31 Coffee and Food Pairings that Will Change Everything

by Symphony Ragan 10 min read

31 Coffee and Food Pairings that Will Change Everything

Wine isn’t the only thing that can be paired with food to enhance enjoyment and flavor. Did you know that coffee compliments and intensifies flavors in certain foods, as well? In fact, knowing what food goes with coffee can totally change the way you eat.

To get you started, we’ve gathered 31 Coffee and Food Pairings that Will Change Everything. From breakfast foods to desserts - you’re covered all day!

Coffee Flavors by Origin

Coffee flavors can vary significantly depending on the region where the coffee beans are grown. The soil, climate, altitude, and processing methods all play a role in shaping the distinct characteristics of coffee from different origins. Here are some common coffee flavors associated with various coffee-producing regions:

Central America

  • Guatemala:Balanced and complex with fruity and chocolatey undertones.
  • Costa Rica: Clean, bright, and with a sweet citrusy flavor profile.
  • Honduras: Mild and smooth with a balanced sweetness and nutty notes.

South America

  • Colombia: Smooth, balanced, and with a medium body. Often exhibits fruity and caramel flavors.
  • Brazil: Nutty, chocolatey, and mild acidity, known for its sweetness.

East Africa

  • Ethiopia: Known for its wild and varied flavor profiles, including floral, fruity, and sometimes tea-like notes.
  • Kenya: Bright and acidic with bold berry and citrus flavors.
  • Tanzania: Often exhibits winey and fruity characteristics with a medium body.

Asia

  • Indonesia (Sumatra): Earthy, herbal, and often displaying notes of tobacco and spices.
  • Indonesia (Java): Smooth, with a full body and a sweet, nutty flavor profile.
  • Vietnam:Bold and intense with a bitter-sweet taste and often used in espresso blends.

The Best Coffee and Food Pairing Practices

banana nut bread

The harmonious marriage of food and coffee has the power to create a symphony of flavors on the palate, enriching each culinary experience with an added layer of satisfaction. As coffee culture continues to evolve, so does the art of pairing it with delectable foods.

Here are some essential principles and strategies that will help you achieve the perfect balance between coffee and food and unlock a realm of taste sensations that will tantalize even the most discerning taste buds.

  1. Balance intensity. Pair coffee and food with similar intensity levels. Lighter coffee blends work well with delicate dishes, while bolder coffees complement heartier and more robust foods.
  2. Consider flavors. Look for complementary flavors between the coffee and the food. For example, a nutty coffee can pair nicely with desserts featuring almonds or hazelnuts.
  3. Contrast textures. Combine different textures to create an enjoyable experience. For instance, a creamy latte can balance the crispiness of a biscotti.
  4. Try regional and cultural pairings. Consider regional coffee and food combinations. Certain cuisines naturally complement the flavors of specific coffee varieties.
  5. Match acidity. Match the acidity of the coffee with the acidity of the food. A bright and acidic coffee can pair well with tangy or citrusy dishes.
  6. Balance milk and sweetness levels. Be mindful of milk and sweetness levels in both the coffee and the food. Sweeter foods can sometimes overpower subtle coffee flavors.
  7. Opt for seasonal choices. Opt for seasonal food items that pair well with seasonal coffee flavors. For example, as the cool, crisp air of autumn sets in, savor the comforting notes of a pumpkin spice latte alongside a slice of warm apple pie.
  8. Timing. Consider the time of day and the occasion when choosing the coffee and food pairings. Lighter options might be preferred for breakfast, while heavier combinations can work for dinner.
  9. Cleanse your palate. If you're trying multiple coffee and food pairings in one sitting, cleanse your palate with water or a plain cracker between tastings.
  10. Keep it simple. Sometimes, the best pairings are the simplest ones. Let the coffee and food shine without overwhelming each other.

