French Vanilla Coffee

French Vanilla Coffee

French vanilla and hazelnut are two of the most popular coffee flavors in the world. French vanilla goes with most other flavors, which makes it a great way to add some extra sweetness and flavor to your favorite coffee. 

Some coffees are flavored with French vanilla syrup, while others roast vanilla and hazelnut into the beans for a rich, French vanilla flavor.

What is French Vanilla Coffee?

French vanilla coffees have coffee beans infused with the French vanilla flavor. They are on the shelves of most grocery stores across the United States. This popular flavor is a staple in many people’s morning routines.

There’s a difference between vanilla and French vanilla coffee. French vanilla is a vanilla flavor with a small amount of hazelnut flavoring added. The hazelnut adds a bite of nuttiness to the sweet vanilla flavor. Simple vanilla-flavored coffee uses only vanilla without the added hazelnut.

French vanilla coffee is flavored right after the beans roast. While the beans are still warm from the roaster, they go into a mixer along with highly concentrated vanilla and hazelnut syrups. 

Coffee beans and syrup tumble in the mixer for about 15 minutes. The beans act like a sponge and absorb the syrup while they tumble. Each coffee bean has a microscopic porous texture that allows for this absorption.

French vanilla is a favorite flavor among many Americans. If you buy coffee that does not have a French vanilla flavor, you may buy some French vanilla syrup to flavor your brewed coffee. French vanilla syrup and French vanilla creamer do not have the same flavors as French vanilla-infused coffee beans, but it is still a way to enjoy the delicious French vanilla flavor.

French Vanilla Coffee vs the French Vanilla Cappuccino

Brewed coffee and espresso drinks stem from the same coffee beans, but they have different flavors because of their preparation process. Coffee has become an art. Different temperatures, times, ratios, and preparations have created countless types of coffee drinks.

French vanilla coffee has coffee beans flavored with highly concentrated vanilla syrup and a splash of highly concentrated hazelnut syrup. French vanilla coffee is flavored right after the beans have roasted.

The warm beans are covered with the syrups and tumbled in a mixer until the coffee absorbs the syrup. This process creates a coffee bean that delivers a delicious French vanilla drink. The beans are brewed with hot water to make a simple cup of French vanilla coffee.

A cappuccino is a specialty espresso drink. Espresso is made from dark-roasted finely ground coffee beans put under high pressure in an espresso machine that produces a thick liquid full of coffee flavor. A cappuccino has equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam. A French vanilla cappuccino has espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam flavored with French vanilla syrup. 

French Vanilla Cappuccino

For a more subtle vanilla flavor, the dark-roasted espresso beans could be flavored with vanilla syrup after the roasting process. The espresso beans would undergo the same espresso brewing process and be used to make a French vanilla cappuccino without extra added vanilla syrup.

French Vanilla Coffee Beans

The process of crafting French Vanilla Beans is anything but simple. 

Roasting Method

French vanilla beans roast in the same manner as plain beans. Most coffee beans are unflavored in the roasting process. Coffee can roast in everything from an oven to a popcorn machine. 

Professional coffee roasters use machines specifically designed to roast coffee beans. Green beans are added to a roaster and go through a series of cracks to determine the darkness of the roast.

After 3 to 5 minutes at a high heat, an audible crack will be heard from the coffee beans. This first crack indicates a blonde roast coffee. The longer you roast the beans, the more cracks will occur and the darker the roast will be. A medium coffee roast is somewhere between the first and second cracks. Dark roasts roast after the second crack.

French vanilla coffee is usually a medium roast coffee. The beans are removed from the roaster and added to a mixer while they are still warm. The beans are tumbled with vanilla and hazelnut syrups until the syrup is absorbed.


French vanilla coffee is known for the rich, creamy flavor it delivers. French vanilla has a slightly sweeter taste than regular vanilla coffee. The small amount of hazelnut syrup added to the French vanilla coffee produces a delicious, nutty flavor.

People love the flavor of French vanilla coffee. It is not an overpowering taste but is just enough to give a warm feeling to your cup of coffee. French vanilla is mute to be used with other flavors but is flavorful enough to be used on its own.

The slight sweetness French vanilla coffee delivers allows you to satisfy your sweet tooth without eating too much sugar. Enjoy French vanilla coffee as a dessert drink or as breakfast in the morning.


French vanilla coffee looks similar to other coffee beans. Most French vanilla coffee is a medium-roast coffee. Medium-roast coffee beans are medium-brown in color. It is possible to have a blonde roast or espresso roast French vanilla coffee.

Blonde-roast French vanilla coffee has some of the green color left. Blonde roast only roasts through the first crack, so it is much lighter in color than medium roast, dark roast, and espresso roast. Dark roast and espresso roast are the darkest in color. 

When coffee beans are flavored, the syrup added gives the beans a glossy finish. French vanilla coffee has both vanilla and hazelnut syrup absorbed into it. The syrup gives a wet, shiny gloss to the coffee beans.

Caffeine Content

The caffeine content of French vanilla coffee changes based on the way it is prepared. The species of coffee bean plant will have a determining factor on the caffeine content as well. A normal cup of French vanilla coffee has 150 mg of caffeine.

The grind size and temperature of the water used to brew the coffee will change the caffeine content of the French vanilla coffee. The smaller the French vanilla coffee is ground, the higher the caffeine content will be. The smaller grinds allow for more surface area, allowing more caffeine to escape the beans and enter the water.

The higher the water temperature, the higher the caffeine content of the coffee will be. High temperatures extract more caffeine from the coffee beans into the water.

How do big chains make French Vanilla beans?

French vanilla coffee is one of the most popular coffee flavors in the world. Its popularity has caused an increase in French vanilla coffee beans made every day. Big roasting chains produce large amounts of French vanilla coffee beans.

Big chains roast French vanilla beans in the same manner as all of their other flavors. The beans are roasted past the first crack until they have reached a medium-brown color. The beans are then removed from the roaster and added to a mixer.

The beans are mixed with 3% of their weight in highly-concentrated vanilla syrup. A small amount of hazelnut is added to give it the signature nutty flavor. The warm beans are tumbled with the syrups until the beans have absorbed the syrup. This takes around 15 minutes.

Infusing the French vanilla flavor at home

If you find yourself in a pinch without French vanilla coffee, there is no need to worry! You can turn your boring coffee beans into French vanilla coffee beans from the comfort of your home. Check out how to infuse French vanilla flavor at home below.

There are several ways to infuse French vanilla flavor into your coffee at home. One way is to add vanilla extract to your coffee grounds right before brewing. This will give a slightly sweet flavor to your whole pot of coffee!

Another way is to brew your coffee regularly and add French vanilla after brewing. You can use vanilla extract or French vanilla creamer. Both of these will add the perfect amount of rich sweetness to your cup of coffee.

The last way to flavor your coffee beans at home is to flavor the whole bean as professionals do. Get your coffee beans and add some vanilla and hazelnut syrup to them. Put them in a jar and give them a good shake. Let them sit like this for at least an hour. Remove the lid to allow the beans to dry out before grinding.


You will love French vanilla coffee as much as the next person does! This classic flavor will have you return to your coffee pot multiple times in the morning. Buy already-flavored coffee beans or infuse French vanilla flavor at home!

Leave a Comment