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When you buy whole flavoured coffee beans, how have they been flavoured, and when in the process does this happen?

For example, are the beans soaked, sprinkled; does it happen before or after roasting; etc.?

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This site seems to suggest that the best time is just after the beans are roasted and still warm and "open", which makes some sense. However, it does state that many flavorers cold flavor the beans and simply add more flavoring oils to make up for the reduced absorption. I can't think of anyone that would flavor the beans before roasting. Not only would the high heat of the roasting risk degrading the taste of the flavoring oils, it would also affect the roasting process and flavor the roasting equipment.

As for distribution, I believe most of the flavoring agents are fairly potent and the process is a sprinkling or pouring then mixing, and not a soaking.

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  • with flavored grounds are they also flavored as whole beans and then ground or are they flavored after grinding? – Justin C Feb 4 '15 at 17:38
  • I would guess whole beans, but that's just a guess. I can't imagine oils distributing well among ground coffee. – Suspended User Feb 4 '15 at 17:40
  • @JustinC This is just my experience, but in the places where I've seen it sold, they sold the whole flavoured beans or ground versions of the whole flavoured beans, so in that instance it was clearly done when the beans were whole. – starsplusplus Feb 4 '15 at 17:52

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