Coffee and food pairings that please the palate

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Coffee and food pairings that please the palate

Flavour combos that are made for one another

Coffee and food pairings

The idea of partnering food and drink is not a new one, eating and drinking has always gone hand in hand. We’ve all heard about the pairing of certain wines with particular types of food, but what about coffee and food? The flavours and aromas of coffee run deep, and when combined with certain dishes, your coffee can reveal tastes and qualities that you didn’t even know were there. As a complex network of sensory experiences, your taste buds are just waiting to be explored. Discover the best food to go with your coffee and start revealing sweeter, richer, bitter, creamier moments from inside your cup.

What’s the best food to go with coffee?

While it’s best known as a satisfying accompaniment to cakes and sweet treats, coffee can be paired with much more than desserts. The best food to go with coffee is food that shares similar flavours, so it’s well worth getting to know your coffee and familiarising yourself with your roasts and origins. Variables such as acidity, brew methods, extraction time, and the region that your coffee is grown in, will all impact on the overall experience. See our Ultimate Coffee Bean Guide for more.

Of course we all know how great coffee can taste when combined with baked goods such as a toasted croissant, a blueberry muffin or a chocolate brownie. But what about fruits, meats, or dairy? You’ll be pleased to know that there is a perfect pairing for every food group. For example, salty food such as cheese, bacon, and breads pair beautifully with black coffee. Oats, sesame and avocado are also great with black coffee as a way of balancing acidity and spicy foods tend to go rather well with iced coffee.

Coffee and sweets: a match made in heaven


It’s almost impossible to create a guide on coffee and food pairings without mentioning chocolate. Rich desserts such as brownies or chocolate cake go wonderfully with full-bodied, dark roast coffee. Lighter milk and white chocolate desserts such as chocolate mouse or ice cream go beautifully with, well almost any coffee, but particularly lighter to medium roasts.


Fresh fruits such as berries and stone fruit offer a lighter, healthier sweet coffee pairing option. Avoid high intensity sour tones such as lemon or lime as this is not an ideal pairing with many coffees. Berry crepes are a great option when paired with espresso or espresso-based drinks.

Surprisingly good savoury food and coffee combinations


Typically, beef, pork, and lamb pair well with darker roasts. Roast chicken tastes great with coffee that has fruitier tones such as Cosi while bacon and sausage is great with a medium roast coffee.


We’ve all heard about finishing off a meal with a coffee and a cheese board, and it’s for good reason. The rich taste of an espresso coffee brings out the complex and creamy flavours within different cheeses. An espresso is often a preferred coffee choice here, but any espresso-based coffee is a good accompaniment to dairy.

Get to know your coffee

As you can see, much of what makes a great coffee and food pairing is in the flavours of the coffee itself. By getting to know and understand the variants between beans, roasts, and origins you’ll be able to identify foods that have similar qualities. Ultimately these similarities are what creates the best food and coffee combinations.

Each Nespresso coffee capsule contains a world of flavours that is just waiting to be enjoyed.

Explore the world of Nespresso recipes

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