Cheese and coffee pairings are wonderful for people to discover new flavors that they might not have tried before. Sometimes, it can be as simple as a piece of bread with cheese and jam or some trail mix, but there are also many more delicious combinations that you can try out when you’re feeling brave.
This article will cover this topic in-depth and go into more detail on choosing the best cheese concerning different kinds of coffee.
How to Pair Coffee and Cheese Perfectly?
The answer to that question is to be found in the tasting notes of each cheese. Cheese has an enormous range of flavors and aromas, which means that it can pair with almost any kind of coffee. However, certain cheese will go better with certain coffee, so it’s essential to understand the factors behind these pairings.
Coffee has five major taste components: bitterness, sweetness, sourness, saltiness, and umami (Umami is a Japanese word that describes the savory, meaty taste imparted by glutamates.)
Each of these tastes is present in cheese, and it has different ratios of these tastes. Bitter coffee work better with hard cheese such as Parmesan and Asiago. Aromatic coffee work well with milder soft cheese such as mozzarella and camembert.
The bitterness of coffee is a reflection of the amount of caffeine and acidity in the bean. However, these bitter notes can be masked by sweet or sour flavors. Therefore, if you want to pair your coffee with cheese with high bitter content, make sure that you choose your cheese accordingly.
Coffee that are high in saltiness will mask the saltiness in cheese. The saltier the cheese, the more it will be overwhelmed by the saltiness of your coffee.
Coffee with high sweetness levels, such as Columbian and Sumatra, are likely to mask softer cheese like goat and Brie. However, they can also play a vital part in enhancing complex flavors in less sweet cheese like Gruyère, Emmental, and cheddar.
This is the taste that most oftenly prevents the perfect pairing of coffee and cheese. If you are looking for a cup of coffee with your cheese, make sure that you choose your cheese and beans wisely.
Many great coffee and cheese pairings exist, but many of those are hard to think about. We did our best to compile a list of the top ten coffee and cheese pairings that are most popular, although it is undoubtedly possible that you might come across one or two more good ones.
1. Vermont Creamery Bijou And Chocolate-forward Espresso:
Vermont Creamery Bijou and chocolate-forward espresso blend well together because the creaminess in the cheese and milk brings out the caramelized sweetness in a dark roast espresso. The espresso’s bitterness will also cut through the richness of the Bijou, which is a soft cheese made from cow’s milk.
2. Chantico And Organic Colombian:
The health benefits of Chantico are well-known; the cheese is full of calcium, and it can be a great addition to a salad or a sandwich. For firm cheese, such as blue or Parmesan, you need to taste this cheese first before adding it to your coffee. Also, do not pair too much strong cheese with coffee. If you like them both, go ahead and enjoy them together.
3. Parmigiano Reggiano And Stumptown Blend:
Coffee and the famous Italian cheese pairs well together because of their saltiness, similar to Parmigiano Reggiano’s. Stumptown Blend’s strong coffee taste will also cut through the salty flavor of Parmesan without being too strong.
4. Gruyère, Emmental, And Swiss With A Sweet Espresso:
A similar pairing to Parmesan, these cheese are full of calcium, and they all pair well with sweet things, such as coffee or dessert wines. For coffee lovers, this is a great combination.
5. Cabot Clothbound Cheddar With Kenya AA Filter Coffee
Cabot Clothbound Cheddar is an extremely flavorful cheese that can be used for any occasion. Compared to a coffee-like Twin Peaks Blend that is fruity and floral, the Cabot paired with the Kenya AA has a smoky flavor with a slight sweetness.
6. Chevre With Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Espresso Beans
This was a flavor surprise as I was expecting more of a goat cheese flavor. It’s pretty mild and has more of a “creamy” flavor. The toasty sweetness in the coffee plays well with the nutty notes from the cheese, and the coffee is not overwhelming like a lot of cream-based coffee can be.
7. Sharp Cheddar With French Roast
The sharpness of the cheddar cuts through the bitterness of the French roast, and they both will cut through the richness of creamy cheese.
