Sunday, October 25, 2009

Adding Different Flavors to Your Favorite Cup of Coffee

By Damian Papworth

Coffee is something of an acquired taste, owing to the bitterness that most coffee drinkers experience when trying the drink for the first time. With some milk or sugar (or both), that bitterness quickly disappears and it is no surprise that coffee is popular all over the world, in some cases ranking in a consumption ratio of 1 to 3 when compared to water. After introducing new flavors to a favorite drink, it isn?t difficult to see why flavored coffees continue to increase in number and popularity.

In the past, the number one flavor added to coffee was chocolate, or mocha. With origins in European espresso-based cafes -- most of which serve hot chocolate -- it was not much of a leap for coffee drinkers looking for a slight change to add some chocolate to an espresso drink, creating the ?caf? mocha? now served in coffee houses big and small all across the world. After that, the practice of adding syrup ?shots? to coffee became popular, mimicking the flavor of liqueurs (amaretto, hazelnut etc.) as well as supplying distinct flavors (orange, mint).

Beyond that, coffee flavors have been taken all the way back to the bean itself. Coffee is now available in whole bean form in flavors such as hazelnut and mocha. The coffee drinker has to be aware that coffee simply cannot be grown in different flavors, so any way the gets the flavor must by nature be artificial (though the ingredients don?t have to be). If you see coffee being offered in machines with different flavors, you can be assured that you are not getting a natural brew.

Popular coffee flavors include hazelnut, Irish cream, almond, pistachio and white chocolate, just to name a few. If you are looking for more than just a caffeine fix to keep your work day going, you will be able to find a flavor of coffee to match any mood. The latest flavor syrups are even available in organic options.

Coffee flavors like chocolate do have an authentic element to them, as chocolate has been produced in powder and syrup form for some time. Production methods need not always spoil the natural intentions.

Intense coffee drinks that have elements like pumpkin and cinnamon may seem more like a winter cider than coffee, yet they have become extremely popular.

While it may be a new and pleasant experience for some people, coffee drinkers should remember the difference in calories from a basic cup of regular coffee when compared to a drink in which syrup is added along with whipped cream and other sugary embellishments. You will see sugar and fat contents rise considerably, so take note of your expectations from coffee drinks.

For daily coffee drinkers who see an espresso or black coffee as a staple of life, it is unlikely that a variety of flavors and embellishments on the classic form will be appealing. For others with a notable sweet tooth, the different flavors will add a new wrinkle to the idea of coffee.

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