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.]

Top 10 Lists x Cheap and Chic Ways to Entertain with Mason Jars!

From the whimsical snow globes in Anthropologie to cute glassware at rustic weddings and everything in between, innovative uses for the mason jar seem to be popping up left and right. 
An affordable and ohsocharming decor trend, mason jars are the perfect way welcome in the summer!  I’ve compiled my Top 10 List x Cheap and Chic Ways to Entertain with Mason Jars (some of them may surprise you!):
10 | mason jar x drinking cups
Swapping out your regular glassware for cute mason jars is the easiest way to incorporate this trend + add a touch of personality to your party.  To keep this trend looking chic rather than cheap, try decorating glasses with coloured straws, vintage labels, ribbon or twine.    
9 | mason jar x party favors
Why not try mason jar party favours?  Your guests will adore taking home a unique sewing kit or a batch of pre-measured cookie mix.  For the sewing kit, add padding + fabric to the lid to make an instant pin cushion—hot glue the fabric underneath leaving space around the edge of the rim.  If opting for the cookie mix, don’t forget to include instructions on how to bake the cookies. 
8 | mason jar x vases and terrariums
Skip regular vases and use multiple mason jars to display fresh flowers.  Take it a step further and try mason jar herb gardens or terrariums!
7 | mason jar x serving options
Mason jars are excellent for setting out straws or separating cutlery for your guests to take.  They are also perfect for serving accompaniments and look even better with the attachment of a simple tag labelling the type of sauce, dressing or dip.
6 | mason jar x salad in a jar
Mason jar salads are not only a unique way to shake things up (sorry, it was too hard not to say it!), but they are very convenient and can be prepared up to 5 days in advance.  Either keep the dressing separate, or layer the ingredients in such a way that those at the bottom won’t get soggy while marinating in the dressing.   
5 | mason jar x chandeliers
One of the more complicated ways of decorating with mason jars, these chandeliers are perfect for the DIY pro.  They provide a unique mix of rustic pieces in a contemporary design that is guaranteed to be a conversation piece. 
4 | mason jar x cocktail shaker
A DIY version be made by either (1) finding a cocktail shaker lid with the same circumference as the mason jar lid; or (2) punching holes in the top of one lid—swapping it out for an unpunched lid when shaking.  Easier still, pick up a readymade one at West Elm for a little over $30 CDN.
3 | mason jar x dessert in a jar
Dessert? Amazing.  In a mason jar? Even better.  Perfectly portion almost any dessert into individual servings by preparing them directly inside mason jars.  Two of my Vancouver favourites are the lemon pot de crème in Fable Kitchen on W. 4th Ave and the nanaimo bar in a jar at Oakwood Canadian Bistro on W. Broadway.
2 | mason jar x table centerpieces
Get creative and fill mason jars of all shapes + sizes with an assortment of candles.  Floating candles on water add an elegant touch and using tea lights turns any jar into an instant hurricane lantern for patios + outdoor events.  
1 | mason jar x magic bullet
This one tops my list because who knew that almost every blender can be turned into an instant magic bullet?  Amazing, right?  The glass rim of a mason jar is the same size as almost all blender jugs, which means you probably already own single-serve blender that is not only more powerful than a magic bullet, but also has an unlimited supply of cute and trendy cups!  Try it out for a margarita night or a unique brunch-time build-your-own-smoothie bar!
BONUS x chalk board paint
Using chalk board paint is a pretty and versatile way to label mason jars.  I recommend usingPebeo Porcelaine 150 China Paint in Chalkboard Black, which once baked will make the painted section microwave-safe and dishwasher-safe.
So pick up a pack (I got a set of 12 at Canadian Tire for $7.99) and try incorporating some of these cheap and chic ideas into your next party or event.  At 66¢ per piece, you really can’t go wrong! 
Keep in mind, this trend can walk a fine line between trendy and tacky.  You’re aiming for simple and charming, not “I’m a college student and these jars are all we have in our kitchen”, so make sure to take the extra effort to decorate and add little touches to make everything seem put together!  Remember, it’s all in the details…
With Love,
What do you think about the current Mason jar trend – Like it? Love it? Hate it? Do you know of any other fun uses for Mason jars or have any noteworthy jar-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.]