Perfect partners: specific food and coffee pairings

Image: Pixabay

Pairing the right food with the right coffee can be a tricky business, as the combination needs to enhance each component rather than over-power. In our last blog post, we looked at what types of food work generally with which types of coffee. Now, we’re going to look in more detail about exactly what goes with what, and why.


For those countries who have a coffee culture, the traditional pairing is a sweet, milky drink with some form of pastry. Think lattes and cappuccinos, then think France and croissants or Italy and hot, fresh rolls. On the Continent, the idea is to dip your chosen pastry into the coffee and eat the whole thing together, which is why breakfast coffee is served in large, wide-mouthed cups. Most coffees will go well with sweet foods, but some perform better than others. The idea is to choose your food to mimic the natural topnotes of the coffee, so for example coffee with a citrussy note would pair well with a lemon cake. South American coffees tend to have chocolatey, spices tones which make them an ideal breakfast choice. As a general rule, as well, the lighter the roast the most delicate the coffee flavour.


If your food has a stronger flavour (grilled meat, spicy foods, vegetables or the Great British fry up), then look for a more robust coffee that will enhance your meal without overpowering it. You can look for a medium or darker roast, which will give a more intense flavour. Some flavours that pair surprisingly well with coffee include cheese (you’ll have to do your own experimentation here!). Cheese is low in acidity and coffee is high, so they work well together as a team. A similar thing happens when you add avocado to the mix – the smooth blandness is a perfect foil for coffee. Fruity coffee from Ethiopia and Kenya can enhance a spicy dish such as mild curry or Chinese.

At the Wholesale Coffee Company, we specialise in supplying great quality beans and coffee accessories at wholesale prices. To take a look at our range, just visit our main website at