either a light and medium roast. Now, if you like that blueberry taste then you will probably be looking at some of the artificially flavored varieties, but if you want to try one with a more natural flavor then consider a naturally processed Ethiopian coffee.
New England Coffee Blueberry Cobbler mixes some spices in with the sweet blueberry flavor for a smooth flavor and aroma.
Most Popular Coffee Flavors of 2021 – Final Thoughts
While it can certainly be comforting to drink the same cup of coffee every day, especially if you feel you have perfected the process, it is nice to venture out and try a new flavored coffee every once in a while. Besides, if you are a true coffee enthusiast, you would not be doing your due diligence if you do not try them all! You could be missing out on your next perfect cup of coffee.
Hope you enjoyed our list of the most popular coffee flavors of 2021. So, which flavored coffee are you going to try first? Do you have your selections of the most popular coffee flavors? Share them in a comment below.