This article, what does hazelnut taste like in coffee, is a direct answer to a question sent into us by Greig, a regular reader. It got us thinking and, the team at Latte Love Brew put together this answer.
By the time you have read this article, you will know what hazelnut tasting notes are and how it goes well in coffee. You will also know how to make your own hazelnut coffee at home with a variety of methods, two of which are very natural.
Keep reading as we dig down and detail this topic.
What Is Hazelnut Flavored Coffee?
Hazelnut Flavored coffee is, exactly as the name suggests. It is coffee that has distinctive sweet flavors, musty, earthy notes and sweet characteristics of nuts from the hazel tree.
The hazelnut coffee taste is a very distinctive and popular one with all the popular brands like Folgers, Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks, Peet’s to name only a few.
Read: Hazelnut coffee K Cup
How To Make Hazelnut Coffee At Home Step By Step
Hazelnut coffee is easily made at home in three main ways – we will walk you through each one of them. In my humble opinion, and experience as a coffee enthusiast and coffee lover, you are best making your own hazelnut coffee at home. Most, with the exception of the well-known high-end coffee brands and coffee companies, use low quality coffee beans usually from the previous years harvest.
Using low grade coffee will, of course, be detrimental to your coffee experience.
Step 1: Get The Right Ingredients
Using the chef principle, or Ferrari principle as it is also known, where the best ingredients, and the best equipment and the best methods produce the best results.
Freshly roasted quality whole bean coffee that are of a roast that you enjoy. Whole beans are much better. A light roast will bring out the flavor of the hazelnuts better. However, how you personally enjoy your coffee will be best for you.
I love a darker, full-bodied coffee and use medium to a medium-dark roast as I get that more traditional and distinctive coffee taste with flavors of the origin and the hazelnuts.
This is a case of knowing your beans and what particular coffee taste you enjoy as the base.
The next ingredient that is every bit as important are the hazelnuts.
Unsalted hazelnuts are best as the salt content from the nuts will have an effect on the coffee. As per your coffee beans, whole natural hazelnuts that are of the highest quality will produce the best results.
Leave the skin on the nuts as most of the flavor from them comes from the outer shells.
Measure and weigh your coffee beans and your nuts. I suggest a 2:1 ratio of coffee beans to hazelnuts.
This is something that you will need to adjust and get it to how you would like your coffee to taste. If you want more of a nutty taste, use more nuts. If you want more of a coffee taste, add more coffee.
2:1 hits the spot for me.
Step 2: Look Out Your Coffee Canister
With a professional coffee canister that has a one way valve and an airtight lid. Put your coffee beans and nuts into your coffee canister and close the lid.
Give your coffee canister a good shake to ensure an even distribution of the coffee and nuts mix. Store your canister in the fridge for the next 24 hours.
Coffee beans are great at absorbing flavors and aromas and while they are in your coffee canister with the hazelnuts, they will start to absorb the natural hazelnut flavor.
The longer your beans and hazelnuts are together, the more they will take on the flavor of the nuts.
I suggest that you make a cup of coffee after 12 hours to test out the flavor, and repeat after 24 hours. If you have not reached the flavor that you would like after 24 hours, proceed with caution and make a test coffee every 4-6 hours.
Once you have hit the flavor of coffee and hazelnut that you like, remove the nuts from your coffee canister and store your coffee beans as normal.
Congratulations, you have made a batch of naturally flavored coffee beans. This process you can repeat with any food item to make exotic flavored coffee.
Method 2: Making Hazelnut Coffee At Home Using Flavored Oils
This method is just as easy as the above technique but much less natural. In fact, due to the method, it is a decent way of jazzing up old coffee beans. I am not particularly a fan of using quality beans with this method. However, your opinion may vary.
Fresh, quality beans and artificial flavoring oils simply does not appeal to me.
You can buy an almost limitless number and variations of flavored oils for flavoring your coffee beans online from all the usual outlets like Amazon, Walmart, best buy, target etc.
Only a tiny amount of oil is needed. Typically, only a teaspoon or two. Place your coffee beans on a baking sheet on a baking tray and preheat your beans for a few minutes at a low temperature. The heat will not roast your beans. The heat is to open the pores of your beans.
Slowly drizzle, or better still, spray a fine mist of the hazelnut flavored oil over the beans and once you have used just one or two teaspoons of the oil, toss your beans well to help the oil to mix and spread to all the beans evenly.
