The autumn and winter seasons bring many changes – changes in weather, clothes, habits, and food. But have you considered pairing your coffee to match the flavours of each season?
Many coffee shops and roasters produce seasonal blends. In autumn you’ll find they reflect the rich fruity flavours of the harvest with hints of cranberry and plum, and Christmas blends carry hints of spices like cinnamon or cloves. Numerous brands aim for a ‘fruitcake’ flavour, reflecting the rich, heavy puddings and desserts of the season.
Tempting, right? But I know a way to make your seasonal coffee taste even better.
Pair your coffee with the right food. If you do it with wine, why not do it with coffee?
Most of us automatically pair coffee with sweet foods at the end of a meal – and while experts agree that works with milky drinks, black coffee is much more versatile. It works well with savoury foods too. Combine the two for a double taste sensation – you’ll bring out subtleties of flavour in your brew and in your food.
So where to start?
Believe it or not, several food and drink experts recommend combining black coffee with meat, especially salty and heavily-seasoned options like bacon, cured meats and peppered steak. Other recommend smoked salmon, especially when served on a savoury bagel.
One pairing suggestion that surprises me is coffee and cheese – although it seems you need to be careful which one you pick. Top tips are mild Dutch cheeses, creamy cheeses and, wait for it – toasted cheese. But if the idea of eating meat and cheese with your coffee is too mind-blowing, experts also recommend pairing coffee with natural foods like nuts and dried fruits.
It’s all new to me, but definitely worth a try.
But before you rush to the shops to buy steak, peanuts and a big slab of creamy cheese, make sure you’ve got a coffee blend that will complement it – and know the best way to brew it. Tell the roaster your menu and see if he can recommend a coffee that complements the specific flavours. The days of milky coffee and chocolate are fading fast. So go on, bring out your coffee pot with the carving knife this winter. It’s time that meat meets coffee.