Last Updated on March 21, 2023
Are you looking for a way to make your morning coffee extra special? Adding a little vanilla extract could be exactly what you need to sweeten coffee. In coffee, the subtle hint of sweet vanilla brings out the warmth and complexity of this beloved beverage.
But before you jump on the garnish-your-coffee bandwagon, it’s important to know the pros and cons associated with adding vanilla extract to coffee. From whether or not it has any health benefits to recipes that can help you get started, we’re here to provide all the information you’ll need.
So if you’re ready for an adventure into the world of vanilla coffee, let’s get started!
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- What is Vanilla Extract?
- Can You Add Vanilla Extract to Coffee?
- Is Vanilla Extract Healthy? What are the Benefits?
- What are the Downsides to Adding Vanilla Extract to Coffee?
- Vanilla Flavored Syrup or Vanilla Extract?
- How Much Vanilla Extract Should I Add to My Coffee?
- Other Tasty Flavor Combinations
- Make Your Own Vanilla Extract at Home
- Conclusion: Vanilla Extract in Coffee
What is Vanilla Extract?
Vanilla extract is a popular flavoring that can be used in many recipes. It is made from the beans of an orchid plant, specifically from the Vanilla planifolia species.
To make the extract, these beans are harvested and then dried and cured for several weeks. The cured beans are then steeped in a liquid solution, usually alcohol and water. During the steeping process, some of the natural flavorings dissolve into this liquid solution which creates the flavor of vanilla that we know and love.
Once this solution is finished steeping, it is strained to remove any solid material before being bottled and labeled as vanilla extract – ready to be used in your favorite recipes, or maybe even your coffee!
Organic vs regular vanilla extract
The answer to the age-old question of whether organic vanilla extract is better than regular vanilla extract may depend on your personal preferences and goals.
If you’re looking for a classic, rich vanilla flavor, then conventional might be the way to go. But if you’re striving for a more exotic, bolder vanilla taste, opting for organic could bring you greater satisfaction.
Additionally, consider that there are some known benefits to consuming certified organic products such as knowing that no pesticides were used in their production and that the lower acidity can result in less bitterness and a smoother flavor profile.
Vanilla essence vs. vanilla extract
Whether you’re baking a batch of cookies or adding something special to your cup of coffee, there’s no doubt that vanilla flavoring is what takes it up a notch.
Vanilla extract and vanilla essence can both be used but they have their differences. Vanilla extract is made with actual vanilla beans soaked in alcohol or oil. It has a more intense flavor than essence, which contains synthetic compounds.
Both are not to be confused with artificial vanilla flavorings like imitation extracts or flavorings. When choosing between the two, it depends on the type of recipe you’re making and your own preference for taste, but keep in mind that essence is much cheaper.
Can You Add Vanilla Extract to Coffee?
Yes, you can absolutely put vanilla extract in your coffee! Adding a little bit of this delicious flavor to your cup of java is an easy way to upgrade your morning brew.
You can start small and just add a few drops to see what works best for you and customize it to taste. It’s also a great complement when paired with flavored creamers or cinnamon, so get creative and experiment with different flavors and combinations.
Is Vanilla Extract Healthy? What are the Benefits?
Yes, vanilla extract is healthy! Think of it as a less-caloric, sugar-free alternative to vanilla pudding or syrup. It contains only two ingredients: ethyl alcohol and vanilla. Both have properties that can help promote good health.
Vanilla extract is derived from vanilla beans and offers a variety of health benefits.
First, vanilla extract contains natural antioxidants which can help protect your cells from damage and oxidative stress.
Second, it can aid digestive health because certain enzymes found in vanilla extract can help break down food particles in the stomach and prevent stomach issues.
Finally, studies have shown that consuming vanilla extract may help lower anxiety levels due to its calming scent, making it an all-around gift from nature.
Nutrients in Vanilla extract
You’ll find that one teaspoon of vanilla extract contains these nutrients:
- 12 calories
- 3 milligrams of protein
- 3 milligrams of fat
- 531 milligrams of carbs
- 531 milligrams of sugar
What are the Downsides to Adding Vanilla Extract to Coffee?
Adding a dash of vanilla extract to your morning brew can be an enticing way to satisfy your palate. But before you make it a daily habit, it’s important to know whether there are any risks associated with adding this potent flavor enhancer to your cup.
The good news is that adding small amounts of pure vanilla extract won’t cause any harm. Moderation is key – while the ingredients in natural vanilla flavor are generally safe, overdoing it may lead to certain adverse side effects.
If you overuse vanilla, the flavor can become overwhelming and it could even get so strong that it makes your coffee undrinkable. Additionally, in high doses, vanilla extract has been linked to digestive issues like nausea, heartburn and stomach pain.
So if you’re an extra-generous pourer when it comes to vanilla in your coffee, remember – everything in moderation!
Vanilla Flavored Syrup or Vanilla Extract?
If you’ve been wondering whether it’s better to add vanilla-flavored syrup or real vanilla extract in coffee, the answer is, it depends on the taste you’re after.
When using flavored syrup in your coffee, the flavor tends to be bolder and sweeter than when using vanilla extract. If you like your coffee sweet and flavorful with an intense hit of vanilla, reach for the syrup. Just remember that the regular vanilla syrup will also give you extra sugar calories.