Toss for 2 to 3 mins.
Allow your beans to dry naturally for a few hours. Then pat dry with a clean towel or paper towel.
At this point, your coffee beans are flavored and ready to grind and make a coffee as required.
Methods 3: Making Hazelnut Flavored Coffee With Your French Press Or Drip Coffee Maker
For this method, you are going to use the best possible quality beans that you can find and of a roast that you enjoy.
With the whole beans, weigh and grind your beans and grind your hazelnuts using a spice grinder or a food processor. I advise against using your coffee grinder as they will release oils and get stuck in your grinder and affect subsequent cups of coffee.
Use the same 2:1 ratio of coffee to nuts as a weigh your coffee and nuts appropriately. Put the mix into a container to shake them and evenly distribute them and add to your drip coffee maker’s coffee filter.
Switch on your drip coffee maker and let it brew as normal.
As the coffee brews and drips through your metal, paper or cloth filter it will extract the flavor of both the coffee beans and the hazelnuts without any unwanted residue in your coffee.
The same process applies for pour over coffee and Chemex coffee makers.
With your French press, you follow the same procedure as you would when making a French press coffee but with coffee and hazelnuts mixed together using the full immersion technique to extract the flavor from both the beans and the nuts.
Due to the metal mesh filter, you will not have excess coffee or nut residue in your coffee.
Simply add the coffee and hazelnut mix into your French press, shake it lightly to ensure an even distribution. Slowly add your hot water until your coffee beans and nuts mix are covered in water and wet.
Allow your grounds to bloom for 20 to 25 seconds, then continue to add your hot water slowly and evenly to your French press.
Once it is full, to the max fill line, stir gently for 60 seconds and then depress the plunger until it is just below the water line. Let your coffee brew for 3 to 4 minutes and press the plunger down slowly and evenly until it reaches the bottom. Pour and enjoy your coffee with milk and sugar as desired.
Frequently Asked Questions About What Does Hazelnut Taste Like
Does Hazelnut Taste Like Chocolate?
The flavor of hazelnut is often comparable to chocolate, but they don’t taste similar. Hazelnuts are creamy and nutty and followed by earthy and musty notes.
Does Hazelnut Taste Good?
Yes, hazelnut taste great. Raw hazelnuts are rich, decadent, with a bitter papery skin which is followed by a sweet taste from the inside. Commonly, people remove the papery skin. I like to keep it on.
Is Hazelnut Flavor Sweet?
Yes, hazelnut has a sweet flavor which often overpowers the taste of hazelnut itself, peculiarly hazelnut has a bitter taste in coffee.
Does Hazelnut Taste Bitter?
Hazelnut can taste bitter and unpleasant when they are off. So you bite into one and get a bitter taste just know that it is off. On a safety note, according to the health site Healthline, eating a few rancid hazelnuts won’t make you sick. They just taste bad and bitter.
Does Hazelnut Taste Like Coffee?
Hazelnut does not taste like coffee at all, but the flavor of hazelnut and the flavor of coffee and the creamy texture of quality coffee compliment each other very well. This is why you often see quality coffee with hazelnut flavor added.
The fragrant nuttiness and complex, decadent flavor and the natural characteristics of hazelnut taste as well as the creaminess to hazelnuts marry very well with a well roasted coffee, be it black coffee or with milk for an extra creamy taste. Hazelnuts are, for some coffee lovers, the secret ingredient to an amazing latte.
Do Hazelnuts Taste Like Nutella?
Roasted hazelnuts are what gives Nutella its very distinctive flavor. Nutella’s flavor is not derived from the hazelnuts themselves. The smooth texture and rather rich texture and high quality chocolate is what makes Nutella stand out from other chocolate spreads. If you are daring to try, a dollop of Nutella in your latte and well stirred in is absolutely fantastic!
Final Thoughts, Frappé-Ing It All Up – What Does Hazelnuts Taste Like?
Hazelnut is a great addition to coffee and is every bit as good as, if not better, than vanilla, cinnamon and other popular flavorings. If you are to go right ahead and make your own, use the natural methods of either flavoring your beans or flavoring your coffee directly with the nuts rather than using artificial flavoring or syrup – which I intentionally did not mention as it is too sugary and packs a lot of calories on to your daily coffee.