How To Flavor Coffee Beans (At Home Too)

By Michelle
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Wondering how your favorite roaster makes flavored coffee beans, and how to flavor coffee beans yourself? Find out here

When done properly, flavored coffee beans can add a whole new dimension to your favorite coffee brew. But how is flavored coffee made?

Assorted spiced to flavor coffee beans in a wooden compartment box with a spoon.
Assorted spiced to flavor coffee beans.

How to flavor coffee beans

  1. Roast your favorite coffee beans to the roast level you desire
  2. While the coffee beans are still hot, add them into a stand mixer
  3. Add your desired flavor oils at a ratio of 3% of the weight of the coffee: if you roasted 100 grams of coffee beans, add 3 grams of oils
  4. Start the mixer and let the coffee beans swirl around in the oil for 20 minutes to asborb the oils
  5. Enjoy your flavored coffee!

The coffee beans are very porous and the flavors and aromas from the oils will be absorbed into the coffee.

This, of course, was the short answer.

There are a couple of things to consider here. First, what oils should you use? And second, what do you do if you want to flavor pre-roasted coffee beans at home?

A scoop of steaming flavor coffee beans spills from a burlap sack, with visible smoke rising against a dark background.
A scoop of steaming flavor coffee beans spills from a burlap sack, with visible smoke rising against a dark background.

What to flavor coffee with

The oils you use depend on the flavor profiles you want. Nut oils like hazelnut oil can be used to make hazelnut-flavored coffee. Interestingly enough, flavor chemists sometimes combine up to 100 aromas to get a particular flavor for coffee!

The easiest way to start flavoring your coffee is to add a little bit of vanilla to your coffee beans and letting them soak it up before grinding.

You can also use spices to flavor your coffee:

  • Cardamom is commonly used to flavor Arabic and Turkish coffee, but it’s not that commonly used in the West. Cardamon adds a really nice kick to any cup of coffee!
  • Cinnamon is a natural sweetener that has a really pleasant aroma and taste without any of the calories.
  • Ginger can add a spicy kick to your coffee and open up your sinuses while you’re at it! Add with a tiny bit of brown sugar to make your own gingerbread latte!
  • Cocoa nibs are great for a bittersweet, earthy kick to your coffee
  • Lavender pairs really well with lighter roasts that are very bright and floral
  • Cloves give a musty, earthy aroma and pair really well with earthy coffees
  • Peppermint oil will make your coffee taste like Christmas

How to flavor coffee at home

Unless you roast coffee at home, you’re probably buying pre-roasted coffee. So what now? How can you flavor these coffee beans?

1. Store your coffee beans with spices to infuse them

Coffee beans are like sponges for aromas and flavors. They’ll soak up and absorb anything they come into contact with, which is why you should be careful when you store them in the fridge or freezer!

You can also use this to your advantage: throw in some whole spices with your coffee beans and store the mix in an airtight container. You can use cloves, a stick of cinnamon, a vanilla pod, or anything you want, really!

The spices will release their aromas and the coffee beans will slowly absorb them.

Of course, the flavor won’t be quite as strong as with oil-infused coffee beans, but you’ll be able to notice a really subtle and distinct flavor.

This is the best way to flavor your coffee beans at home.

2. Sprinkle some oil on the beans before grinding them

This method is similar to the actual way that coffee beans are flavored, so you can just sprinkle a few drops of oil on your coffee beans and let the flavor soak in before grinding them.

3% of 15 grams is just a few milligrams, so you may find it tough to add an exact amount of oil here. Sprinkle a couple of drops and mix it all up, then let it sit for a few minutes.

Then grind and brew!

3. Add spices to coffee grounds

The last method to flavor your coffee is to add spices directly to your coffee grounds just before you brew. This is how cinnamon coffee is made, so it’s definitely a method that works.


Flavoring your coffee beans is a great way to add an extra dimension of flavor to your coffee. Just be careful to not overdo the flavoring, as it can easily overpower the natural coffee flavors.

You can also try Bones Coffee or Lifeboost Coffee, both of which have a really nice line of flavored coffees.

Brown sugar, coffee beans, spices, and a burlap sack filled with steaming coffee beans.
Spices to make flavored coffee beans.
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About Michelle