The Dangers of Drinking Flavored Coffee

‘Tis the season for gingerbread lattes, peppermint mochas, eggnog lattes, and cinnamon swirl coffees…or is it?  With the craziness of last minute shopping and preparation for the holidays, I am sure that some of us needed a little bit of a pick-me-up and gave into one of these flavored coffees.  What you probably did not think of was all of the chemicals that were used to flavor your coffee!

French vanilla, hazelnut, and cinnamon all sound like they would be a natural addition to coffee, but in reality there are very few coffee bean flavors that are truly natural.  To flavor coffee, the roaster adds the chemical propylene glycol to the beans to help get the flavoring to sink in.

If you are wondering what propylene glycol is, it is used in the manufacturing of antifreeze… yes, I said antifreeze.   Are you suddenly regretting that peppermint mocha now?  I would too!

As a food additive, propylene glycol is on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA)  safe list (not to be confused with ethylene glycol, which is extremely toxic if ingested), however, I am still a little hesitant to consume anything that contains this chemical.

Cup of Antifreeze Anyone?

Any Irish Crème drinkers out there?  Here is what is in that delicious drink: ethyl alcohol, dimethylamine-D1, formamidiniumacetate (try saying that five times fast or even once!), alpha methyl benzyl alcohol, and heliotropin (used to manufacture perfumes and soaps).  How about anyone who likes a nice peanut flavor added to their coffee? Now you are ingesting 2,4-dimethyl-5-acetylthiazole or 2,5-dimethylpyrazine.  Other flavored coffees consist of up to 80 different compounds to achieve a certain flavor.  YIKES!

And do not worry about the people using these chemicals to flavor coffee because they are protected by the hazardous materials suit that is required by law. In the safety statements of the chemicals mentioned, it says, “Wear suitable protective clothing, gloves and eye/face protection”.  If they have to wear haz mat suits, imagine what it does to our bodies after consuming it!  I know for one thing that I would not want my liver filtering all these chemicals.

What many people do not know is that coffee has its own natural flavors.  Adding creamers and flavorings only mask the good flavors that are already IN the coffee.  On one website I was shocked to read that some manufacturers use floor sweepings and blown roasts for their batch of flavored coffee!  Other companies want to save money and buy poorer quality beans and use flavorings to cover up the bad taste.

Here at Black River Roasters, we do not flavor the coffee because we want you to enjoy the true tones and aromas that coffee naturally contains.  If you are a chocolate lover, try our Organic Costa Rica.  Or maybe you want something with a buttery aftertaste, then try our Organic Ethiopia.

Now go appreciate the natural flavors with a cup of Black River Roasters coffee!


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7 Responses to The Dangers of Drinking Flavored Coffee

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  3. Sean Brady says:

    What’s with all the nonsense about propylene glycol? You know what else contains it? Toothpaste. That’s right, every time you brush your teeth your putting propylene glycol into your body and much more is being ingested through this than the small amount found in some flavored coffee beans.

    Another thing: ethyl alcohol a.k.a. ethanol is drinking alcohol…I don’t even need to say any more about this.

    Lastly, there were numerous other scientific inaccuracies with this article, but I’m done pointing them out. I also find it pretty ironic that you’re worried about trace amounts of all these things causing cancer and other problems, but seem to forget the fact that coffee itself contains carcinogens and at least one study found that drinking just three cups of coffee a day increases your risk of pancreatic cancer by a factor of three!

    • Ashley says:

      I am sorry that you found inconsistencies in this article. There are actually no recent articles confirming that coffee increases your risk of pancreatic cancer. Only older articles suggest this information. Here are links to a couple different websites showing that coffee actually decreases your risk of cancer:

  4. Jim Sheff says:

    We are 3 weeks into a 5 week sugar-detox very restricted diet and guess what my wife started complaining about stomach issues a couple of day s ago. I think this info you have provided is spot on and could very well be the 1st thing we stop drinking. Because we just switched to a different flavored coffee from a brand we have never used before. Can’t thank you enough for your efforts…Jimmy

  5. Loretta Koenig says:

    Thank you for this eye opening information. I always noticed my quick change in bodily functions shortly after only one cup of coffee from a well known fast chain outlet. Especially after consuming a flavored type. When I quit my coffee, I felt much better and digestive system was calm and my mood happier.

  6. Lynn says:

    Thank you for this information. I have been drinking hazelnut coffee everyday for over 10 years. I have developed very bad intestinal issues. I’m not blaming the flavoring totally, but now I’m sure it isn’t helping me and probably making it worse.

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