What Pairs Well With Coffee - The Best Coffee Paring Ideas

angelino's coffee with brownies and cookies

What flavors go well with coffee? What food options should you go for to create the most satisfying combinations? We have all the answers you need.

Properly pairing coffee with food can elevate your coffee-drinking experience to new heights. Here are some of the best coffee pairing ideas to tantalize your taste buds.

Breakfast Coffee Pairings

Muffins- A light and fruity muffin, like blueberry, pairs wonderfully with a medium roast coffee, where the coffee's subtle acidity complements the sweet and tangy notes of the muffin. Treat yourself in the morning with a cup of Costa Rican coffee with your muffin, which makes for one of the most delightful coffee pairings you can indulge in.


Oatmeal- The hearty and wholesome nature of oatmeal complements the rich and aromatic flavors of coffee, creating a breakfast duo that provides both sustenance and indulgence. Liven up your hearty morning oatmeal with one of the light roasts like Nicaraguan coffee or delightful Angelino's Breakfast Blend.


Pancakes - A medium roast coffee with its balanced and versatile taste complements the simplicity of traditional pancakes, adding a hint of warmth to each bite. You’ll find that Angelino’s Hawaiian Blend coffee pairs best with the sweetness of pancakes.


Sweet Crepes- Nothing beats a bold morning coffee, like Colombian brew, matched with all-time favorite crepes. For sweet and fruity crepes, like Nutella-filled or strawberry-topped ones, a medium roast coffee adds a touch of smoothness that enhances the crepe's sweetness. The coffee's subtle acidity balances the richness of the fillings, creating a harmonious and satisfying experience.

Belgian Waffles - Whether you choose a light and fluffy waffle topped with fresh berries or a decadent version drizzled with chocolate sauce, the coffee's complexity enhances the waffle's sweetness and adds depth to its buttery undertones. A comforting cup of coffee, such as a cappuccino or a latte, pairs exceptionally well, as the creamy foam or steamed milk complements the indulgent nature of the waffles.

Savory Coffee Pairings

Omelets- When you have savory food like omelets filled with bacon, cheese, and peppers, you’ll want to pair it with bold and full flavors of dark roasts, like Angelino’s Sumatra Dark. The coffee's acidity can cut through the richness of the omelet, leaving a pleasantly balanced taste on the palate.

Bacon and Eggs - Dark roasted coffees, like bold French Roast, are the ideal brew to pair with this hearty All-American breakfast staple. Whether you're craving some bacon alongside sunny-side-up eggs, or a fluffy omelet filled with bacon and cheese, the coffee will elevate the savory essence of this timeless combination.

Savory Crepes- For savory crepes, such as those filled with cheese, ham, or vegetables, a dark roast coffee will bring out the crepe's savory notes, adding depth and complexity to the overall pairing. The coffee's robust flavors will complement the hearty fillings, making every bite a delightful adventure.

Quiche - Your savory and fluffy quiche will pair perfectly with a smooth Pacific Island coffee. Whether it's a classic quiche Lorraine with bacon and cheese or a vegetarian version with spinach and feta, the coffee will enhance the dish's rich and savory flavors.

Soft Cheeses - The mild and buttery flavors of soft cheeses provide a perfect contrast to the coffee's richness. A coffee drink made with an African or Asian blend will add a touch of smoothness and enhance the cheese's creaminess. For an extra touch of indulgence, you can even pair your soft cheese with a caramel or hazelnut-flavored coffee. The coffee's decadent notes will add a luxurious touch to the cheese's delicate taste, making every sip and bite a delightful and gourmet experience.

Pretzels- The salty and crunchy flavors of pretzels go perfectly well with the aromatic and bold notes of earthy coffee. Dark roast coffees have a rich and full-bodied flavor with hints of caramel and chocolate, and their boldness will stand up to the saltiness of pretzels, creating a satisfying and flavorful pairing.

