How to Guide x Coffee Pairing

Check out the full article by Rebecca Furtado—“Picking the Right Coffee for Your Dinner Party” that spurred my interest in coffee pairing!



Coffee pairing seems like such an obvious notion for foodies and caffeine addicts alike, yet somehow it is so rarely discussed despite the ludicrous rate at which we consume coffee.  After delving into the topic further, I did some research and have summarized my findings into a few key points for all of you:


(Think of this as the coffee version of my Perfect Wine Pairing guide)


| The Language of Coffee |


Aroma  x  the scent of the bean when water is passed through it during the brewing process (different than fragrance, which is released when the coffee is roasted then ground)


Acidity  x  a measure of the dryness felt in the sides and back of your tongue, giving coffee its brightness or snap


Body  x  how the coffee feels in your mouth – those with a lot of body feel heavier and thicker than those with little body which feel waterier


The combination of the three above are what give the coffee its flavour and determine the overall effect the brew has on the taste buds of the drinker.


| The Main Coffee Regions |


According to Furtado, the base flavour of the coffee is determined by the location that coffee is grown with “different soil and moisture levels in the growing process determin[ing] different flavours inherent in the coffee”.  The three main regions of coffee production are Latin America, Africa/Arabia and the Asia-Pacific region, with each area producing a different bean with a specific flavour profile.


LATIN AMERICANThin body, nutty flavour, moderate aroma, most do not leave an aftertaste in your mouth.  Known for being well-balanced with bright, tangy notes.


Body x Light to Medium
Acidity x Medium to High


Best served with light foods + desserts—rich foods such as cheesecakes or rich mousses may result in the coffee tasting excessively watery.
Compliments nutty flavoured breads and muffins.  Noted to go well with chocolate. 


AFRICAN + ARABIAN | Bold + hearty aroma, leaves a lingeringaftertaste.  African beans tend to have a citrus flavour with floral notes and Arabian beans tend to have berry/wine-likecharacteristics that sometimes have spice and cocoa notes.


Body x Medium to Full
Acidity x Medium


Makes an excellent iced coffee as it does not taste watered down when it encounters ice. Best served with deserts that have a light pastry crust, especially those featuring berries or citrus fruits.


ASIAN-PACIFIC | Heaviest body, rich + intensely flavoured bean.  They have robust, earthy characteristics that often have floral or herbal notes to them. 


Body x Full
Acidity x Low


Goes well with any type of breakfast bread or any dishes featuring cinnamon, caramel, maple or toffee.  It also pairs well with meals where hearty meat dishes are served.


| Entertaining with Espresso |


So whether you’re hosting a brunch with lattes or a dinner party with after dinner coffee or espresso martinis, serving espresso to your guests is a nice little treat.  One of my favourite desserts is affogato which is made by pouring a shot of espresso directly over a scoop of vanilla bean Haagen Dazs.


[image from cocoakiss]




With Love,




What are some of your experiences with entertaining with espresso? Do you know of any good espresso-based recipes?  Share them below!


[Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.  These opinions are my own and are in no way indicative of the opinions or positions of any of the companies mentioned.]