The art of food and drink pairing has been the occupation of chefs and sommeliers for decades. Until recently, however, the practice has been mostly limited to wines and restaurants.
A New Trend
The last few years have seen an explosion of creative and enticing beverage pairings, ranging from real ale to tea, and, of course, coffee. In fact, pairing certain foods with coffee is an emerging new trend.
Here at Esquires Coffee, our coffee franchise is dedicated to ensuring our customers get the most out of their coffee! With this in mind, we’ve curated the perfect beginner’s guide to pairing food and coffee so that you can try it for yourself!
Firstly, you have to make sure you start with a high-quality, ethically sourced coffee. At Esquires Coffee, we use delicious Fair-Trade and organic coffee expertly made by our professionally trained baristas, perfect for pairing with our tasty cakes and lunches!
If you’re practising pairing at home, there are several options for a beautifully crafted homebrew. Try buying our own Esquires coffee beans for your home or using a cafetière or a filter system with freshly ground coffee.
The tasting journey starts long before the cup touches your lips. It begins from the moment you pop the bag of coffee open, unleashing its aroma.
The aroma can be affected by the roast of the coffee and it is assumed that a darker roast tends to provide smoky and burnt notes. Lighter roasts, on the other hand, tend to offer fruitier and herb aromas.
Descriptors of coffee aroma may be:
Make sure you take some time to focus on the scent and see if you can pick up on any key points.
The next step is to learn how to taste complex flavours. The science of taste is complicated, and people spend their entire lives mastering the art.
The basics, however, are more straightforward and, once accomplished, you can use them as the foundations of your coffee tasting journey.
Rule number one is always taste while being mindful. The key areas to analyse are:
Consider the balance between them, as well as the mouthfeel, structure and colour of the drink.
Flavours commonly associated with coffee include:
Roasted – Ash, grain, tobacco
Nutty and Cocoa – Nuts, cocoa beans, chocolate
Spicy – Anise, pepper, liquorice
Sweet – Caramel, honey, toffee
Fruity – Sweet, citrus and berry
Floral – Rose and jasmine
Try to notice these notes next time you have a coffee! The key to learning how to taste complex flavours is to practice, so keep trying different combinations.
If you love coffee as much as we do and want to learn more, why not check out our blog on Ten Interesting Facts About Coffee below?
Now you know how to practice and taste, it’s time to find the most delectable edible counterparts to accompany your brew.
Chocolate and coffee are a classic and timeless combination. But adding something extra to the mix can create an entirely new flavour pattern and even bring out undiscovered flavours on both sides.
Try complementing classic combinations by pairing coffee with chocolate-dipped fruit. Stone fruits such as cherries and plums work brilliantly, and professional pairers often use blueberries.
Biscuits and Pastries
We all remember the opening scene of Breakfast Tiffany's. Audrey Hepburn looks like the epitome of elegance as she eats her croissant and sips her coffee. This is, in fact, a great food and coffee pairing and a firm favourite at breakfast time!
Other sweet treats to try include:
• Biscotti (full flavoured is perfect with espresso)
• Sweet breads
Don’t limit yourself when it comes to chocolate. Experiment with dark, white and milk and don’t forget about a rich chocolate cake and beautiful brownies!
Vanilla works wonderfully with many types of coffee. Pastries and cakes that contain vanilla will complement beautifully, or you could try the delicious affogato.
An affogato is traditionally vanilla ice cream topped or ‘drowned’ with a shot of hot espresso. There are now many variations that involve adding whipped cream or chocolate.
This can be enjoyed as a cinnamon bun or toast, or even sprinkled on top of a cappuccino for a slightly spicy pairing.
While much on this list is sweet, there are some savoury options. Coffee and breakfast are synonymous, and you can pair your morning brew with eggs, crepes, wheat toast and bagels.
Why not take your love of coffee one step further with an Esquires coffee franchise? We can offer fantastic opportunities to be a part of our growing community that provides the freedom of an independent coffee shop, with the benefits of an established brand.
For more information, take a further look at our website or contact us on the link below!
About the author - Jack Anderson
Jack has been working in the franchise sector for over 12 years and is our in-house guru on all things business! Jack is also a keen hiker and can be found in some of the UK's best walking spots on the weekends.
How to Support Your Local Coffee Shop
Supporting local businesses is one of the best ways you can help sustain your hometown’s amenities and atmosphere! We explore how you can support your local coffee shop!
Meet Our Team: Life as an Esquires Coffee Barista
We share what it's like working as a barista at one of our coffee stores in our interview! Discover the benefits of being one of our team members from an Esquires barista.
Is a Coffee Shop a Good Investment?
Are you thinking of joining one of the UK’s fastest-growing industries? Check out our blog and see if a coffee shop is a good investment for you.
This Summer at Esquires
Start your summer right with our new and refreshing summer range!
Franchising or Start-Up: A Comparison
When establishing a business, it can be hard to choose between franchising or your very own start-up. We explore their differences and advantages.
How to Add Flavour to Coffee Without Sugar
We share the best ways to add flavour to your coffee that isn’t sugar, including spices. Discover our top picks of flavourings in our guide.
Things To do in Yate
As the home to one of our coffee houses, we’ve put together a guide to Yate for those who are unfamiliar with the area or are looking to visit!
The Perks of Opening Your Own Coffee Shop
Starting your own coffee shop can be an appealing prospect. We take a look at just some of the perks of opening up your own coffee shop.
What Milk Alternative is Best for Me?
Take our quiz and discover which milk alternative you should try if you are considering dairy-free milk options!