I’m an American and as an American I value the availability of choices. Having traveled to various parts of the world, I no longer take for granted the opportunity to choose between different restaurants or places to live. I can choose to have my hamburger well done or with a little pink.
I have more than one pair of athletic shoes. In typical American fashion, we have a three car garage and four cars. With cable or satellite television, we have access to hundreds of channels (and usually watch only three or four).
In general, I’m a fan of options.
I respect someone else’s right to have ham and pineapple on their pizza because I want to have the right to put every conceivable type of meat on mine.
Choices, options, variety — those are generally good things.
So, I must admit to a bit of contradiction when it comes to flavored coffee. Not flavored syrups or different roasts of coffee. I’m talking about the artificially flavored coffee that (admittedly) smells nice when you enter the room. French vanilla, pecan pie, hazelnut.
These are coffee beans that have been ripped from their home and doused in chemicals created in a lab to smell like things that actually appear in nature. Even when an ingredient is listed as “natural flavors”, it doesn’t mean what you think it means (here’s a good article on artificial and natural flavors from Good Eats). That vanilla smell might not have come from an actual vanilla bean but from a beaver. Click To Tweet You’ll need to read the article.
Honestly, I’m a bit surprised that artificially flavored coffees remain so popular in a world that is turning against GMO’s, growth hormones, and other forms of altering mother nature’s output. The same people who would never buy any product that contained high fructose corn syrup will buy flavored coffee. We wouldn’t request apples that still had pesticide on them but we’ll drink flavored coffee.
Now, I’m n0t suggesting that flavored coffee is like drinking pesticide. No, it’s much worse! OK, I’m kind of kidding. Sort of.
But I do feel it’s a shame that the coffee bean was never given a fair chance to shine. Instead, its intrinsic flavors and nuances were covered up by a scientist who might not even drink good coffee herself.
As the specialty coffee industry continues to grow and expand, people are becoming better educated on the value of good beans. Much like wine, good beans have different notes and appeal to different palates. When properly selected, roasted, and brewed — you can experience a wide range of flavors (one of my favorites was blueberry pop tarts in a roast from Huckleberry Roasters in Denver — no artificial flavors added).
I’m not asking you flavored coffees drinkers to live a more austere life style. I really have no interest in restricting your choices. I feel you should be free to drink what every type of coffee you desire — as long as its legal.
I simply feel you should also give real coffee a chance. You just might like it.