Coffee goes with everything… But there are some coffee and food pairings that are just too good to resist.
Today, we’re exploring which coffee flavor pairings are the most popular and delicious, so you can enhance your meals with complementary combinations that bring out mouthwatering flavors in both food and drink!
Choosing Your Coffee
Each coffee has a unique flavor profile, so it will have its own complimentary food partner. Some coffees are lighter, so they’re better for breakfast, while others are stronger, and might go best with dessert. It also depends on the coffee’s harvest location: Latin American coffees tend to be tangy and bright, while African coffees tend towards more citrus elements.
You don’t need to be a complete coffee connoisseur to understand coffee and food pairings, though. We’ll give you the basics to start out, and then your palate will lead you the rest of the way.
All you really need to know is this: High-quality coffee always tastes better. If your coffee isn’t high quality, it just won’t pair well with your food.
That’s why Eldorado coffee was born, in fact. Our founders wanted to deliver the highest standard in coffee harvesting and roasting, so every sip and every meal tastes absolutely divine.
Always start with quality coffee first. It’ll set you up for the most scrumptious food pairings.
Chocolate And Coffee: Decadent Dessert
There’s a reason you always see coffee and chocolate together—from mocha drinks to cakes and more. They truly are a match made in heaven. Coffee actually enhances the flavor of chocolate, especially when the coffee has citrus or sweet undertones.
So what are some ways to pair chocolate and coffee?
Dark chocolate and espresso:
The strength of both espresso and dark chocolate is irresistible. Both tend to be on the bitter side, but Havenero espresso has sweet undertones that pull out the saccharine side of dark chocolate, for an irresistibly decadent duo.
White chocolate and Colombian roasts:
Colombian roasts tend to be lighter and fruitier. This helps mellow out the sweetness of white chocolate, and together, they leave a creamy flavor on the tongue.
Milk chocolate and light roasts:
Milk chocolate can go with just about any type of coffee, thanks to its creamy, smooth flavor. Milk chocolate pairs perfectly with our Excelso medium roast, which has a chocolaty and nutty taste that will pull out the sweet flavors of your milk chocolate dessert.
If you’re new to coffee and food pairings, start with chocolate. It’s hard to go wrong with two flavors that are innately cohesive and delectable.
Cheese And Coffee Pairing: Surprising Perfection
Coffee and cheese seem like an unusual combo… but it’s surprisingly scrumptious. That’s why you’ll find different cultures around the world that favor “snacks” of coffee and cheese, from Italy and France to Brazil and the Pacific Islands.
Here’s a cheat sheet for how to “hack” the perfect cheese and coffee pairings:
Light to medium roast:
This kind of coffee pairs best with creamy cheeses, like ricotta and mozzarella. Nothing tastes better than a cold brew with light cheese-- delicious!
Medium to full city roast:
These roasts pair really well with tangy cheeses like brie, blue cheese, goat cheese, and aged cheddar
Full city roast to espresso:
Try fuller, stronger roasts with smoky cheeses, like smoked mozzarella or gruyere.
Espresso drinks with milk:
Adding milk to your espresso? Pair it with sweet cheeses, like gouda and parmesan
Coffee With Breakfast
For most of us, coffee is a staple of our morning routine. So, it only makes sense that it goes perfectly with certain breakfast foods.
If you really want to up your breakfast game, you may want to learn the specific pairings between coffee geographies, and your favorite breakfast foods.
Eggs, bacon, and sausage:
This classic American breakfast deserves America’s favorite coffee: the medium roast. Medium roast is what you think of when you imagine that delectable coffee smell wafting through the house. Our D-Shoppe Premium Blend will transport you to simpler times with good, old-fashioned coffee—perfect for breakfast.
Omelet or savory crepe:
If you’re leaning towards a more savory breakfast, like omelets or heavy crepes, you’ll want a full-bodied coffee. We typically recommend a full city or dark roast. Try it with this delicious (and easy to make) ham and cheese crepe—SO good.
If you’re an oatmeal fan, you want to try out a light roast. A lighter roast tends to have fruity undertones that work beautifully with a bowl of oatmeal and a side of seasonal fruit.
Are you a Sunday-pancake kind of person? Pair your pancakes with a bold yet sweet coffee, usually a full city roast. Our customers love the Breakfast Blend for specialty breakfast foods, like pancakes and waffles.
A simple breakfast like buttered toast deserves a heartier coffee, like a cappuccino or espresso. You may also want to try flavored coffee to add some pizzazz to a simpler breakfast.
What To Serve With Coffee And Tea
“Afternoon tea” isn’t out of fashion—It’s just changed to the afternoon coffee! There’s no better way to power through the rest of your day than with a quick coffee break after lunch. Midday coffees have also become a social custom, like meeting a friend for coffee, or inviting guests for an afternoon snack.
But, what sorts of snack foods should you serve with coffee in the afternoon? You want to keep it light, so you still have energy throughout the day, but you also want it to be heartier to keep you full. Afternoon coffee goes especially well with bread and baked goods.
Biscottis are one of our favorite treats to pair with coffee. The biscotti is made for coffee dipping. It comes in a variety of flavors that can go with just about any coffee (but, it’s especially yummy with espresso).
Other breads that go well with coffee:
- Mini cakes, like coffee cake (it’s right there in the name!)
- Croissants (especially chocolate)
- Scones (especially with light roasts)
We’re particularly obsessed with coffee and coffee cake. Like chocolate and coffee, they’re made for each other. Try out this homemade coffee cake Recipe by Lil’ Luna to whip up the perfect pairing in no time!
Note: You may want to switch to decaf coffee in the afternoon, so it won’t keep you up at night. If you’re entertaining guests, make sure to offer decaf as well as caffeinated coffee, so your guests can have the option based on their preferences.
Unexpected Coffee Pairings
Feeling a little bold? Want to take your coffee flavor pairings to the next level? Try out these unexpected—yet oh-so-scrumptious—duos:
- Medium roast coffee and poultry
- Light or blonde roast poured on top of ice cream
- Medium roast coffee with lavender desserts (or a lavender latte!)
- Light roast coffee with avocado
- Espresso and blueberry
- Espresso and cherry
- Medium roast with peanut butter (or other nut butter)
- Espresso with Kahlua, crème de cacao, and brandy (also known as Keoke coffee)
Ready to start experimenting?
Like we said, quality pairings start with quality coffee. Invest in good roasts first, and move forward from there. We gave you a lot about different kinds of roasts in this article—find the perfect roast for your pairing, and give it a go!
Check out some of our most popular coffees in different roasts to start pairing with your favorite foods: