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. 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. 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 good-quality, ethically sourced coffee. At Esquires Coffee, we use delicious Fair-Trade coffee made to its best 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 using a cafetière or a filter system and use freshly ground coffee.
The tasting journey starts long before the cup touches your lips. It starts from the moment you open the bag of coffee and you smell the aroma. 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 to taste mindfully. The key areas to analyse are acidity, bitterness, sweetness and saltiness and the balance between them, as well as the mouthfeel, structure and colour of the drink.
Flavours commonly associated with coffee are:
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 feel these notes next time you have a coffee! The key to learning how to tase 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 Ten Interesting Facts About Coffee?
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.
Fruit – Try complementing classic combination by pairing coffee with chocolate-dipped fruit. Stone fruits such as cherries and plums work brilliantly, and professionals often use blueberries.
Chocolate – Don’t limit yourself when it comes to chocolate. Experiment with dark, white and milk and don’t forget about a rich chocolate cake!
Vanilla – 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.
Cinnamon – This can be enjoyed as a cinnamon bun or toast, or even sprinkled on top of a cappuccino for a slightly spicy pairing.
Bagel – 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.
What Makes a Great Coffee Shop Manager?
To effectively manage a successful coffee shop, there are several key factors to consider. As a manager, you are responsible for ensuring your business is running to the highest standard.
Christmas Gift Ideas for Coffee Lovers
For those of you with friends and family members who are coffee lovers, buying them a Christmas gift associated with the good stuff could be a great idea.
9 Things You Didn’t Know About Cake
Did you know cake can be dated back to the Greeks and Romans? Find out the world’s most expensive slice of wedding cake and why cheesecake isn’t really a cake.
5 Healthy Snack Ideas for On the Go
Quick and easy snack ideas for protein-rich, healthy food that can be taken on the go to work. Includes our recipe for cranberry and cocoa energy balls!
Key Progression for Franchisees
What is the next step for a successful franchisee? Learn how you can progress and develop your business empire with a master/regional licence with Esquires Coffee.
A Guide to Alternative Milks
A guide to five of the most popular plant-based milk alternatives, including taste and nutritional information. Alternative milks are often vegan, and gluten and lactose free.
7 Healthy Coffee Options
We’ve come up with our list of healthy coffee options, so you can continue to visit your favourite café for a low-fat caffeine fix.
7 High Protein Vegan Foods
A vegan lunch doesn’t have to leave you short on protein. Read our guide on seven of the best plant-based sources of protein.
What to Expect from a Regional Master Franchise?
A regional master franchise gives you the opportunity to grow a territory with a proven business model. Find out what you can expect and how you can apply today with Esquires Coffee.