Dessert Coffee Pairings

Ice Cream - Coffee and ice cream create a truly inseparable and well-recognizable duet. An affogato - an Italian coffee-based dessert featuring an espresso shot poured over vanilla ice cream - is a classic coffee pairing you need to try.


Croissants - What pairs better with the buttery flavor of a croissant than a bright and light roasted Costa Rican? An aromatic cup of fruity coffee paired with a fresh croissant is a classic coffee shop order that guarantees a truly delightful coffee experience.


Donuts- The soft and pillowy texture of donuts harmonizes beautifully with the rich and diverse flavors of different coffee blends. Here, we find ourselves with a great Angelino’s Donut Shop Blend pairing. Don’t eat your donut without it!


Cinnamon Buns - A bite of the soft and cinnamon-spiced bun with a sip of specialty coffee is all you need to feel satisfied. With cinnamon buns, you need a coffee that will really enhance their ooey-gooey richness. Try Colombian or Guatemalan coffee - you’ll find the chocolate and caramel notes work perfectly.


Scones- Citrus scones are best paired with Ethiopian blends, and you certainly can’t go wrong in pairing the fruity flavors of a scone with a complex blend from Kenya. The zesty and tangy flavor of citrus scones will complement the aromatic and bold flavors of coffee, creating a match made in bakery heaven.

Fruit - Fruits such as berries can really have their flavors enhanced with the likes of a great Kenyan coffee. Stone Fruits like plums and peaches are complimented perfectly by coffees from Tanzania. And let's not forget about iced coffee! It's the perfect companion for a hot summer day, as it enhances the fruit's refreshing qualities and offers a delightful cool-down experience.


Oatmeal Cookies - When chewy and wholesome oatmeal cookies meet their perfect companion - the aromatic and invigorating coffee - they create the coziest moment of bliss. You won’t regret enjoying that amazing oatmeal cookie when you’re sipping a medium roast Kona blend coffee.


Chocolate Chip Cookies - If you love dark or milk chocolate, you are going to love this fantastic combo of hot coffee and cookies. That lovely semi-sweet flavor in your chocolate chip cookies is going to taste even more amazing when you’re sipping on a delicious espresso blend.


Pumpkin Bread - When fall hits, and you break out the pumpkin bread, don’t forget to have some Angelino’s Colombian Nariño coffee on hand to serve with it. For an extra cozy treat, you can even pair your pumpkin bread with a pumpkin spice latte or a cinnamon-infused coffee. The coffee's comforting warmth will add to the bread's comforting flavors, making every sip and bite a delightful and heartwarming experience. Yum!


Banana Nut Bread - Pairing coffee with banana nut bread offers a delightful and comforting combination that feels like a warm hug on a chilly morning. This sweet bread staple goes amazingly well with Kenyan blend coffees. You can even pair your banana bread with a caramel or hazelnut-flavored coffee for extra indulgence.

Flan - The caramelized sweetness of flan perfectly complements the aromatic and bold flavors of coffee, resulting in a delightful fusion of taste. Your guests are absolutely going to flip when you serve them caramel flan with a side of decadent dark roast coffee of Indonesian origin to amp up the flavor. You can also experiment with Irish coffee or coffee cocktails that will further enhance the caramel notes of the treat.


Coffee Cake - A classic cinnamon streusel or a Blueberry Sunshine coffee cake? Whatever your choice, the coffee will elevate the sweetness and enhance the cake's delightful flavors. A medium roast coffee with its balanced and versatile taste enhances the warm spices and flavor profile of the coffee cake. Light roast coffee beans or medium roast blends, such as Hawaiian Kona coffee, will make a great pairing.


Chocolate Cake - If you like to drink coffee with a sweet treat to bite on, have a slice of chocolate cake with it. The moist chocolate cake meets its match with the aromatic and bold flavors of coffee. Your amazingly rich chocolate cake deserves nothing less than an extra bold Italian Roast coffee.

