Coffee trends hit the scene seemingly overnight, usually with a huge spike of pictures and hashtags all over social media. While some innovative ideas are here to stay, like cold brew iced coffee, other ideas seem to disappear just as quickly as they arrived. Coffee trends keep the coffee industry alive and fresh, something that can be difficult to achieve in our fast-paced world. However, there’s a new trend hitting the coffee industry, and it seems like it’s growing quickly in popularity: barrel-aged coffee.
While it may sound weird or crazy, barrel-aged coffee is taking the flavored coffee market by storm. Flavored coffee is a sub-niche that has been lacking in innovation since many coffee shops rely on artificial flavor or sugary syrups. Unlike those options, barrel-aged coffee brings a whole new meaning to flavored coffee. Let’s see what this latest coffee trend is all about and if it’ll catch on in popularity with coffee enthusiasts everywhere:
What is Barrel-Aged Coffee?
Barrel-aged coffee is, as the name suggests: coffee that is aged inside an alcohol-aging barrel. It’s different from flavored coffee in that there are no syrups, artificial flavorings, or extracts, so the coffee is truly flavored naturally. That means the coffee has no additives or chemicals added to enhance the flavor, which is a stark contrast to even the “healthiest” flavored coffee made with organic flavoring.
How is Barrel-Aged Coffee Made?
The process of making barrel-aged coffee is simple, but it requires time and patience to get the right flavors to develop. Green coffee beans are put into barrels that were used to age alcohol, then left to age. Because the barrels still contain the aroma and flavors of the alcohol, the green coffee beans absorb them and create a unique flavor profile.
After the aging process, the beans are roasted and are ready for use. The result is a naturally flavored cup of coffee with spices and notes from the alcohol barrel. The flavors can vary wildly and will not always taste the same due to the fact that each aging barrel will have its own unique aroma that the coffee will absorb.
What Kind of Alcohol Does it Taste Like?
The type of flavor the barrel-aged coffee will have depends on what type of alcohol was in the barrel. Most barrel-aged coffee comes from whiskey and bourbon, but rum and wine are also popular choices. It won’t taste exactly like the alcohol, but the coffee will absorb the stronger notes and spice up the green coffee beans during the aging process.
Barrel-aged coffee aged in whiskey barrels will generally have an earthy, nuttier flavor. Coffee aged in bourbon barrels, the coffee will have a sweeter, more vanilla-like taste. Wine-aged coffee will vary on the type of wine but will typically share the same earthy flavors of red wine. Rum barrel-aged coffee has sweet and spicy notes, similar to caramel. Regardless, every barrel ages differently, so each batch will be unique and different.
Will it Have Any Alcohol in it?
If you’re looking to feel a buzz, we’re sorry to burst your bubble: barrel-aged coffee does not actually contain alcohol in the coffee beans. You’ll get some flavors, and the taste will be completely unique from other flavored coffee, but it’s not going to get you drunk. It’s important not to confuse barrel-aged coffee with alcoholic beverages containing alcohol, which will give you quite the buzz.
The latest coffee trend is making a statement, disrupting both the regular and flavored coffee market. Barrel-aging coffee is a great alternative to fake flavors and adds some spice to that first cup of coffee in the morning, creating a whole new experience for coffee lovers everywhere. We recommend trying different “alcohol” flavors to find the one you prefer, from Kentucky bourbon to pinot noir. Whether you enjoy alcohol or you’re curious about this hot new coffee trend, barrel-aged coffee should be on everyone’s list to try.
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