A Beginner’s Guide to Coffee Pairing

1 APR 2021
Credit: Caroline Burke

Since the emergence of the Third Wave of Coffee, coffee has become much more than just the cup of joe with which we kickstart the day. Similar to wine connoisseurship, coffee drinkers are now encouraged to enhance their coffee experience by developing coffee knowledge, and appreciating the unique flavours of coffees as a result of different variables in the seed-to-cup process: different coffee cultivars, processings, roast profiles, brewing methods and more.

To help coffee drinkers from around the world taste and analyse coffees, the Specialty Coffee Association of America and World Coffee Research have worked together in creating the Coffee Taster’s Flavour Wheel. With the help of this simple and straightforward tool, you will be able to describe your coffee with a series of descriptors, just like how wine sommeliers describe the flavours, senses and aromatic qualities of wine using the Wine Flavour Wheel.

Credit: Specialty Coffee Association

Another interesting similarity we have noticed between the appreciation of wine and coffee is the discussion of food pairings. In an interview, Paulig Kulma roaster and barista Tomi Nieminen has suggested a simple technique with which we can pair coffees and food and elevate the experience: we start by tasting the components separately, then deciding which pairings can highlight either the similarities or the contrasts between your choice of coffee and food.

From our current offerings, we have gathered a few of our favourite coffee and pastry pairings for you to enjoy when you drop by this weekend:

White Coffees & Cranberry and White Chocolate Cookies

A traditional way to enhance the nutty, chocolatey qualities of a coffee, and to reduce its level of acidity is to add milk. For those of you who are looking to enjoy a coffee pairing that accentuates flavours of chocolate, a white coffee brewed with our No.18 house blend would be perfect for when you munch on our delicious, buttery Cranberry and White Chocolate Cookies.

Cold Brew Coffee & Egg Tarts

An all-butter, flaky crust filled with silky egg custard filling – need we say more? The egg tarts from our bakery are irresistibly yummy, and our team loves it as much as you do. After you are done savouring the rich flavours of this sweet treat, we recommend cleansing your palate with an ice-cold, refreshing Canned Cold Brew from behind our coffee bar.

Tea & Strawberry Scone

For those of you who are non-coffee drinkers, this classic tea and scone pairing is for you: brewed with a beautiful infusion of green honeybush, dried fruits and dried flowers, our Iced Rooibos Tea would be a fragrant and flavourful compliment to our fruity, fluffy Strawberry Scone.

Samuil Angelov, chairman to the Finnish Sommelier Association, has pointed out that there is no right or wrong way to pair coffees and food: enjoyability is the key to it all. We all taste things differently, and for us to figure out what our favourite pairings are, we need to taste mindfully at all times, and to be adventurous when it comes to trying new coffees and food. We recommend trying to pair your daily cup of coffee with something new every day, and we are sure you will find your favourite pairing soon enough.