Chocolate is easily the most-loved flavor around the world. Not only do we crave the way chocolate tastes and smells, but there are also scientific reasons behind why we desire chocolatey goodness. So, the marriage of chocolate and coffee is truly a match made in heaven.
Cocoa causes the brain to release endorphins, and it also contains tyramine. Increased levels of tyramine lead to increased dopamine levels. Endorphins, tyramine, and dopamine activate your brain’s reward center and make for a winning combination. There truly is no better way to start your day than with a chocolate-flavored coffee.
The Spicy History of Flavored Coffee
The first instances of flavored coffee date back to the 17th century and were a result of the spice trade going directly through the main coffee-growing areas in Africa. Flavored coffee began with the introduction of cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and pepper to coffee. They used whatever spices were available to experiment and create unique and exciting blends.
Not only are cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and pepper excellent tasting additives to coffee, but they are also all-natural preservatives. Until the invention of the electric refrigerator at the turn of the 20th century, natural preservatives were vital in maintaining food for longevity and health purposes.
These spices are still used today, not only in flavored coffee but in cooking and baking. Most of us have all of these spices in our kitchen cabinet right now. Cinnamon and nutmeg are especially popular during the holiday season. Did you know that two of the five spices in "pumpkin spice" are cinnamon and nutmeg? The other three are ginger, allspice, and cloves.
Many popular coffee chains add sweeteners, flavored creamers, syrups, and whipped cream to their coffee after it has been made. Unfortunately, this excessive sweetening strategy is often used to mask the flavor of low-quality coffee beans.
A high-quality cup of coffee must be able to stand alone without the addition of artificial sweeteners. Even if you prefer your coffee with tons of additional flavors—no judgment—starting with high-quality coffee beans is the key to an excellent and consistent coffee experience.
Flavored coffee provides an alternative to overly sweet and sugary options. The integrity of the natural coffee bean is preserved with an added sweet or savory bonus during the roasting process. Of course, sugar, spices, and creamers can absolutely be added to flavored coffee to accentuate the flavors. Still, it is reassuring, and some would say incredibly important, to find a flavored coffee that can stand on its own.
Your Favorite Chocolate Coffee Combos:
You would be hard-pressed to find something that doesn't pair well with chocolate. So, it took us a while, but we narrowed down our favorite chocolate-flavored coffee pairings. Good news for those of you who enjoy decaffeinated coffee: all these flavors are also available in decaf.
Our four favorite chocolate coffee blends:
- Chocolate Hazelnut
- Chocolate Raspberry
- Chocolate Almond
- Chocolate Indulgence
HazelNUTS about Chocolate
Hazelnuts and chocolate have long been considered a perfect pairing, much like peanut butter and jelly or milk and cookies. The most popular combined version of hazelnut and chocolate is Nutella; there is an entire brand dedicated to these two flavors partnering up, so you know it has to be good.
Hazelnuts were first introduced as a counterpart to chocolate in the early 1800s. At the time, cocoa was expensive and difficult to import; however, hazelnuts were in abundance and significantly cheaper. So, substituting some cocoa nuts for hazelnuts was a way to make chocolate more affordable to produce and more attainable to consumers. And we haven't looked back since.
The introduction of hazelnuts in coffee can be credited to the Alpine monks, who would add crushed hazelnuts to create flavored coffee without the need for unnatural sweeteners. At the time, they were referred to as "filberts" instead of hazelnuts. However, in 1989 the Oregon Filbert Commission made the decision to emphasize calling them "hazelnuts" instead of "filberts."
If you are wondering how Oregon has the authority to make that decision, it is because they grow 99% of the hazelnuts in the United States of America. In addition, they export at least half of their hazelnut crop to Europe and Asia. However, Turkey is the largest producer of hazelnuts worldwide, producing an impressive 70%.
The main reason hazelnuts and chocolate work so well together in flavored coffee is their texture. The creamy consistency of both milk chocolate and hazelnuts complements each other perfectly. In addition, the bitterness of dark chocolate slices through the creaminess of hazelnut, giving the flavor a more robust edge.
Chocolate hazelnut flavored coffee is the perfect addition to a morning routine or as a treat to satisfy your sweet tooth. It’s medium roasted to perfection to create a delicate, smooth tasting experience with a bold flavor that is sure to be a favorite in your household.
While strawberries and chocolate have historically been the more mainstream combination, raspberry takes the berry and cocoa partnership to the next level. Raspberries have gradually taken over as the go-to berry for pairing with desserts at restaurants, pre-made pastries, flavored coffee, and baking blogs.
Raspberries are innately sweet but also carry a tangy and tart undertone. The sweet and sharp flavors from the raspberries complement the creamy and rich flavors of chocolate. Raspberries especially pair well with the bitterness of dark chocolate. In addition, the tartness elevates the chocolate flavor for a fresher and brighter experience.
Coffee beans are seeds from the coffee cherry fruit. The cherry contains the caffeine and antioxidants that so many of us value in our coffee. Coffee cherries are red or yellow when they are ripe and ready to be picked.
Chocolate is derived from extracts from the seeds of the fruit that grow on the Theobroma Cacao tree. The Theobroma Cacao tree is also called a cocoa tree or a cacao tree. They range in size from 13-26 feet in height. 37% of the world's total cocoa bean supply originates from the Ivory Coast in western sub-Saharan Africa.
