What would Italians do without coffee and biscotti? What would South Africans do without their rusks and coffee? What would Canadians and Americans do without their doughnuts and coffee? These coffee pairings are ingrained in the daily lives of many. Here are a few popular ways to enjoy pairing coffee with baked goods.
• Biscotti – Perhaps the most popular baked good to enjoy with coffee in the U.S. outside of doughnuts, biscotti comes in flavors and varieties to suit nearly any palate. Almond is classic, but cherry, chocolate and other types are also well worth trying. Full-flavored biscotti is also great with espresso.
• Cakes – Cake and coffee is a classic pairing. Carrot cake is fantastic with Colombian coffee. Chocolate cake pairings are listed above under “Chocolate Pairings.” Beyond these few suggestions, the possibilities are endless!
• Caramel Flan – The rich, salty-sweet flavor of caramel flan works well with Indonesian and Guatemalan coffees.
• Cinnamon Buns – The caramel and chocolate notes in Colombian and Guatemalan coffees are a natural fit for cinnamon buns.
• Coffee Breads – Anyone who is inclined to bake should check out this list of top ten coffee breads. Use their individual flavor profiles to pair them with coffee.
• Coffee Cake – Danishes and coffee cakes pair well with most coffees, but light- or medium-roast Hawaiian and Nicaraguan coffees are particularly good.
• Croissants – You can pair unadorned coffees with croissants, but why not take a cue from the French? CafÃ© au Lait pairs so much better!
• Doughnuts – Different types of doughnuts pair well with different coffees. Many coffee-and-doughnut lovers swear by milk and sugar with pretty much any type of coffee and any type of doughnut. Smooth, sweet Costa Rican coffee is especially well suited to pairing with doughnuts.
• Muffins – Like doughnuts, most muffins work with most coffees. Some find that Costa Rican and Mexican coffees are especially good with muffins.
• Oatmeal Raisin Cookies – Light- to medium-roast Nicaraguan and Kona coffees are ideal for pairing with the lighter flavor of oatmeal raisin cookies.
• Scones – They’re not just for tea! Fruit scones are great with winey coffees from Yemen, Kenya and Haiti. Unflavored scones are good with Costa Ricans and maple raisin scones are perfect for Kona or Nicaraguan coffee. Citrus scones are great with Mexican and Ethiopian coffees.
• Shortbread – The buttery, dense flavor and texture of shortbread is delicious with Costa Rican or Brazilian coffees.
• Sweet Breads – Zucchini bread with nuts is amazing with Colombian. Banana nut bread is great with Costa Rican, Kenyan or Kona coffee, and pumpkin bread with nuts is incredible with Colombian or Costa Rican coffee. They’re all great with Espresso con Panna.
Breakfast Food Pairings
The light, balanced flavor of most Central American coffees is ideal for many breakfast foods, but here are a few breakfast coffee pairings that go beyond the basics.
• Crepes – Pair savory crepes (those with ingredients like vegetables, herbs, cheese and meats) with bold Pacific Island coffees. Pair Nutella or chocolate crepes with Colombian coffee. Berry crepes are great with Kenyan or Haitian coffees. They’re all also easily paired with espresso and espresso-based drinks.
• Eggs and bacon/sausage – This British-style breakfast is great with medium-roast Costa Rican coffee.
• Omelets with Mushrooms, Basil and/or Chevre – Java, Sumatra and Indonesian coffee can handle the full flavors of savory brunch foods like omelets.
• Oatmeal – Light-roast Kona or Nicaraguan coffee is ideal with oatmeal.
• Pancakes with Maple Syrup – Kona and Nicaraguan coffee complement the maple and the pastry flavors of this classic breakfast food.
• Quiche – The full, savory flavors of many Pacific Island coffees is great with quiche.
• Wheat Toast – Light- or medium-roast Costa Rican, Colombian, Guatemalan and Brazilian coffees are great with simple, grainy breakfasts, such as toast or cereal.