On the other hand, if you prefer a more subtle hint of vanilla and a sweet taste, adding only a few drops of quality vanilla extract may be the way to go.
How Much Vanilla Extract Should I Add to My Coffee?
Adding a small amount of vanilla extract to your freshly brewed cup of coffee, or iced coffee, is an easy and delicious way to bring a little something extra to your morning routine. Just a few drops will do the trick – you don’t want it to overpower your brew, otherwise, too much vanilla extract can make it difficult to detect any underlying flavors or bitter notes within the coffee.
Start with much less than a teaspoon, give it a stir, and take a sip. Depending on your taste preferences – maybe you like more of an upfront sweetness or subtle aftertaste – you can always add more if needed.
Other Tasty Flavor Combinations
Adding vanilla extract to coffee is a delicious classic pairing, but you don’t have to stop there!
Brown sugar, caramel, honey, and cinnamon offer infinite possibilities for creating the perfect coffee treat. You can stir a sprinkle of cinnamon into your morning cup for a comforting pick-me-up, or try mixing in some brown sugar for an indulgent sweetness.
If you’re feeling daring try swirled ribbons of both caramel and honey – this combination is sure to open your palette up with its complexity.
Whatever flavor combo you choose to explore, make sure to let your flavor journey begin with coffee and vanilla as the fundamental base.
Make Your Own Vanilla Extract at Home
Making your own vanilla extract is surprisingly simple and incredibly rewarding. A vibrant flavor and incredible aroma will fill your kitchen as you craft this classic extract in your very own home.
To get started all you need are a few split vanilla beans, a good quality vodka — or any other clear alcohol such as brandy, bourbon, or rum — plus an airtight container or bottle with a lid.
- Start by filling the container about two-thirds full with vodka then add four to six split vanilla beans for every cup of liquid.
- Allow the mixture to steep at room temperature out of direct sunlight for at least 8 weeks, shaking the container now and then to help infuse the alcohol with flavor.
- After 8 weeks have passed your homemade extract is ready to use and will improve in strength and depth of color as it continues to steep over time.
Not only can you enjoy its heavenly scent in your vanilla flavored coffee, or something special like homemade ice cream but now you can impress friends with something truly extraordinary — a traditionally crafted homemade extract!
Okay, if you want a great quality vanilla extract and waiting two months is not going to work for you, here are some of the current best-selling for your consideration (and almost immediate consumption):
- Premium pure vanilla bean extract with a deep, rich taste and color
- Each batch blended for consistent flavor in every bottle
- A baker’s best friend — even balances meat and seafood dishes
- No corn syrup, gluten-free and Non-GMO
- Made with Pure Vanilla Extract and all naturally derived ingredients
- Concentrated, bake and freeze proof blend is ideal for baking
- No Artificial Colors or Flavors. Note: Contains Sulfites
- Non-GMO, Gluten Free, Corn Syrup Free, Kosher
- Organic Vanilla Alcohol- Free is 100% natural, sugar free, gluten free, paleo, vegan, keto, kosher, no GMOs, and halal. Our organic alcohol- free vanilla not made from concentrate so it never touches alcohol. It has a rich and elegant natural organic vanilla flavor without alcohol. Created for people who would prefer to use natural vanilla without alcohol and people with specific dietary restrictions.
- Versatile for home baking cookies, cakes, frosting and pancakes because of its heat stability, ease of incorporation and flavor release.
- Perfect choice for smoothies, protein shakes, hot and cold beverages, coffee, tea, bullet-coffee, and chai.
- Excellent for desserts like ice cream, puddings, custards, mouses, crème brulee, kulfi and other sweets.
- Barrel-Aged Madagascar Vanilla: SAVA partnered with J. Rieger & Co. to bring you this special edition pure vanilla extract for baking and cooking, aged in whiskey barrels, obtaining a rich, aromatic vanilla flavor with wooden notes.
- World’s Finest Vanilla: Our barrel-aged vanilla extract is made of 100% pure Madagascar vanilla beans, sustainably grown by Malagasy farmers, who take great pride in producing some of the world’s finest vanilla using traditional and environmentally sustainable methods, to ensure you get the real vanilla extract pure flavor
- All Natural Vanilla Extract: SAVA barrel-aged vanilla extract for baking and cooking contains a rich, smooth flavor with no sugars, sweeteners, or artificial flavors. Real vanilla extract, at its greatest!
- Better Taste for Your Baking: Our real vanilla extract is a wonderful addition to your cooking and baking supplies. Make delicious homemade vanilla syrup, ice cream, cakes, pies, cookies, meringues, pancakes, and more, with our smooth, buttery taste!
Conclusion: Vanilla Extract in Coffee
Adding vanilla extract to coffee is an easy and delicious way to get the perfect cup. Whether you prefer syrup or extract, it’s important to remember that everything should be done in moderation.
Vanilla can easily overpower your brew if you add too much, so start with only a few drops and adjust according to taste. If you really want something special, consider making your own homemade vanilla extract – it takes some time but gives great results.
With these tips in mind, now go out there and make the most flavorful cup of java ever!
Candi Randolph is a coffee lover, blogger, and content creator who loves to share her knowledge with the coffee-drinking world. You’ll often find her tending to her coffee bar at home, deciding which method to use to brew her next cup of java. Life is full of important decisions. ☕