One company lists its product ingredients as, "coffee (filtered water, coffee extract), natural flavor (with natural coffee flavor)." The extract's "97% Arabica by volume" and "starts with coffee beans"?

Moreover, why would coffee need "natural coffee flavor?"

How does "coffee extract's" caffeine content differ from "coffee's"?

Could someone break this down for a neophyte? Thanks,

2 Answers 2


As clear an answer as likely there is:

Extraction is everything that the water takes from the coffee.

So a cup of coffee is coffee extract. A shot of espresso is coffee extract.

As far as natural coffee flavor, it's just marketing geek talk, maybe trying to distance themselves from products like the following:

It is hardest for people to understand how we can use coffee flavor without having any coffee in the product. The components of coffee flavor can be extracted from a number of natural ingredients that include coffee, chicory and even, believe it not, garlic! It’s hard to imagine that coffee and garlic share the same flavor component, but they do. The expertise of flavor chemists allows them to derive flavors by isolating them from other compounds that don’t contribute to flavor. Thus it is possible to produce coffee flavor without caffeine.

So maybe your coffee product is emphasizing that it is made from actual coffee. It's like saying "meat (with natural meat flavor)

  • +1 for "It's like saying "meat (with natural meat flavor)"
    – Mayo
    Nov 9, 2017 at 17:28
  • You are contradicting your source: There is not necessarily any coffee involved in coffee flavor, natural or artificial.
    – Stephie
    Nov 10, 2017 at 5:41

In simple unbiased terms, the product ingredients state that the product contains:

  • coffee, and
  • added flavor.

They indirectly state that the main coffee ingredient has been diluted, as coffee is listed as "coffee (filtered water, coffee extract)". This could be to assist in controlling the strength of the brew that they use. In terms of caffeine content, there is not enough evidence to suggest that this coffee extract used will have less or more caffeine than a normal cup of coffee.

The next point is the natural flavor (with natural coffee flavor). It is possible to chemically engineer flavors using raw chemical compounds, such as strawberry and banana. These are called "ethers" and the manufacture and chemical composition of these are controlled by the regulatory body in your country. The natural coffee flavor comment is vague, as it could mean either "flavor extracted from coffee" or "flavor made from naturally occurring substances". This could be an email you can send to the product manufacturer, from where they might give you more information and free samples :-)

Its safe to say that the company put some quality control on their product; however, to answer your question,

  • Coffee extract is the compound extracted from coffee beans, This includes flavor, oils and caffeine.

  • Coffee is a beverage that is made from a combination of ingredients, with coffee extract as the main ingredient), or 100% coffee extract.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.