Is there anything better than a cup of joe? Coffee is the best pick-me-up, a great conversation starter, and sometimes even a great replacement for breakfast. But, just coffee alone isn’t something everyone enjoys. So, what goes well with coffee?
Coffee is a great partner for sweet foods. This includes many types of fruits, chocolates, cakes, donuts, and more! There are tons of great options for food to pair with coffee.
So, let’s go deeper and figure out just what these great combinations are as well as learn more about what goes well with coffee.
Pairings with Fruits
Pairing coffee with fresh fruits is a great option! This also includes many fruit-based pastries as well. But make sure that your chosen fruits and sweets are sweet and not sour. If the sourness is overwhelming, you may end up with a weird taste in your mouth.
With berries, go for Kenyan or Haitian coffees. These two are some of our favorites, so if you aren’t drinking them, you are surely missing out. If you are a big fan of blueberries, then Yemeni (can be easily prepared) or Jamaican coffees are for you.
Author Note: Stone fruits are another great matching option for coffee, especially if your cup is Tanzanian or Haitian. If you don’t know, some examples of stone fruits are dates, cherries, peaches, and nectarines.
Remember, fruits don’t always have to be just fruits. You can make all types of tarts with them and pair them with Brazilian or Costa Rican coffees.
Pairings with Chocolates
Chocolate and coffee, the classic duo. You can hardly ever go wrong with this combination, so don’t even worry. Any pairing is sure to work, but there are some which are especially great. Indonesian and Guatemalan coffees tend to be very rich and complex, so you must pair them with rich food.
An example of this is delicious dark chocolate brownies, which you can make at home or buy from the local bakery. Coffee from Guatemala also is a great match for a rich chocolate cake. If you want something fancier, like a chocolate mousse cake, then go for any Arabica-style coffee.
Although Valentine’s day happens only one time per year, you don’t need a special holiday to get yourself some chocolate-covered fruits. On the way, also pick up some African coffee, such as some Ethiopian Sidamo.
Milk, dark, and white chocolates are very different, and so are their coffee pairings. With white chocolate, pour yourself a cup of Yemeni or Colombian coffees. Costa Rican is also a great option. If you are one of the rare people who prefer dark chocolate, then opt for a dark roast coffee.
We highly recommend trying Brazilian or Ethiopian coffee. Last but not least, milk chocolate is not a bar of picky chocolate and matches well with all types of coffee. But, for an especially great pairing, choose a Kenyan, Colombian, or Sumatran coffee.
Pairing with Bakery Treats
Baked goods are always a yes! Even if you don’t enjoy baking, who can say no to a cinnamon bun. But we’re sure it feels lonely, so here are some baked goods and coffee pairings to try.
Biscotti is a very popular treat everywhere but especially in the U.S. As you probably know, it comes in many flavors, and all of these are great with coffee. But, Biscotti is especially delicious with espresso, so try it out!
Moving on to another popular food, cake. Cake and coffee can never go wrong! We already talked about rich chocolate ones, so this time, try pairing carrot cake with Colombian coffee. There are so many cakes that even we don’t know all the good pairings, so you can set out to find the perfect combination yourself. As if you needed another excuse to eat a lot of cake!
If you have lots of Guatemalan coffee beans at home, it’s time to make some caramel flan. The saltiness and sweetness of this baked treat is great with Indonesian coffee as well.
This is an easy-to-bake treat for coffee lovers. Nicaraguan and Hawaiian coffees are great with a slice of this bread. Any light or medium roast pairs well, too. So if you have a few free hours this weekend, try to bake this delicious loaf!
Cinnamon Buns and Croissants
Is there anyone who doesn’t love a delicious cinnamon bun? Colombian and Guatemalan coffees with hints of caramel and chocolate make a great pairing with this treat. So, prepare a roast for your next dessert party!
Top Tip: Croissants are great with any coffee but try to stick to France. French coffee styles are especially perfect with this simple pastry.
Doughnuts come in all shapes and sizes, so coffee pairings differ as well. A simple espresso or latte usually match any doughnut flavor. A smooth cup of Costa Rican coffee makes for an exceptionally nice pairing with this round treat.
We all know shortbread is very buttery and dense, so a cup of coffee is perfect for helping cleanse the palate after each bite. This flavor and texture is a perfect match for any Costa Rican or Brazilian coffee. A cafe breve latte is also a great option!
Sweetbreads are very versatile and come in many different styles! Most of these flavors are great with any coffee, especially espresso con Panna. Colombian coffee is perfect for a slice of zucchini bread with nuts or pumpkin bread. The latter also goes well with a cup of Costa Rican coffee. If you love Costa Rican coffee, try to bake yourself a loaf of banana bread, which is great with Kenyan coffee as well.
Muffins are simple yet very versatile. So, they pair well with almost any coffee style. But, Costa Rican and Mexican coffees are what we would recommend.
