Perfect Daily Grind Interview With Nanelle About Infused Coffees
Perfect Daily Grind article about the role of infused coffees.
Is there a difference between infused and flavoured specialty coffee?
There’s no doubt that experimental processing methods have changed the trajectory of specialty coffee.
Traditionally, coffee is processed using washed, natural, and honey processing methods. In certain Asian countries, other processing methods such as wet hulling (or Giling Basah) and Monsoon Malabar have also been in use for decades.
However, now more than ever, there are a seemingly endless number of ways to process coffee. From anaerobic fermentation to carbonic maceration, these experimental processing methods help to enhance coffee flavour – and even create new ones.
Flavoured and infused coffees are also part of this conversation. This is when producers purposefully introduce other ingredients when processing coffee so that the green beans absorb or take on certain sensory attributes.
But as part of the broader discussion on how these coffees can fit into the specialty sector, it’s important that we differentiate between the two. To learn more, I spoke with three coffee professionals. Read on to find out what they had to say.
WHAT ARE FLAVOURED AND INFUSED COFFEES?
It can be difficult to define exactly what infused and flavoured coffees are. There are no formal industry terms for these coffees, so definitions are largely down to personal opinions.
Nanelle Newbom is the Sales West representative at Equal Exchange. She is also a roaster and green buyer at Torque Coffees. She explains what she considers to be a flavoured coffee.
“It’s when you add other separate ingredients to either green or roasted coffee in order to create a new flavour,” she says. “In my opinion, altering the flavour of a coffee by adding yeast strains or controlling the levels of oxygen during processing doesn’t create a flavoured coffee.
“However, I think adding certain ingredients, such as cinnamon sticks, to the fermentation tank during processing results in a flavoured coffee,” she adds.
Another important point that Nanelle raises is whether the ingredients added are natural or artificial.
“For many coffee professionals, the difference between adding natural and artificial ingredients is more of a sliding scale,” she explains. “The answer is not always so clear because what we define as a flavoured coffee can differ greatly, it doesn’t necessarily make a conflicting opinion incorrect.”
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