Are you looking for the perfect treat to enjoy with your coffee? If so, read this coffee pairings guide to learn about the best food pairings for coffee.
Much like wine, coffee has a lot of nuances that shape the whole experience. These nuances depend on its origins, the brewing process, the roasting level, and much more. Its aroma and flavor characteristics have huge differences, too.
For this reason, it’s common for people to search for the right food pairing for a certain blend of coffee like they do for certain types of wine.
For blends with citrus notes, what snack would go well with it? What about coffee with floral notes; which dessert can you pair with it?
We’ll answer that. Keep on reading to learn about the right coffee pairings and the possible foods you can eat with coffee.
Let’s start this list with the most popular food pairing for coffee: breakfast food. Toast, pancakes, and anything you eat for breakfast – they’re great paired with coffee. In particular, cappuccino and cafè au lait are great for these simple dishes.
Savory crepes with meat, cheese, or vegetables are nice to pair with coffee, too. To enjoy these coffee pairings better, pick a variety from the Pacific Islands.
Of course, we can’t leave out the other breakfast staples, like bacon, eggs, and sausages. These are also great as an accompaniment for your morning coffee.
If you eat oatmeal or quiche for breakfast, no problem – they’re great with coffee, as well.
All kinds of chocolate are great with coffee. This includes a chocolate bar, chocolate ice cream, brownies, and so on. Even white chocolate is great to eat alongside your favorite cup of Joe.
The sweetness of chocolate and the bitterness of coffee creates an interesting contrast for your afternoon (or midnight) snack. This is also why we have mocha, which is a chocolate-flavored latte.
Of course, if you’re enjoying coffee made from imported high-quality coffee beans, you should also get artisan chocolate for an exquisite pairing.
Speaking of, any flavor of ice cream (even mocha) can do well with coffee. Hot and cold snack at the same time? Why not?
With most flavors, this also creates a nice contrast. Most would argue that vanilla is the best flavor you can pair with coffee, though.
This pairing is so good that there’s even a dessert that combines the two in one dish: the affogato. If you’re not familiar with this popular Italian dish, it’s a type of dessert includes a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream. You then pour a shot of espresso fresh from the espresso machine over the ice cream.
You may be thinking, what goes with coffee that isn’t sweet or the usual? That’s easy – pizza.
This pairing is a bit unconventional, but if you choose the right blend, pizza and coffee may well be a match made in heaven.
Asian and Pacific coffees, in general, are great to pair with savory dishes. It has low acidity and a robust body, making it perfect for salty foods.
However, certain varieties would complement your pizza depending on its toppings.
You can pair traditional pizzas with an earthy coffee, which will bring out the flavors of your meal. Pizzas with subtle and mild flavors are best paired with a bold coffee with high acidity. If goat cheese is the star of your pie, pair it with a blend with an intense taste, earthy undertones, and low acidity.
You don’t always have to drink wine with your main course. You can replace it with coffee and you’ll get to experience new flavor experiences.
For starters, pair foods that have a fruit component with coffee. Pineapple ham is a good example of this.
Pair it with Kenyan or Ethiopian roast and you’ll wonder why this isn’t more popular. It brings out the pineapple notes in the dish, leaving behind a refreshing flavor.
Coffee is also great for spicy foods. If you put milk in it, it can also neutralize the burning sensation in your mouth. Peanut chicken, for example, is great with a rich Sumatra blend, which highlights the nutty notes.
Cake, cheesecakes, cookies, brownies, cupcakes, muffins – you name it, it’s sure to be good for coffee. Besides, enjoying a coffee following a good meal is habitual for some people. This makes desserts natural accompaniments to their hot drink.
The only thing you would have to consider is the flavor of your dessert or snack. Caramel flan, for example, which possesses a salty-sweet flavor, would taste more delicious with Indonesian coffees.
Some would also say that Colombian coffee is the best complement to the cinnamon-y flavor of cinnamon buns.
For cakes and doughnuts, though, any type of coffee in your shelf would work great. Use your handy coffee maker, and you’re good to go.
If you don’t have one yet, make sure to choose the best one that will bring out the flavor in your coffee, like a Keurig, as reviewed by SoloEspresso.
Coffee bread and coffee cakes – like you would expect – are also great with coffee. Try them with light to medium roast coffee and see how you’ll like it.
To sum it up, for every baked dish, there’s a perfect coffee variant to it.
Baked goods aren’t limited to sweet foods, though. You can also enjoy coffee with a bagel or oven-baked waffles topped with savory food.
For someone who wants to enjoy a cup of coffee with a healthier snack, you have a nice variety of fruits to choose from.
Fruits, in general, are a nice snack alongside coffee, but the ones that stand out are berries. Blueberries are great with Kenyan or Ethiopian coffees. So are strawberries and raspberries, but as per the botanical world, these aren’t berries.
Peaches, nectarines, apricots, and cherries make a nice pairing with coffee from Tanzania, Costa Rica, or Nicaragua.
Try any fruit you want with whatever coffee you have, but don’t overdo the sour tones. This might leave a bad taste in your mouth.
You can also enjoy fruit with coffee in other forms, like fruit tarts. Fruit dipped in melted chocolate is a great pairing in itself, but it’s on another level when you pair it with coffee.
Enjoy These Coffee Pairings with the Perfect Cup
You can enjoy any simple cup of Joe with most of the food on this list. However, if you want to elevate these coffee pairings, you must have the right blend and machine for it.
It doesn’t end here. You can learn more about coffee, including its origins and profile, by reading our other blog posts today.