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What to Eat with Coffee? Our Food Pairing Guide

Wine connoisseurs spend a lot of time paring the right wine with food to improve the taste of both, and you can do the same with coffee. When deciding what to eat with coffee, you need to find something that will enhance the flavour of both your coffee and your food.

Two Kinds of Pairing

There are two, equally appropriate, ways to pair coffee. You can emphasize similarities or highlight contrasts. If you’re new to coffee pairing, start with complimentary flavors so your palate gets used to identifying individual characteristics.

Savor Each Sip

The only way to get the most out of a coffee pairing is to slow the whole process down so you can identify what you’re tasting. Describe the flavors and compare them to the coffee's description. Notice flavors like these when you sip coffee:

  • Bitter
  • Nutty
  • Chocolate
  • Fruity
  • Floral
  • Earthy
  • Sweet
  • Balanced

Coffee Pairings

Each of us enjoys coffee differently, so there’s no wrong way to pair. If you want to bring out the best in your coffee and food, we have some great recommendations.

Fruit

Certain coffees go really well fruit. Look for coffees with floral notes like Costa Rican.

Sweets

Dark, espresso and bold medium-dark roasts like Italian or French go well with desserts of all kinds. Sumatran goes well with desserts made with cinnamon and maple syrup.

Chocolate

Just like wine, some coffees were born to be paired with chocolate. Go for Guatemalan or Brazilian chocolate for an ideal match.

Cheese

Coffee can make cheese taste even more brilliant. Kenya AA is great with strong cheese and Sumatran goes with creamy cheeses.

Poultry

Dishes of chicken and duck pair well with light and citrusy coffees like those from Ethiopia and Kenya.

Red Meat

Espresso is a great go-to for rich red meats. Kona and Sumatran are great pairs too.

There are really so many foods you can choose to eat when drinking coffee. The best thing about coffee is you can drink it at any time of the day, unlike wine, which is really not seen as acceptable to drink at the breakfast table!

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