8. Pepper Jack And Peru Cajamarca Blend:
Pepper Jack has a moderate smoky flavor with a nutty finish that pairs best with coffee that have similar taste components. This Peruvian coffee has a smoky, nutty taste to it when brewed lightly and darkly roasted.
When Choosing Your Coffee and Cheese, Consider These Factors:
- The region in which you purchase the coffee beans. Your regions may have specific combinations of coffee that are ideal for cheese. Be sure to check out the coffee list before making your purchase or asking a knowledgeable coffee seller for help.
- Cheese has a variety of qualities that may be affected by the type of cheese itself. For example, some cheese are more compatible with milder coffee than others and vice versa. Be sure to use the cheese that you wish to pair with your coffee.
Best Coffee Additives:
1. Sugar & Cinnamon:
When you sweeten your coffee, you will enjoy the coffee more if you follow these steps. First, grind the sugar and cinnamon together. Mix the coffee with just enough water so that it’s not too thick. Lightly swirl it in the cup to mix it all around, but don’t overdo it, or else the coffee will be bitter! After that, pour the sugar and cinnamon mixture into your cup and stir again gently. Then, drink it!
This method of sweetening the coffee will enhance the flavors and aroma of your coffee by creating a warm environment that the coffee aromas need to flourish.
This is a simple way to sweeten your coffee without adding too much sugar. A good syrup will make your coffee taste better than without it, especially if you have an extra-strong cup. You can get natural syrups at most grocery stores or food stores in syrup bottles or jars with an eyedropper/sprayer. You can also make your syrup by mixing water with sugar and then adding your favorite flavoring.
3. Chocolate Milk:
If you want to experience the unique taste of coffee and chocolate, try this! Pour a cup of coffee, and follow it up with a cup of chocolate milk. The combination will make for the perfect beverage! This idea is based on the fact that people add milk to their coffee but don’t anymore.
This is an excellent option for adding something sweet to your coffee. If you use vanilla syrup, make it extra thick, so it sticks to the rim of the cup. If you use powdered vanilla, mix the powder with a bit of hot water first before adding it into your coffee to create a more flavorful vanilla froth in your cup.
5. Salted Caramel:
Salted caramel is a popular flavor combination on its own, but if you mix it with coffee, it’s even more delicious! Make sure you use natural caramel in your coffee to get the whole sweet and salty effect.
Coconut has a lot of flavors. You can buy coconut syrup at your grocery store or make your own by adding water to shredded coconut. Coconut is not an overpowering flavor, so it blends well with coffee.
7. Irish Cream:
This is an easy way to make your coffee creamier without adding extra calories. This will also make the flavor of your coffee richer and smoother.
If you are a coffee fan with bold flavors such as sour or bitter, we suggest having your coffee in the early morning before experiencing an intense cheese. Otherwise, if you like creamy and mild coffee, perhaps go for emmentals or even a blue cheese with your morning cup.
Q: Are coffee and cheese a good combination?
A: Yes! The combination of coffee and cheese is not only good but also full of taste. But remember to avoid pairing hard cheese with your coffee since they do not work well together because hard cheese is too strong to compliment the flavors of a full-bodied or dark roast. And pair white cheese with milder coffee because it’s pretty sweet on its own.
Q: Is there any particular coffee brand that is better when paired with cheese?
A: This is something that we cannot answer since it will depend on your taste. However, if you like bold and strong flavors in your coffee, we recommend a dark roast with a hard cheese like Parmesan or Romano.
Q: What cheese works best with coffee?
A: If you like creamy and mild cheese with your coffee, we suggest pairing your most popular and favorite soft cheese with the two. If you prefer a more robust flavor in your coffee, try pairing hard cheese, such as blue cheese, with a medium roast or dark roast. We also recommend pairing smells like Brie or Camembert with robust roasts such as Full City Coffee for those who love strong and bold flavors in their cup.