Caramel flavored coffee
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Beware of chemicals in your flavored coffee

Do you drink coffee for the caffeine? Most people do. And like most people, drinking coffee with cream and sugar is the only way it will go down. Maybe it is even flavored coffee or flavored cream. (There are some delicious sounding flavors out there: blueberry crumble, praline royale, mochadoodle…) You may have thought about the health issues surrounding the cream and sugar, but have you ever thought about the health issues concerning flavored coffee? We have.

Now, we can’t grow flavored coffee.

There is no such thing as a toasted coconut macaroon coffee tree. All of those amazing sounding flavors are actually harsh chemicals that are doused on roasted coffee beans. In fact, most roasters that flavor coffee purchase cheap beans because the flavor covers up the inferior quality.

The main ingredient in coffee flavoring is propylene glycol. It is used across various industries. “Propylene glycol is used by the chemical, food, and pharmaceutical industries as an antifreeze when leakage might lead to contact with food. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified propylene glycol as an additive that is “generally recognized as safe” for use in food. It is a solvent for food colors and flavors, and in the paint and plastics industries.” (ATSDR – Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry)

Propylene glycol is used as a carrier for aroma.

What you are really drinking is cheap coffee with an intoxicating aroma. In addition to its status as “generally recognized as safe”, the solvent is highly concentrated. Roasters should wear protective clothing and have proper ventilation when using it. One prominent flavoring company lists this in the instructions:

  • Allow your roasted beans to cool, then place them in a glass or stainless steel bowl, beaker or canister. Some potent flavors, like cinnamon and amaretto, can even erode plastics, adding unpleasant notes to your final products.

In addition to possibly eroding plastic, the solvents come with a warning to not inhale or touch it directly as it can irritate skin, eyes and mucous membranes.

So, is it worth it?

We don’t think so. First of all, we don’t buy cheap, inferior coffee beans. We respect the land and people that grow, pick and process our coffee. They do the hard work to provide us with amazing coffee. Why would we cover that up with a chemical that is dangerous to handle? Second, we think coffee should be tasty on its own. It should pair with that delicious breakfast treat, snack or dessert. If you are eating an amazing blueberry coffee cake, why muddle the experience with hazelnut torte coffee? Finally, we respect the health of our staff. It is one thing to go home smelling like coffee at the end of the day; it’s another thing to go home smelling like a yankee candle factory.

We sell coffee that is honest, clean, reputable and delicious just as it is. Follow this link to read more about our company philosophy.