Coffee & Cuisine Pairings: 12 Foods That Match Perfectly with Your Finest Brews
Food pairing is an art. When two foods go well together, they will not only taste better on their own but will also enhance each other’s flavors.
One common beverage people have with their breakfast is coffee and knowing what works well with it will make your mornings even better. Coffee isn’t limited to breakfast time, and many love having their coffee after their lunch/dinner or with their desserts.
Whether you are grabbing a quick bite at home or stopping by at your favorite coffee joint for your morning caffeine fix, you can always choose the right food to match with your cup of joe. Here are twelve delicious items that sync well with coffee.
Croissant With Café au Lait
Anyone who has tried this food pairing knows what a sensational experience it is to eat a croissant with café au lait. It’s how the French enjoy their croissant, and this tried and the true combination is always a winner.
Café au lait is similar to a latte, the main difference being in the proportion of the ingredients. While lattes have more milk than coffee, with café au lait, you get equal portions of brewed coffee and milk.
Café au lait is often not too sweet, but you can add sugar to it. For sweet croissants that have a chocolate or custard filling, try having your coffee with no sugar. With croissants that taste more savory, a bit of sugar in your café au lait should enhance its buttery richness.
Cold Brew with Smoky Grilled Meat
People often drink coffee after their meals, but did you know that some cold coffee can also pair deliciously with your dinner? The coffee and grilled meat combo are gaining a lot of attention, as more people are using the coffee ground to season their meat.
Some coffee has a high acidic content and can be a bad choice to pair with fatty food. However, dark roast cold brews have the lowest acidic content, as the brewing process makes the coffee 67% less acidic.
An iced glass of cold brew infused with sliced berries is the perfect energizer to bring out the flavor and cut the grease from your delicious smoky grilled meat dinner. Grab yourself an electric smoker grill combo, and try this mind-blowing food pair today.
Biscotti with Espresso
Do you like to start your day with a bitter, invigorating, and strong cup of espresso? Then you should definitely pair it with some sweet carbs. Pair your cup of espresso with a biscotti to give yourself a morning energy boost.
The sweet-savory flavor of your biscotti will come out well when you take sips of your bitter and aromatic espresso along with it. You can also try dipping it in your coffee to soften your biscotti and enhance its flavor.
Even though Italians frequently have their espresso after their meals, if eaten with breakfast, they pair it with simple carbs. Try having your coffee with a simple sponge cake or with some toast and jam.
Savory Sandwiches With Cappuccino
If you notice, most cafes serve a list of savory sandwiches. From croissant and bagel sandwiches to simple avocado toast subs, any savory sandwich pairs harmoniously with coffee, which is why you can always find them on cafe menus.
The natural sweetness that cappuccino gets from its milk or cream matches well with your BLT or grilled cheese sandwich. This mellow combination helps bring all the aromatic flavors forward, giving you the taste of a wholesome and fulfilling meal. This combo works for any meal, so you can have it whenever you want.
Cheesecake With Iced Americano
If you’ve been to a cafe in any East Asian country, you will find people enjoying this heavenly combination. It is a favorite pairing in most countries in that region.
A rule of thumb regarding coffee and desserts is that dark roast, bitter coffee harmonizes well with rich, sweet treats. Since colder beverages pair well with cheesecake, an iced americano is easily the right choice to accompany the dessert.
Iced americanos are quite watery, which takes down the bitterness and gives you a clean, refreshing splash of coffee with every sip. Cheesecake is sweet and bursting with flavors.
Once you try this pairing, you will never want any other coffee drink with your cheesecake. You can also try chilled long black coffee with your cheesecake, but which one works better is entirely up to your preference.
Donut With Black Coffee
Does black coffee go well with donuts? Americans stand by this favorite combo. Dunking your donut into your coffee is something most Americans have tried at least once, and if you haven’t, you should try it too.
This bittersweet combo will wake you up in the morning or give you a pick-me-up during any time of the day. You can have it as breakfast, lunch, or brunch, and it also works well as a snack.
Coffee tends to drain the nutrients out of most food. Since many carb treats are empty sugars, having them with coffee will only enhance your energy. Get your ultimate energy fix from a steaming cup of black coffee and a sweet donut.
Chocolate Chip Cookie With Mocha
You can never have too much chocolate. If you love chocolate and often drink mocha, this is the right coffee-food pairing for you.
Mochas are rich, often sweet, and deliciously chocolatey. Chocolate chip cookies have a buttery and salty base with a bit of a chocolate surprise hidden in every bite. This combination works great as an after-lunch/dinner treat or an in-between snack.
Mocha also pairs well with any chocolate-based sweets. Many people enjoy their mocha with dark chocolate bites, but if that is too much chocolate for you, a chocolate chip cookie is savory enough to balance it out.
Pies With Irish Coffee
Do you enjoy fresh apple or pumpkin pie during the fall? Try pairing it with a cup of Irish coffee, and enjoy a classic combo. Irish coffee is technically a cocktail with a hot coffee, cream, and a splash of whiskey.
Why does this combo work well? Fruit pies taste both rich and fresh, which goes well with the intensity of Irish coffee. You can serve it with your Thanksgiving dessert. Whenever there are pies to be eaten, make some Irish coffee to go with it.
Caramel Macchiato With Chocolate Cake
Macchiato is mainly an espresso shot served with a splash of milk or cream, which makes it deliciously dark. The more bitter the coffee, the better it goes with sweet desserts.
The buttery, creamy texture of caramel gives your coffee a bittersweet flavor, which pairs well with rich chocolate cake. This combination will take you to heaven with a boost of dopamine in your system.
However, if you are opting for a caramel macchiato from Starbucks, they make a latte drink that is quite sweet. You can try this sweeter latte with more savory desserts.
Scones or Shortbread With Hazelnut Frappuccino
Savory-sweet baked items pair perfectly with a nutty frappuccino. Any nut frappuccino has a mildly sweet coffee flavor, which brings out the buttery flavor of your baked goods.
From scones and shortbread to biscuits and cookies, you can enjoy it well with your nut frappuccino.
Hazelnut frappuccino is the most popular beverage amongst all the nut-flavored lattes. It is a sweet coffee drink that pairs well with any savory item, so you can also try it with breakfast sandwiches and buttered toasts.
Coffee With Cheese Boards
The right beverage for any cheese platter (other than wine!) is coffee. But, it is less about the type of drink you are drinking and more about the type of roast of coffee beans you are using to make the coffee.
If you are serving mild cheese like brie, which pairs well with fruits, pair it with light roast and milky coffee. If you are serving medium-strength cheese like gouda or fontina, serve it with medium roast coffee, so that neither flavor is compromised and they compliment each other.
For stronger cheese like blue cheese or aged cheddar, the strong flavor can drown out the coffee. In this case, try a darker roast and a stronger coffee, so that the cheese does not overpower the coffee.
Anything With Iced Vanilla Latte
If you love your “IVL,” you know what a versatile drink it is. You can pair it with anything. It is light enough to go with your spaghetti, yet bitter enough to pair with your rich desserts. When in doubt, always opt for a vanilla latte as you can never go wrong with it.
Even if coffee does well as a stand-alone beverage, it works well in food combos too. Now that you know which food item to have with your favorite coffee drink, you will always know what to order at the cafe of your choice!