Did you know you can enhance your coffee experience by pairing different coffees with different foods?
People are beginning to realize that coffees are as nuanced as wines. You’ll continually find new favorite combinations of coffees and foods.
(Geek-note: the science behind taste parings was recently put forth by François Benzi of the Swiss perfume and flavor company Firmenich, at an international workshop on molecular gastronomy in Erice.)
Start your coffee-pairing-journey by trying the following pairings. See if you can describe what’s happening in your mouth. The act of putting words to it helps you concentrate and differentiate.
Chocolate (of course we need to start with chocolate, duh).
- Full-bodied coffees, like Indonesians, go great with darker chocolates. Try one with dark chocolate brownies, for instance, and see what you think.
- Smoother/lighter coffees pair best with the lighter milk chocolates. Try some with an Ethiopia Yirga Cheffe or a very round Columbian.
- Then try picking up the fruity notes in various Ethiopians and Kenyans with some chocolate-dipped fruit. You’ll see how the two resonate together.
Morning-starters (need those, don’t we?)
- Sweet breakfasts (pancakes, donuts, etc.) resonate well with coffees that have higher-fruit notes.
- Savory breakfasts (eggs & bacon, omelets, quiches) pair best with heavier bodied coffees.
- Light breakfasts (toast, cereal, simple muffins) pair well with less-complex, smooth coffees. You don’t want intense coffee flavors to overpower your intentionally-light food.
- Toasted nuts, seeds and anything caramelized — go with medium or darker roasts
- Soup and salad — pair it with lighter and drier coffees
- Chinese or Asian flavors — see how they are enhanced beautifully by Ethiopian coffees. Who knew there was that Asian-African thing going on??
- Grilled chicken — try our bold Harrar
- Meat and Potatoes — the smoky hints of a Sumatran brings out the savory flavors amazingly!