Oatmeal and Raisin Cookies
These are cookies that are delicious and also very easy to bake. A light or medium roast of Nicaraguan coffee or Kona coffee makes for a perfect match with a few crunchy oatmeal raisin cookies.
Although these aren’t very common snacks, they can be enjoyed with more than just tea. Fruit scones pair well with Kenyan and Haitian coffees. If your scones are more basic without any extra flavor, then Costa Rican coffee should be your go-to.
Maple raisin scones are a popular and beloved flavor, and these scones match well with Kona or Nicaraguan coffee. Lemon, orange, and other citrus scones are perfect with a mug of Mexican or Ethiopian coffee.
Coffee with Breakfast
Does breakfast even exist without coffee? As everyone likes to say, “don’t talk to me until I have had my coffee.” But chances are, you have been drinking the same cup of coffee during breakfast for years. If you are looking for a sign, then this is it! Mix it up today and experiment with different flavors. Here are some of our favorite pairings.
Crepes and Pancakes
Crepes can be both savory and sweet, depending on your preference. One thing we know is that all crepes are perfect with a small cup of espresso. Savory crepes with spices, different meats and vegetables should be paired with a roast such as those from Pacific Island.
As you can probably tell, this coffee is also a great match for a breakfast quiche. This may seem unusual at first, but we guarantee once you try, you won’t be able to get enough. Chocolate crepes are perfect for a cup of coffee from Colombia; meanwhile, berry crepes are fantastic with Kenyan coffee.
Pancakes are only slightly different from crepes, but they usually aren’t savory. If you love topping your pancakes with maple syrup, you will surely enjoy a cup of Nicaraguan coffee.
The most iconic breakfast food is here! If you are an omelet-person, then try to find yourself a roast made from Sumatran or Indonesian coffee. Remember that an omelet is very savory and heavy, so your coffee should be lighter. If you pair your eggs with meat such as bacon, then a medium-bodied Costa Rican coffee is your perfect option.
Eggs usually aren’t alone, and toast is always on the breakfast table. The above-mentioned medium-bodied Costa Rican coffee is also a great match for toast. You can also try a cup of Guatemalan or Colombian coffee for any dish with oats and grains. And of course, café latte and cappuccino are also classic breakfast coffees.
Last but not least is another beloved breakfast food, oatmeal. The grains and oats here tend to be heavy, so a light roast coffee is the way to go. Pick up some coffee from Nicaragua or Kona next time you are at the store for the perfect match.
African Coffee Varieties
Now that you have learned about the best coffee and food pairings, you will have noticed that many of our favorite coffees come from Africa. This is a continent with a rich history of producing coffee that makes up for 12% of worldwide production. Here are only a few of the best styles.
If you are a lover of coffee, you have Ethiopia to thank. Ethiopians have been producing coffee for more than a millennium. This is considered the birth country of coffee itself and now is home to thousands of distinct coffee styles.
Author Note: Many of these varieties are still not recognized officially and are considered “heirlooms.” This is due to the fact that their genetic background is difficult to study and catalog.
Ethiopia is in the top-5 largest coffee producing country list and makes up 3% of the global production level. Aside from the normal wet-processed coffees, Ethiopia also makes dry-processed coffees.
This technique takes much more time and work to apply but creates a delicious coffee with citrus and other fruity flavors. These flavors are very different from the floral notes in wet-processed coffees. Not only the technique plays a role in this, but the terroir and the weather as well.
Located south of Ethiopia, Kenya is another major producer of coffee. But, they have been doing this for a relatively short period of time, only about two centuries. Even though this really can’t compare to the history of coffee-making in other African countries, Kenyan coffee has really built a huge reputation for itself in this short amount of time.
Most coffee is grown around the region of Mount Kenya. This leads to the creation of a distinct flavor profile featuring fruity aromas and some notes of milk chocolate.
You may also feel a distinct berry or tropical flavor along with citric undertones, thanks to the Mount Kenya terroir. These coffees are usually medium or light-bodied with a delicious acidity similar to that of black currant.
You may notice that some Kenyan coffees are in the higher price ranges, and this hints at their level of quality as well. Good coffee requires lots of time and effort to make, so if you want to enjoy a delicious cup every single morning, then you shouldn’t mind paying a little extra.
Author Note: This is surely one of our favorite coffee styles, and really not many other varieties can compare. They also match beautifully with almost any food, so having some Kenyan coffee beans in your cabinet is a must!
As you can tell, a cup of joe is the perfect match for any food. But, in order to find the best combination, you must do some digging yourself. We are here to help you, but even we can tell you that this list surely isn’t everything. There are many pairings we haven’t tried so now we are passing the baton to you.
Use this article as a helpful set of tips to help you on your journey to the perfect food and coffee combination. When experimenting, try to keep the textures and heaviness of your foods and coffees in mind.
Heavy usually isn’t great with heavy, and too much lightness may leave you feeling unsatisfied. Try to find a pairing that has balance and harmony. Good luck with all your coffee endeavors. We hope you enjoyed this article on what goes well with coffee.
Stay caffeinated friends!