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A Matter of Taste: Our Simple Guide to Coffee Pairing

The place where coffee and food intersect is not just about breakfast anymore. There’s no question, the modern wave elevates coffee beyond its role as morning survival tool.


Celebrating variety across thousands of blends, today’s culinary trends consider each coffee’s taste, aroma and body, opening the door to an ever-deepening crossover with food culture. Café owners are building thoughtfully-paired tasting menus, and chefs experiment with coffee as an ingredient, weighing the balance of flavors between java and its complementary foods.


Coffee pairing is definitely more art than science. But some basic principles can guide you toward discovering your own favorite combos. For starters, identify the dominant flavor in your favorite coffee drink and select foods that mirror it with similar notes. Is your brew light and citrusy, sweet and rich, or earthy and bitter?


Take it a step further by trying different roast types, which affect the coffee’s flavor. Blonde roasts are usually lighter and mellow, making them a match for subtly sweet and savory options—avocado toast, anyone?—while medium roasts are balanced and smooth.


Dark roasts have a fuller body and bold taste that marries well with chocolate, meats, and stronger flavors. Nutty undertones can complement salty-sweet foods (apple and pumpkin dishes are lovely), while earthy coffees play well with cheeses.


Still not sure where to start? Come in and consult one of our Kahwa baristas for samples and advice. Helping you have the best possible coffee experience is what we love doing.

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