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Home » How to Pair Coffee with Food: 23 amazing Combinations

How to Pair Coffee with Food: 23 amazing Combinations

Each year, humans consume more than 400 billion cups of coffee, making it the world’s most popular beverage. It makes sense, then, that humans have spent considerable time and energy, finding the best possible combinations to highlight and complement the full range of flavor profiles found in a good cup of joe.

Coffee’s delightfully complex taste opens up a world of possibilities for great food pairings by following a few basic rules. Below, we highlight 23 coffee-food pairings to suit everyone’s taste.

coffee mug and sandwich

1. Most berries (strawberries, raspberries)

A basic rule regarding most berries is to combine them with coffees from Kenya, Ethiopia, or Uganda.

In this pairing, the fruity notes of the coffee highlight the berry flavors .

Strawberries being paired with Coffee

2. Blueberries

Yet, blueberries are different from the rest of their family of berries.

Blueberries agree with a slightly more substantial body of Yemeni and Jamaican coffees.


3. Peaches, plums, and apricots

These pieces of fruit are best combined with coffees from Tanzania and Haiti.

Tanzanian and Haitian beans have natural notes of stone fruit worth accenting.

A hand holding a cup of coffee with apricots, wooden knife and coffee beans in a spoon

4. Fruit tart

Fruit tarts crave for dark-roasted Brazilian and Costa Rican coffees.

The bold, heavy flavor of the coffee cuts through the potent sourness of the fruit tart.

Homemade rustic apple tart pie on plate over wooden turquoise background

5. Chocolate

No one can deny that chocolate goes well with anything. The same rule applies when it comes to chocolate and coffee. You can combine chocolate with Brazilian, Columbian, El Salvador, Guatemalan, Kona, and Mexico coffees. Moreover, you can merge the two in a delicious energizing treat: chocolate covered coffee beans.

Slightly more bitter coffees pair beautifully with the richness of the chocolate.

Chocolate and Coffee

6. Dark chocolate

Still, dark chocolate will go best with Brazilian coffee.

Both coffee and dark chocolate are intense flavors, but complementary.

Dark Chocolate

7. Milk chocolate

On the other hand, milk chocolate is best combined with Colombian, Kenyan, Sumatran, Yemeni, Ethiopian, and Kona coffees.

Lighter chocolate blends nicely with these fruitier coffee flavors.

milk chocolate

8. White chocolate

Somewhat differently, it would be best if you combined white chocolate with Colombian, Costa Rican, and Yemeni coffees.

Like milk chocolate, the sweet taste of white chocolate works well with lighter roasts.

White Chocolate and coffee

9. Chocolate cakes

Like chocolate in general, you can combine chocolate cakes with most coffees, preferably, medium- or dark-roasted coffees. Though, they are especially tasty with chocolaty Guatemalans.

With chocolate notes already present in a Guatemalan, chocolate cakes make a beautiful side.

Chocolate Cake Slice on a white dish

10. Chocolate mousse

This one is quite straightforward—chocolate mousse and Arabica, nothing else. A level up would be making a coffee mousse, why not?

The mousse has a similar mouthfeel to the medium roasted Arabica.

chocolate mousse

11. Wheat bread

For those who love wheat bread, you should have it with coffees from Guatemala, Brazil, Costa Rica, Peru, or Columbia.

The heavy, savory texture of the bread works with the heavier texture in the coffees.

fresh homemade whole wheat bread

12. Sweet Bread

You should combine sweet bread with Colombian, Costa Rican, Kenyan, or Kona coffees.

These brighter coffees come alive with a bread that highlights their sweetness.

Mexican Traditional Sweet Bread

13. Fruit Scones

Fruit scones go well with Yemeni, Kenyan, and Haiti coffees.

In this pairing, the coffee brings forward the subtle sweetness of the scones.

Orange Cranberry Scone

14. Doughnuts and Croissants

Well, this is too obvious for us to state: doughnuts and croissants go with ANY coffee.

The classics became classics because they just worked.

Coffee croissants and chocolate doughnuts

15. Caramel-based cakes

Indonesian and Guatemalan coffees are the best choices for caramel-based cakes.

Syrupy cakes and syrupy coffees make great dance partners.

Caramel cheesecake

16. Cheese, butter, and cream

You can also have savory stuff with your chosen cup of joe. Try combining cheese, butter, and cream with coffees from Sumatra, Java, India, Kona, or Papua New Guinea.

The dominant textures of dairy demand an equally bold, dominant coffee.

Cheese Butter Cream

17. Spicy food

Spicy food craves for coffee, but not just any coffee. It would be best if you always combined it with iced coffees from Nicaragua, Costa Rica or Honduras.

Fire and ice – what could be better?

Hot peppers with spices on a wooden table

18. Savory crepes

Another type of savory food to have with coffee is savory crepes. Try having them with bold Pacific Island coffees.

Rich flavors but light textures describe both the crepes and the coffee in this pairing.

Savory Crepes

19. Chocolate crepes

Although chocolate goes well with most coffees, you should have your chocolate crepes with Colombian coffee specifically.

The toasted sweetness of the crepe matches the smokey, chocolatey flavor of the coffee.

Chocolate Crepes

20. Fruity crepes

Combine fruity crepes with Kenyan or Haitian coffees.

Here, again, the fruity food brings forward the subtleties in the coffee.

crepes with berries and chocolate sauce for breakfast

21. Meat

Yes, you can eat meat and have coffee on the side, particularly dark roast coffees (best with Sumatra, Papua New Guinea, India, or the Dominican Republic coffees).

Meat is a tough pairing, but a dark, savory coffee can hold its own with the full flavor and texture of most meats.

Raw fresh meat

22. American-style savory breakfast

Can you imagine an American-style savory breakfast without coffee? Neither can we because that’s a classic. Still, one rule to follow is to have it with medium roast Costa Rican coffee.

With a lot going on on the plate, the coffee needs to highlight without dominating.

American Savory Breakfast

23. Omelets

Last but not least, everyone’s favorite breakfast, omelet. Combine it with Java, Sumatra, and Indonesia coffee, and you won’t regret it.

Here, the coffee can fill out the flavor profile for a complete breakfast feeling.


Wrapping Up

These pairings barely scratch the surface, but they offer a place to start when designing a coffee tasting to please your taste buds. Great taste experience demands creativity. Still, like all creative endeavors, rules can help guide the process.

We hope you liked our list. Is there an excellent coffee-food combo that we missed? Let us know in the comments below.

Bon appetit!

Jovana D
I come from a country where people drink domestic coffee (what the rest of the world knows as Turkish coffee) and where Nescafe designates all instant coffees ever made. So, imagine my first encounter with, say, Hario V60...Yes, it was love at first sight.  Today I’m a moderate coffee connoisseur and a huge coffee lover. My favorite brewing methods are the V60 and traditional espresso-making. Yet, despite my country’s long tradition of Turkish-coffee-adoring, I somehow cannot stand it. That’s just too dark, even for me.

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