Chocolate Mousse -Just take a spoonful of luscious chocolate mousse that simply melts in your mouth, and then take a sip of your coffee. These two create a tango of flavors that leave you craving more and more. Both milk, dark and white chocolate will work wonders for your decadent mousse when paired with medium roast coffee.


Brownies - Coffee combinations with brownies create dynamic duos that know how to tantalize your taste buds and make you swoon with delight. The rich and decadent brownie, with its gooey center and chewy edges, is the perfect partner for the aromatic and bold flavors of coffee. Your brownies, especially dark chocolate, are really best when eaten with a steaming hot cup of rich Indonesian coffee.


Carrot Cake - Coffee drinkers love this cake and coffee combination, which is also one of the most popular orders at coffee shops. It's like the perfect partnership where the moist and spiced carrot cake meets its soulmate, the aromatic and bold coffee. The zestiness of your carrot cake will find its balance in a bold Colombian coffee.


Apple Pie - This food pairing with coffee is like a cozy hug on a chilly day, where the coffee's comforting flavors complement the pie's sweetness. Get that cup of black coffee ready - you’ll need to sip it with that warm and tasty apple pie, as bitter coffee will perfectly balance the indulgent fruity notes of the cake.


Cheesecake - Serving coffee with a slice of rich and delicious treat like cheesecake is an idea you can never go wrong with. It's a divine combination that brings together two indulgent treats for a delightful experience. The creamy taste of cheesecake can only be made better by a full-bodied Sumatran blend coffee.

Fruit Tart- The buttery and flaky crust of the fruit tart will complement the aromatic and bold flavors of coffee, while the juicy and tangy fruits in the tart will add a burst of freshness to the coffee experience. Medium roast coffee will be perfect for adding a touch of smoothness that will enhance the tart's sweetness and elevate the fruity notes.

Tiramisu- The coffee-soaked ladyfingers in tiramisu naturally make it an ideal companion for coffee. A medium to dark roast coffee works best with tiramisu, as it adds a touch of smoothness that enhances the dessert's sweetness and complements its rich and velvety texture. For an authentic Italian experience, pair your tiramisu with an espresso or a short black coffee. The strong and concentrated flavors of espresso perfectly complement the intensity of tiramisu, creating a delightful contrast that highlights the dessert's deliciousness.

The Bottom Line

scones and coffee

Now you know what flavors go with coffee, you can make endless unforgettable coffee experiences with these delectable food pairings that are just perfectly crafted to elevate your taste buds. From classic companions to unexpected delights, these best food pairings with coffee will take your coffee-drinking journey to new heights of indulgence and satisfaction. So, whether you're a coffee connoisseur or an adventurous foodie, dive into the delicious world of coffee pairings and savor every delightful moment!

Looking for your next amazing coffee pairing? Angelino’s has exactly what you’re looking for. Purchase one of the variety packs, and you’ll have the right coffee for every meal!

Bibliography

  1. How coffees from different parts of the world taste (2017) Driftaway Coffee. Available at: https://driftaway.coffee/coffee-from-around-the-world/
  2. Otero, M. (2022a) Pairing food with specialty coffee around the world, Perfect Daily Grind. Available at: https://perfectdailygrind.com/2022/03/pairing-food-with-specialty-coffee-around-the-world/
  3. Tiilikainen, S. et al. (no date) It’s all about the taste: Pairing coffee with food, Paulig - Barista Institute. Available at: https://www.baristainstitute.com/how/its-all-about-taste-pairing-coffee-food/


Also in Welcome to Angelino’s Blog

How to Properly Steam Milk
How to Properly Steam Milk

by Anne Franklin 5 min read

Read More
How Long Does Coffee Last in the Fridge?
How Long Does Coffee Last in the Fridge?

by Anne Franklin 6 min read

Read More
Coffee and Chocolate Pairing – All the Secrets Revealed
Coffee and Chocolate Pairing – All the Secrets Revealed

by Anne Franklin 4 min read

Read More