When you realize that both chocolate and coffee originate from fruits, the flavor combination of raspberry, chocolate, and coffee makes total sense. It seems only natural that chocolate and raspberry would produce a beautifully flavored coffee.
This is why we offer three amazing raspberry and chocolate flavored coffee options.
These two powerhouse flavors infused in high-quality coffee beans create a mouthwatering cup of coffee that is sure to please even those most discerning palates. In addition, our chocolate raspberry medium roasted flavored treat is a fantastic complement to your morning breakfast routine or a nightcap to end your day on a sweet note.
Did you know that almonds, like chocolate and coffee, are seeds that are enclosed in a hard fruit shell? Hazelnuts are considered a fruit in and of themselves, and peanuts are actually legumes, making them technically part of the vegetable family.
Researchers believe that almond trees were the first domesticated trees.
Their lineage dates back to the Early Bronze Age, and not many people realize they are involved in two significant parts of history:
- The Bible
- King Tutankhamun’s Tomb
Biblically Speaking: They were mentioned six times in the Old Testament in the bible. For example, in Genesis 4:11, Israel instructs his sons to take the "best products of the land" and specifically tells them to take almonds, in addition to honey and pistachios.
King Tut: The discovery of King Tut's tomb in The Valley of the Kings, Egypt, is one of the most fascinating and well-known archeological discoveries. November 4, 1922, British Egyptologist Howard Carter and his team began excavating the tomb of King Tut.
The next day they had uncovered the entire staircase, and by the end of the month, they had unearthed the antechamber, treasury, and the door to his tomb. Amidst the tomb’s contents, including the mummy of King Tutankhamun, gold jewelry, chariots, statues, and paintings inside his tomb, there were also—you guessed it—almonds!
Almonds and watermelon seeds were stored in the tomb to provide nourishment to King Tut for all of eternity. So, you could say that our Chocolate Almond flavored coffee is fit for a king.
Much like the flavor combinations above, almonds and chocolate have a long history of pairing nicely together. So, it will come as no surprise to discover that Chocolate Almond flavored coffee would be a beautiful match. Our chocolate almond coffee is the ideal breakfast blend with a smooth chocolate flavor and a perfectly balanced kick of almond.
Each cup of coffee will have you savoring a consistently satisfying milky chocolate and almond flavor. In addition, our medium-roasted breakfast blend has perfected the balance of hearty and smooth to guarantee a great start to your day that might even have you feeling like royalty.
Chocolate, Chocolate, and More Chocolate
No chocolate-flavored coffee list is complete without our Chocolate Indulgence blend. It’s a hit for chocolate and coffee lovers alike. For those who have a sweet tooth for chocolate but also want to fully embrace the natural coffee flavor without added sweeteners or creamers, stop what you are drinking; this is the flavored coffee for you!
Their shared fruit-tree origin of coffee and chocolate leads to a natural flavor profile pairing. The concept of drinking chocolate came to North America between 900-1200 A.D. The mid-1800s introduced the idea of eating chocolate to the world.
Shockingly, the idea of eating chocolate was initially not very popular as the texture was gritty and coarse. Thankfully, the Swiss swooped in during the 1870s to create a creamier eating chocolate that appealed to consumers. So, if you are ever feeling down on yourself, just remember that there was a time when no one liked chocolate—you, just like chocolate, are wonderful.
Our Chocolate Indulgence is an excellent introduction to the world of flavored coffee. The chocolate is consistent and flavorful without being overpowering. We managed to balance the flavors perfectly to ensure those who crave chocolate will be completely satisfied without sacrificing our coffee's authentic, bold, and consistently smooth taste. This balance makes it ideal for drinking at any time of the day or night.
What’s in a Coffee Flavor?
While actual almonds and fruit are not added to coffee beans to create flavored coffee, there are two ways to add flavor to coffee to generate the taste and aroma. The chosen method is dependent on the state of the coffee beans when the flavor is added.
For larger batches, the preferred method usually is to coat the coffee beans in flavor oil. However, some smaller roasting companies prefer to do small flavor batches once the coffee beans have already been ground up, so they might use dry flavoring.
Two types of coffee flavoring methods:
- Flavor oils
- Dry flavoring
Flavor oils: This method is used with whole coffee beans. While coffee beans are in their whole-bean form, flavor oil is sprayed over them while they are in a large vat that mixes the coffee beans. The oil is slowly added to the coffee beans, and this, along with the continual mixing, ensures each coffee bean is equally saturated with the chosen flavor. The coffee beans will take on a glossy finish that allows the roaster to visually see that the flavor oil has covered all the coffee beans equally.
Dry Flavoring: With ground coffee, the flavor is introduced in a powdered form or encapsulated in starch to attach and bond with the ground coffee beans. The coffee beans contain enough moisture to allow for proper attachment between them and the desired flavor powder.
Treat Yourself with Chocolate Flavored Coffee
Coffee is a wonderful and sometimes vital way to get our daily caffeine. We know how important those first and last cups of coffee are, so we pride ourselves on creating thoughtfully curated single-origin, blends, pods, cold brew, and flavored coffee options.
We work hard to master the balance of offering a wide array of flavor and roasting options to satiate a plethora of taste buds while maintaining the integrity and consistency of our high-quality coffee beans. Whether you buy coffee beans to grind in your home or office or opt for fresh ground coffee that is ready to brew when you are, you can rest assured that each sip is going to be refreshing and satisfying.