When coffee and food are properly paired, they can create a wonderful experience that brings out the best in each item. With so many new coffee trends emerging, coffee food pairings have expanded to include a wide range of flavors and foods. Here's how to pair coffee with other foods.
When looking for the perfect pairing for your coffee products, there are several factors to consider. Different foods will pair better with different roasts of coffee and brewing methods.
Here are a few things to consider when looking for the best foods to pair with coffee:
Firstly, the Flavor. Coffee and food with complementary flavors often go well together. A rich chocolate latte, for example, would complement a chocolate brownie. Secondly, the Texture of the food. The texture of a food can influence how well it goes with a particular type of coffee. Hot coffees are best paired with hard and foods that can be dunked (doughnuts, for example) while iced coffees are best paired with softer textures. Thirdly, the Temperature. The temperature of a food item is important because contrasting temperatures are great for a tasting experience. An iced coffee or cold brew goes well with a warm cookie or brownie, while hot coffee goes well with room temperature or cold food. Finally, the Complexity of the coffee. When looking for pairings, the complexity and strength of various coffee drinks should be considered. Roasts that are span and bold should be paired with lighter foods, while lighter roasts should be paired with rich and flavorful foods.
How to pair Coffee with Other Foods
A variety of foods give flavors that complement various types of coffee. There is no one food that goes with every type of coffee, but there are a few common pairings you should expect. Here are some of the most popular coffee pairings:
Coffee and Chocolates
Dark chocolate is known for being bitter, which complements the bitterness of some coffee roasts. On the other hand, its bitterness can also be a nice contrast to lighter roasts. There’s also milk chocolate that is loved by many; and a versatile pairing that goes well with almost any type of coffee. Meanwhile, the white chocolate makes for a great pairing with lighter coffee roasts where the coffee lets the sweetness of the food to shine through.
Coffee and Fruits
When it comes down to pairing coffee and fruits, there are some great options to consider. There are the berries that can highlight the light fruit flavors found in some coffees. Berries are typically paired with various African coffees. Then you have the citrus kind of fruits. Mostly, the tart flavors of most citrus fruits complement the flavors of dark roasts, making them an excellent match. Also, apples can do wonders too. The fruitiness of apples combined with light roasts creates a great flavor combination, making the two a great match.
Coffee and Baked Goods
Undeniably, people love to enjoy a cup of coffee with some delicious baked goods. Here are some of the baked goods that make coffee so much more enjoyable.
There is the Biscotti; a traditional coffee pairing. The biscotti’s hard texture makes them fun to dunk into a cup of coffee and is a great match for a variety of hot coffees (check out our Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti recipe that goes well with coffee). Who can possibly miss Doughnuts too? Another true iconic coffee pairing, the sweetness of a donut can balance out bitter coffee varieties which makes them undeniably irresistible. Even Muffins, like doughnuts, the sweetness of muffins would pair best with dark roasts, but they can also be used with any coffee. Pairing bitter dark roasts with Croissants is a fantastic idea too as it brings out the buttery sweetness of freshly baked ones.
Coffee and Desserts
Desserts, yes! Anytime is a fun time for desserts. Where there’s coffee, there should also be desserts. Here are some of the coffee and dessert pairings to keep your tastebuds happy.
For starters, Cakes. Chocolate cakes pair well with full-bodied coffees, while carrot cake pairs well with a medium roast. There are also berry cheesecakes that pair well with fruity coffees. Alternatively, nutty coffees are a terrific way to create a flavor contrast. Next up, if you are a brownie lover, you’re in luck. The chocolate and nutty flavors of Brownies complement span and bold roasts well. Comfort desserts like Ice Cream too, can be extremely versatile, allowing you to pair different flavors with different roasts. By pouring a shot of hot, span espresso over a scoop of cool, creamy vanilla ice cream, the classic Italian affogato masters the coffee ice cream pairing.
Coffee and Savory Foods
There are a couple of savory foods that are wonderful with coffee too. Take Cheese, for example. A unique coffee pairing because only certain types of cheese complement coffee. Ricotta and other creamy cheeses go well with light roasts, while span cheeses go well with medium roasts. When pairing coffee with Meat, you have choices too—pork, beef, and lamb pair well with dark roasted coffees because the salty flavors of meat complement the flavors of the roasts. Let’s also not forget a simple breakfast classic: Coffee and Eggs. A medium roast complements the flavor and texture of eggs for a stellar breakfast combination.
Understanding what foods pair well with the coffee helps you to create a more well-rounded menu for your guests or gives you an idea on what you should order next time when you have a cup of coffee. If you have liked this topic, we also have an article on how you can brew your own coffee without a coffee maker or machine.
Nothing brings people together quite like good food. The aromas and flavors; the shared enjoyment of every mouthful and seeing the smile on the faces we love, it’s beautiful. If you have enjoyed what you read, we have a plethora of recipes for you and baking & culinary solutions for your needs—all for you to create your next winning dish.