The Best Coffee Flavour Combinations

Coffee is one of the nation’s favourite drinks, as evidenced by the success of coffee shop franchises across the UK.

It’s a drink that comes in many forms; we know it tastes great with milk, sugar and syrups, but what other taste sensations can you create with the distinctive flavour?

Our comprehensive guide to the best coffee flavour combinations gives a bit of insight into all the ways you can enjoy coffee!

a guide to types of coffee drinks

What Flavours Go Well With Coffee?

For some coffee purists, adding any other flavours to the drink might be considered sacrilegious. However, adding additional flavours can be a great way to complement that classic coffee taste and is brilliant for people who like lots of variety when it comes to their coffee shop order.

Classic flavours to pair with coffee, whether this is through syrups or accompanying food, include:

  • Vanilla
  • Hazelnut
  • Caramel
  • Chocolate
  • Cinnamon
  • Coconut
  • Almond
  • Pumpkin Spice
  • Chai
  • Berries and other fruits

Coffee Syrups for Flavoured Coffees

A row of different flavoured syrups for coffee

Various spices have been added to coffee for centuries, but nowadays, one of the easiest and most popular ways to add extra flavour to coffee is in the form of flavoured syrup.

Depending on your preference and the amount of syrup you add to a drink, you can achieve a subtle or powerful taste experience.

How to Make Flavoured Coffee with Syrups

If you want to try flavoured syrups at home, you can add your chosen syrup to hot or cold coffee. A good amount to start with is two tablespoons per serving - this will give a really full and impactful flavour. One pump of syrup is generally equal to around half a tablespoon.

You can try a range of coffee syrups for yourself at your local Esquires Coffee store. While you’re there, you might also want to pair your drink with some food - but what’s the best food and coffee combination?

Pairing Coffee with Food

You’d be hard-pressed to find a food that doesn’t really go with coffee - but there are definitely some stand out treats that you’ll want to eat alongside your next brew.

What Baked Goods Go Well With Coffee?

A slice of cake with a cup of coffee

Over the years, chefs have created classic desserts that combine coffee, sugar and various other flavours, resulting in some truly mouthwatering bites.

Coffee typically pairs very well with sweet flavours as sugary notes will cut through the bitterness and acidity of coffee wonderfully.

Coffee-based desserts will often be combined with flavours and ingredients like:

  • Chocolate
  • Caramel
  • Cream
  • Cinnamon
  • Sweet Fruits

Sweet treats that make use of these flavours and will be especially delicious when washed down with your favourite coffee include:

  • Sponge cakes - let’s be honest, any cake with coffee is a match made in heaven, but we think chocolate, fudge, vanilla and coffee cakes make particularly good options.
  • Brownies
  • Cinnamon buns
  • Croissants
  • Danish pastries and fruit tarts
  • Tiramisu
  • Eclairs
  • Banana bread
  • Biscuits or biscotti
  • Truffles

The possible combinations of different kinds of baked goods and coffee are virtually endless!

What Savoury Flavours Go Well With Coffee?

A cup of coffee with a cooked breakfast

If you don’t have much of a sweet tooth, there are still plenty of savoury foods that pair wonderfully with a cup of coffee.

Savoury breakfast foods like everything you’d find in a full English breakfast are, of course, excellent for enjoying with coffee.

You may not immediately think it, but cheese is also a great savoury food for combining with your brew of choice. Stronger cheeses paired with the powerful taste of coffee can offer a complex flavour experience.

Cooking With Coffee

Coffee itself can also be used as an ingredient in some of your savoury dishes. You can try adding a shot of espresso to chilli con carne or use ground coffee to create a coffee rub.

The thought of cooking with ground coffee might sound strange, but homemade coffee rub on chargrilled meat is the secret weapon of the master barbeque chef!

There are loads of different ways to make a coffee rub, but simple and easy recipes include salt, pepper, paprika, garlic, onion, chilli and coffee. The resulting flavour is not as bitter as you might think, and the coffee gives it a unique tang.

What Fruits Go Best With Coffee?

A cup of coffee next to some oranges and flowers

As already touched upon, fruits and coffee are a tasty combination, but which fruits offer the best pairing?

More sour, tart fruits combine deliciously with a dark roast coffee, whether you're eating them fresh alongside your drink or want to have a snack that combines them. These kinds of fruits include:

  • Grapefruit
  • Blackcurrant
  • Kiwi
  • Green apple

If you’re looking for something sweeter to counterbalance the bitterness of coffee, you might want to try the following alongside your coffee:

  • Raspberry
  • Strawberry
  • Blueberry
  • Peach
  • Orange
  • Banana

Coffee Cocktails

A coffee cocktail in a glass

Is there anything that coffee can’t do?! That distinct coffee flavour in a cocktail (or mocktail) can elevate a drink to a whole new level.

Espresso and coffee liqueur are often combined with other alcohols to create a range of delicious coffee cocktails.

The espresso martini and the white Russian are two of the most classic examples of coffee-based cocktails. Another example of an alcoholic coffee drink is, of course, Irish coffee.

Hopefully, we have inspired you to experiment with some new flavour combinations and enjoy some tried and tested classics! Here at Esquires, we’re passionate about bringing you the best flavours when it comes to both our food and drinks, so why not pop into your local Esquires branch next time you fancy something delicious?

If you’re passionate about coffee and want to get to know the ins and outs of a coffee shop, a franchise might be right for you. Find out how you can become part of our ethical coffee shop brand today.

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