Blendly has produced a handy guide to pairing coffee with all types of food. It’s been common in the past to pair wine with food, even chocolate… well coffee is exactly the same. By pairing the various flavour notes and nuances in coffee with certain foodstuffs, you can bring out the best in both the coffee, and the various ingredients!
Clearly there are many more different types of artisan coffees around nowadays, with tastes in coffee becoming even more sophisticated. Foodies now want to know how to make the very most of their blends, to bring out every flavour.
Here is our simple to follow guide:
When trying to pair coffee with food, a good rule of thumb would be to match the intensity of the flavour of your dish.
§ Heavier, more intensely flavoured foods are best matched with stronger coffees to match their richness. Kenyan or Rwandan coffees might work well here, just like coffees from New Guinea or Indonesia.
§ Lighter foods are best paired with lighter, more nuanced coffees. Try balanced coffees from Central or South America or a floral, fragrant coffee from Ethiopia.
Wake up in style with a smoky, heavier coffee if you’re having a traditional fried breakfast with bacon and sausages. Try Ethiopian Yirgacheffe or a coffee with beans from Guatemala.
Sweet dishes like pancakes and doughnuts go well with coffees that have higher fruit notes. Try a Kenyan Peaberry.
Light breakfasts such as cereals, croissants and toast go well with light, balanced coffees. A Guatemala Fresh, or a Fairtrade Costa Rica might be the ones to go for here.
CHINESE & ASIAN
Chinese or Asian dishes, with their often nutty and spicy flavours, go well with nutty and smoky coffees. Try a Sumatra Roast or beans from Papua New Guinea.
Smoked meats go well with equally smoky coffees.
Soup and salads, as light as they are, are best paired with dry and lighter coffees. Suggestions are Ethiopian Sidamo and Kenya AA.
FRUIT – here are some suggestions:
Berries – Kenya Peaberry, Ethiopian Sidamo, Harrar Longberry
Tropical fruits (mangoes, papayas, etc) – Cuban, Ethiopian Yirgacheffe
Young and creamy cheeses go well with bright flavours. Try Costa Rica and Cuba.
Milky cheeses like Ricotta help balance bittersweet cocoa notes. Monsoon Malabar will go perfectly.
Lemony, slightly sour cheeses are balanced well with acidic, sweeter coffees. Suggestions – Kenya AA and Ethiopian Yirgacheffe.
Sharp cheeses like cheddar match the pleasantly bitter bite of coffee and espresso. Hence why they go so well with Italian Roasts and delicious Mocha Javas.
DESSERT – it’s coffee heaven!
Creamy desserts like crème brulee work well with smooth, full-bodied coffee.
Dark chocolates help accentuate the bitterness of coffee.
Light pastries and scones work well with light, well-balanced coffees.
Fruity and tarty desserts go well with bright coffees.
Spiced desserts, such as those with cinnamon and nutmeg, go well with equally spicy coffees.
Cinnamon Sticks Flavoured
Cinnamon and Hazelnut
Nutty desserts go well with winey coffees, with balanced sweet and sour tastes.
It’s true to say that there is a science to pairing flavours, but the best combination is still the one that works best for you. This list is a rough guide to starting on your own pairing journey. Follow your palate and enjoy the process of pairing your coffees with your favourite foods.