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 flavour 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.
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 flavours .
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.
4. Fruit tart
Fruit tarts crave for dark-roasted Brazilian and Costa Rican coffees.
The bold, heavy flavour of the coffee cuts through the potent sourness of the fruit tart.
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.
6. Dark chocolate
Still, dark chocolate will go best with Brazilian coffee.
Both coffee and dark chocolate are intense flavours, but complementary.
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 flavours.
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.
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.
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.
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, savoury texture of the bread works with the heavier texture in the coffees.
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.
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.
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.
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.
16. Cheese, butter, and cream
You can also have savoury 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.
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?
18. Savoury crepes
Another type of savoury food to have with coffee is savoury crepes. Try having them with bold Pacific Island coffees.
Rich flavours but light textures describe both the crepes and the coffee in this pairing.
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 flavour of the coffee.
20. Fruity crepes
Combine fruity crepes with Kenyan or Haitian coffees.
Here, again, the fruity food brings forward the subtleties in the coffee.
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, savoury coffee can hold its own with the full flavour and texture of most meats.
22. American-style savoury breakfast
Can you imagine an American-style savoury 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.
Last but not least, everyone’s favourite breakfast, omelet. Combine it with Java, Sumatra, and Indonesia coffee, and you won’t regret it.
Here, the coffee can fill out the flavour profile for a complete breakfast feeling.
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 endeavours, 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.