Is Flavored Coffee Bad For You What You Need To Know

Is Flavored Coffee Bad For You? What You Need To Know!

Last updated on October 25th, 2023 at 14:46

I get a lot of questions about flavored coffee from friends wanting to enhance their coffee experience, the most common one is, is flavored coffee bad for you?

It is a question that is not easily answered with a straight yes or no because “it depends”. Rather than being like a Bangkok ladyboy and dragging this one out (haha), I’ll give you a nice quick answer before going into the details later.

If you are in a rush, here is the quick and simple answer.

Most coffee companies use a chemical solvent, propylene glycol, as the carrier for the flavoring and, thus, is it fair and accurate to say that flavored coffee can be bad for you.


it does not have to be! There is a perfectly healthy method (or two!) to flavor coffee.


Keep reading as I dig down and talk more about the topic of flavored coffee and health issues.

What Is Flavored Coffee?

Flavored coffee is coffee that is flavored with a number of popular coffee flavors like French vanilla, hazelnut, coconut, chocolate to name only a few. Flavored coffee beans are made by using concentrated flavoring oils that are chemical by nature, containing a solvent, propylene glycol.

This method normally uses low-quality beans, often from last year’s harvest and in general are of poor quality. You never hear of new, fresh, top-quality beans being used.

Another popular method of flavoring coffee involves the use of a sugar-based flavored syrup. The best and most natural way of flavoring coffee beans is by using spices, herbs, berries or nuts or whatever food item is required to flavor the coffee. Flavor syrup is fine, just be aware that each pump is loaded with sugar.

A third way and very healthy way of enjoying flavored coffee with the actual spices, herbs and food items. This technique is fantastic as you can make them at home easily and there is no need to use cheap coffee beans.

Finally, a fourth way, and the second natural way, is using the spice and flavoring items, like herbs, spices etc, and adding them to your ground coffee and brewing with them.

Flavored coffee is not new; it dates back centuries when the Middle Easterners added ground nuts to their coffee and enjoyed it with the hints of nuts and spices.

What Is Flavored Coffee
Flavored Coffee

Read: Hazelnut coffee K Cup

Is Flavored Coffee Bad For You?

Flavored coffee can be both bad for you and good for you, depending entirely on how your coffee is flavored. The technique of using propylene glycol, a chemical solvent that has a number of health dangers.

Using the artificial flavoring method to flavor coffee grounds and beans can be bad for your health. Using any non-natural chemical is not a good idea.

The natural techniques of flavoring your coffee beans and grounds is not bad for you. It is quite the opposite, you can benefit from the health properties of the herbs and food items.

Is Flavored Coffee Bad For You
Is Flavored Coffee Bad For You?

Read: Organic hazelnut coffee

Can Flavored Coffee Make You Sick?


unfortunately, flavored coffee can make you sick. Propylene glycol. If you are from one of the colder states or countries, you might be familiar with this chemical. It’s anti-freeze and used in windshield de-icer.

While I am not a medic, nor claim to be, nor give any medical advice, I certainly don’t want antifreeze in my coffee or any item that I may ingest.

Strong solvents of any kind are just not healthy at all and in large quantities might have short term or long term health effects that are undesirable.

Flavored syrups, when they are heated, give off a chemical called Diacetyl which, according to studies, is linked to incurable lung cancer.

Is Flavored Coffee Creamer Bad For You?

Coffee mate, flavored or regular, contains no nutrients, zero antioxidants, zero minerals and zero vitamins and thus, it is correct to say that there is no nutritional benefit to using coffee creamer.

Using it is not going to make you sick straight away or anytime soon, but it will add up over a period of years. Switch and ditch the flavored coffee creamer and use something better and healthier, something with a nutritional value to flavor your coffee.

What Is Healthy Flavored Coffee?

Healthy flavored coffee is coffee beans or grounds that have been flavored using natural spices, herbs, nuts and food items.

The incredible ability of coffee to absorb scents and flavors of items in their proximity is how this method works. There are no additional health benefits as the nutrients don’t migrate to your coffee beans or grounds.

When you grind down the spice, nuts, and food items that you wish to use to make healthy flavored coffee and brew with them in your drip coffee maker, pour over, chemex, French press, percolator or moka pot.

This method of making healthy flavored coffee will get the active compounds that are beneficial for your health into your coffee.

Healthy Flavored Coffee
Flavored Coffee Can Be Healthy

What Is Artificial Hazelnut Flavor?

Hazelnut flavored coffee is one of the most commonly flavored coffees that you will find. There is hardly a coffee brand or company that does not offer this flavor.


most are artificially flavored – it is quite difficult to find naturally flavored coffee for any flavor. Artificial hazelnut flavor uses the chemical solvent method of using a concentrated oil that is 85% propylene glycol with the remaining 15% having hazelnut flavoring to add the buttery, rich sweet taste of the nuts to the coffee beans.

Is All Hazelnut Coffee Artificially Flavored?

Thankfully, not all hazelnut coffee is artificially flavored. There are two classes of oils used to flavor coffee beans: synthetic oils and natural oils.

Even if you are looking for beans that are flavored with natural oils, you need to check that the oil is free from propylene glycol.

Flavor Bean is one such company that has naturally flavored hazelnut coffee in 3 varieties:

  • Regular Hazelnut Coffee.
  • Hawaiian Hazelnut Coffee.
  • Certified Fair Trade Hazelnut Coffee.
Hazelnut Coffee
Hazelnut Coffee

Flavored Coffee Without Propylene Glycol

Flavorbean coffee are one of very few coffee companies that produce naturally flavored coffee that is much more than propylene glycol free. They are also:

  • Diabetic friendly.
  • Gluten-free.
  • Sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup Free.
  • Free From Artificial Sweeteners.
  • High In Antioxidants.
  • Fair Trade Certified.
  • Kosher Certified.

