Coffee &… : Pairings for Your Commercial Coffee Maker

Trendy Coffee Concepts

It seems these days everyone has easy access to single origin coffees and local roasters, so how can a coffee business stand out in the crowd? Today’s consumers want more. They want &. Tea & cookies. Popcorn & a drink. Soup & a salad. It’s no longer enough to offer one great thing—a successful enterprise will offer its customers the best of at least two worlds.

Savvy coffee entrepreneurs are beginning to see the $ in the &, by combining perfectly-crafted bean concoctions with any number of traditional and not-so-traditional food and beverage options. Pre-packaged muffins or even fresh pastries from a local bakery have become passée. Today’s vibrant, trendy coffee shops create artful coffee pairings of lattées and espressos with whiskey and tamales to appeal to discerning clientele.

So go ahead. Craft a distinct beer, roll some magnificent sushi, or simply provide an unexpected atmosphere that will complement and enhance the flavors of your coffee and vice versa. Just know that it is no longer enough to simply bring a steaming, perfect cup of joe to the counter.

Coffee & Craft

With micro-roasters popping up everywhere, even the smallest businesses now have the ability to present artisan coffee to their customers without breaking the bank. Roasting highlights certain flavors in coffee. For instance, light roasts will best complement fruity, floral, and acidic flavors, including sweet wines. Medium roasts pair well with chocolate, nuts, and muted fruit. Dark roast, on the contrary, works best with other roasted, woody, and bittersweet flavors, including dark chocolate and nuts.

Coffee uses its body to accentuate acid and richness in foods. Those that are light in body work best with fruit, hard cheeses, and pastries. Medium body varieties pair beautifully with lighter foods such as fish and poultry, while rich, creamy desserts and spicy foods are brought to life with full-bodied varieties.[1]

Coffee & Consistency

Whether you’re purchasing beans that are practically roasted in the field, purchasing from a micro-roaster, or even roasting your own beans, the first and arguably most important step is to purchase a grinder. While some coffee connoisseurs may be forgiving of roasting methods, nearly everyone agrees that freshly-ground coffee is essential to a solid coffee venture.

Whether you choose to grind a batch or a cup at a time, a burr grinder will yield the most consistent flavor extraction.

Coffee & Confection

An automatic, simple, go-to blend would be coffee & dessert. Full-bodied Indonesian beans use rich cocoa and spice notes to complement desserts that are creamy and sweet. American and African coffees, with their berry, orange, and floral tones will bring out the natural sweetness of many different varieties of fruit, for a potentially healthier option. Among the most classic of coffee pairings is chocolate, and coffee & chocolate shops continue to boom.

To create such pairings, opt for a cheese & dessert cart that enables your staff to create an elegant presentation of after-dinner treats. You’ll find a design to fit your d´ecor and menu, with units available with domed tops, flambée burners and multiple tiers for smaller desserts.

Coffee & Cuisine

Dishes that have poultry as their primary protein go well with the citrus and berry notes found in East African and Central American varieties. Espresso blends work best with the bold flavors of beef, pork, and mutton. Savory flavors of meat cuts are come to mind when considering what goes with coffee that has wine, cedar, or rich berry tones.

The international flare of coffee also works well with international cuisine. Spicy Indian and Latin dishes are highlighted when coupled with bright, citrus-heavy Central American coffee. Serving the coffee cold or over ice heightens the flare of these spicy dishes.

Coffee & Cognac

Well-crafted coffees beg to be paired with well-crafted liquor, wine, and beer. Micro-roasters and micro-breweries are a veritable match made in heaven, and many cafés and bistros across the country are tapping into the artistry involved in their creations. Whether it’s coffee & whiskey, coffee & beer, or coffee & liquor, these watering holes often feature walk-in humidors and some welcome hookahs.

Coffee & Culture

The specialty coffee scene often encompasses the art scene in any given metropolis, but the art isn’t limited to cats and flowers crafted in foam. Many coffee &s are incorporating visual and performing arts into their establishments. Open mics and jam sessions have been commonplace in cafés for years, but today’s trends reveal full-fledged coffee bars in paint-your-own-pottery joints and fine art galleries alike.

Coffee & Comfort

One key element to keep in mind when creating a coffee & establishment is why people started going to coffee shops to begin with. While many started going there for a simple cup of hot, black coffee, the second wave brought with it the idea that a coffee shop can be both a hangout area and an efficient workspace.

The ambiance is expected to be relaxed and welcoming. Two of today’s complaints about coffee shops are shoddy Wi-Fi and inappropriate music levels. It may benefit you to upgrade your Wi-Fi and add additional power outlets to ensure your customers have what they need to stay and work … and buy more coffee. Music should be kept at a soothing level, so customers feel relaxed and conversation can be optimized.

Coffee & Customer Service

Whether you’re just beginning to cultivate your coffee clientele or you’re a well-established café venue, skilled and professional baristas are a must. No matter how inspired your amalgamation may be, if your baristas aren’t sharing the love, your inspired menu will never fly.

  1. Pairing Coffee with Foods: A Simple Primer and a Little Science. Coffee Kind. Accessed December 2014.