Posts Tagged ‘vanilla’

Powders

Monday, March 8th, 2010
As we head into spring, we should talk about Powdered bases. These are one of the fastest growing segments in the market today and is one of the cottage industry products that has become a powerhouse in its own right. Typically powders are design to be used either hot or cold, although a café will generally use them cold and market them as iced blended beverages, frappes, granitas and a variety of other names. The “at home” market will typically prepare them hot, due to ease of preparation. As a result, powder blends need to be versatile, consistent both hot and cold and have an easy preparation method. The most popular flavors in powder mixes tend to be vanilla base, mocha, English toffee, mint chip and cappuccino. However, for ease of use and for pairing with additional items already in the store, the two most popular tend to be vanilla base and mocha. I always get asked if you should use milk or water in making the beverage. Most of the products include some milk product, so there is a creaminess that comes from the powder and therefore water is a cost-effective preparation method. However, the best products (in my opinion) are those that are made with milk. The milk adds creaminess and mouth-feel to the beverage and in Vanilla, brings out the vanilla notes more. My suggestion is to use milk, instead of water, but again, this just depends on your cost structure and the finished beverage.

Flavored Syrups in the Coffee Industry

Monday, February 1st, 2010
Flavored syrups have transformed the specialty coffee industry…. And how many of us have focused on this niche market? When I first got into this business, all my energy was focused on syrups. As a company, we re-branded, re-formulated and re-launched the branded syrup line, only to find out that no matter which flavor we offered, customers wanted something else. But you can’t ignore the flavored syrup industry. They are the core of the café’s beverage options as they allow the barista to transform a simple latte into any variety of flavored drinks. This is the most mature product line within the specialty beverage market, as flavorings have been used since the 1980’s and have virtually fueled the flavoring industry and spawned many cottage industries that have blossomed into major beverage categories. The most popular syrup flavors are vanilla, hazelnut, caramel, almond, chocolate, English Toffee and coconut. And we have to have them in sugar free too!

What is November’s Flavor Profile?

Monday, November 23rd, 2009
When you think of caramel, what flavor profile do you think of? At Eagle Beverage we are always trying to find the most authentic flavors, and this is a topic we have discussed numerous times with numerous customers. What do people think are the differences between caramel, toffee, and butterscotch flavors? The flavors are similar and differences are miniscule, but the opinions and perceptions people have of these flavors are immense! The dictionary definition of caramel is cooked sugar that has changed color to a golden yellow/brown. Technically speaking, caramel refers to the complex chemical reaction that takes place when you heat sugar. When this process is occurring, sucrose gets hydrolyzed to fructose and glucose. Those simple sugars then undergo a condensation reaction to lose water, then a series of isomerizations, followed by further condensation reactions. The end products can then either fragment to form flavors, or polymerize to form colors. In commercial caramel flavor or color production, different pH and catalysts are used to direct the reaction in a particular direction. Of course, most consumers identify caramel not by either of these two definitions – but by the candy! Caramel candy is made with milk, sugar, butter and corn syrup (sometimes vanilla flavor as well). This mixture is then heated to the “Firm ball” stage of 250° F, and when cooled this candy will range from soft to firm and chewy – but not brittle. By comparison toffee is made by boiling molasses, brown sugar, or table sugar along with butter (and occasionally flour). The mixture is heated until its temperature reaches the hard crack stage of 300 to 310 °F, and becomes hard and brittle when cooled. Butterscotch is made using very similar ingredients: brown sugar is often used along with butter (and sometimes vanilla). Unlike toffee however, the butterscotch mixture is heated only to the soft crack stage of 270-290° F, and thus is not as brittle as toffee. These three slightly different processes – along with small variances in the ingredients – can lead to big differences in flavor, and long debates over what is a true caramel flavor versus a real toffee flavor versus the best butterscotch flavor. We are constantly trying to improve our products by delivering the flavors the consumer desires. So, as always, feedback and comments are encouraged!