As well as hazelnut flavored coffee, they have coconut, almond, caramel, chocolate cherry, cinnamon, Irish cream, pecan coffee and a number of other flavors.

How To Make Healthy Flavored Coffee At Home

Making healthy flavored coffee at home is very easy and is delightful for your taste buds. Let’s start with the healthiest method.

The healthiest method is so simple.

Look for the spice, herb or food item that you want to flavor your coffee with and grind them into a fine powder using a spice grinder.

I strongly advise against using your coffee grinder to grind anything but coffee. Tiny fragments of what you grind will get stuck in the burr and possibly oil from them too and will cross contaminate subsequent coffee.


your spice grinder is much easier to clean!

With your ground spice, nuts, herbs or whatever it is that you want to flavor your coffee, simply add them to your coffee grounds and brew your coffee as normal.

I advise using a 2:1 coffee to spice ratio and, depending on the brewing method, be careful as to not grind your flavoring item so small that it makes its way past the filter and into your cup of coffee as a residue.

When you add the flavoring items, be sure to shake them in a cup, tub or in the brewing device itself, to ensure an even coffee and flavoring item distribution.

When your coffee is brewed using the drip coffee, percolator, moka pot, pour over and Chemex coffee brewing techniques, your coffee is brewing and extracting the flavor from the flavoring item with the health properties from the item making their way into your coffee.

With the French press, the extraction happens as the full immersion technique and also extracts the flavor from the herbs, spice or food item at the same time. You will end up with a tasty cup of coffee with the health – beneficial compounds from the herbs in your coffee.

Another healthy method is to use coffee beans and add the herb, spice, nuts or food item to your freshly roasted coffee beans and store them in a coffee canister for 24 hours.

Your beans will take on the flavor of the spice, nuts, herbs or whatever you have added to the coffee canister alongside your coffee beans. Be sure to remove the flavoring item after 24 hours as your beans will continue to absorb the flavor and may take on an overpowering flavor.

Can You Drink Flavored Coffee While Fasting?


I regularly fast, complete zero food fasting drinking only water and coffee. Coffee helps me as it is a natural appetite suppressor.

While undertaking long periods of fasting, the caffeine kick initially helps during energy drops before my body switches from glucose based energy to a keto state and burning fats for energy.

Both flavored and unflavored coffee has helped me to get through 7, 14, 21 and 28 day fasts.

Flavored and regular coffee has very little to no calories. For the record, I take my coffee, 2 to 3 cups with milk and sugar.

Frequently Asked Questions About Is Flavored Coffee Bad For You

What Is The Healthiest Coffee Flavor?

I would not exude a title of the healthiest coffee flavor to a particular coffee flavor but to a method since artificial coffee flavoring can be unhealthy, as can the sugary syrup method of adding flavor. The healthiest methods are the natural methods of flavoring coffee beans directly with the flavoring item, or the use of the flavoring item or spice ground and brewed with the coffee grounds.

Healthy natural flavoring options for coffee include cinnamon, vanilla, cocoa powder, ganostema mushrooms.

Is Flavored Coffee Natural?

It depends on the manufacturer and brand. Mostly, coffee brands use artificial coffee flavorings. Flavored coffee can be made from natural spices, nuts, herbs and real food very easily at home by yourself.

Does Flavored Coffee Have Sugar?


there is no added sugar to flavored coffee grounds or beans. Usually, flavoring oil is used to add the flavor to the beans and grounds. There is no added calories. Even with the at home method of adding spices, nuts, herbs and natural food items, it still has no extra sugar added, or any additional calories.

Are Flavored Coffees Fattening?

It depends. Naturally flavored coffees when you make them at home using spices, nuts, herbs and food items are not fattening. The artificial method of using flavored oils does make your flavored coffee fattening. Unfortunately, the syrup method of using a flavored syrup to add flavor to your coffee can be fattening as it is high in sugar content and very sweet.

How Can I Make My Coffee Healthier?

You can make your coffee healthier by using a natural spice to flavor your coffee and brew your coffee with the spice or herb by mixing it in with your coffee grounds. This method will allow you to enjoy the health benefits of the herb or spice used to flavor your coffee.

You can also switch out your sugar for healthier alternatives like honey, stevia, coconut sugar and consider going milk free or using low fat milk or nut based milks. Obviously, selecting an organic brand is beneficial. Lifeboost is a great choice as they are toxin free.

Is Flavored Coffee Full Of Sugar?

Flavored coffee only has sugar added if you have used a flavored coffee syrup. No additional sugar is used with flavored coffee beans.

Is Flavored Coffee Fattening?

According to studies, a cup of coffee that is made with coffee beans has been flavored using flavored oils or spices, herbs and other food items does not add any more fat, sugar or calories to your morning coffee.

Is Flavoured Coffee High In Calories?

Flavored coffee can be high in calories if it has been flavored using a flavored syrup due to the additional sugar content.


if your flavored coffee is naturally flavored or flavored using oils, no additional calories are added to your coffee.

Frappé-Ing It All Up – Is Flavored Coffee Bad For You?

Flavored coffee can be bad for you if you are drinking a lot of the solvent-based artificially flavored coffees. Syrup flavored coffee can be unhealthy also as it is high in calories and very sugary.

You have options for both buying healthy flavored coffee and for making your own. Try making your own. It is much more fun, and you can start to make your own exotic flavors.

I hope that I have answered that question is flavored coffee bad for you, has been answered to your satisfaction. If I have missed anything, send me your questions!

Join our fun and friendly coffee community and tell us what your favorite flavored coffee is. Find us on Facebook/Meta.

Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association, possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or, mentioning your name and location

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