Have you ever noticed how some foods and coffee taste so good together? Do you wonder why?  Often it is due to the fact that certain foods and coffees share some of the same major aroma and flavor components or the flavors are just highly complementary.

In the past, coffee was basically viewed as one flavor that was mostly served at breakfast time or with dessert.  However, these days there are a wide variety of different flavors of coffee that are available from all over the world.  These celebrate the various differences in body, aroma, and flavor of different coffee beans.

To pair the coffee and food together, analyze the flavor of the coffee or food that you would like to pair and then identify what its dominant flavor notes are.  Then search for similar notes in foods or coffees to pair up. The following are some of our favorite coffee-food pairings.

Breakfast Food Pairings

A majority of Central American coffees have a balanced, light flavor that goes very well with breakfast foods.

  • Eggs & Sausage or Bacon go well with a medium-roast Costa Rican coffee.
  • Pancakes & Maple Syrup or Oatmeal pair nicely with a Nicaraguan or Kona coffee.
  • Quiche has savory flavors that go great with Pacific Island coffees.

Meat Pairings

  • Poultry goes well with Central American and East African coffees.
  • Lamb, pork, and beef pair nicely with bold espresso blends.
  • Spicy foods go well with Central American coffees.

Fruit Pairings

  • Fruit tarts go very well with medium and dark roast Costa Rican and Brazilian coffees.
  • Apricots, plums, peaches, and other stone fruits pair nicely with Haitian and Tanzanian coffees.
  • Berries go well with Haitian and Kenyan coffees  
  • For blueberries, Jamaican and Yemeni coffee are particularly good.

Chocolate Pairings

  • Milk chocolate goes well with numerous coffees, including Kona, Ethiopian, Yemeni, Sumatran, Kenya, and Colombian.
  • Dark Chocolate pairs nicely with Guatemalan, Ethiopian, Brazilian, and Indonesian coffees.
  • White Chocolate goes well with Yemeni, Costa Rican, and Colombian coffees.

Baked Goods Pairings

  • Chocolate Cake goes especially well with chocolaty Guatemalan coffees, while Arabica coffees are a great match for chocolate mousse cake.
  • Biscotti goes very well with espresso.
  • Carrot cake and Colombian coffee are a nice match.
  • Caramel Flan goes well with Guatemalan and Indonesian coffees.
  • Cinnamon Buns pair nicely with Guatemalan and Colombian coffees due to their chocolate and caramel notes.
  • Coffee cakes go well with Nicaraguan and Hawaiian light and medium-roast coffees.
  • Doughnuts go especially well with Costa Rican coffee.
  • Muffins pair nicely with Mexican and Costa Rican coffees.

So there you have it – our best tips on how to pair coffee with various foods, along with some of our favorite pairings.  In addition to enjoying some of the coffee-food pairings above, don’t be afraid to experiment and find some of your own favorite pairings.  Pairing food and coffee is an art and not a science, and it is only limited by your imagination and creativity. So enjoy your new adventures and bon appetit!