How-to Guides

What Coffee Bean is Right for Your Lunch?

wholesale coffee beans

We at 80 Stone Coffee believe the best two things in life are coffee and food. There’s nothing better than a great breakfast and your morning cup… Or your lunch, or dinner, or snack… Just coffee all day really! Not all coffee is created equally however, so whilst your offices wholesale coffee beans might taste great, do they really go with your meticulously planned lunch? There are a huge array of coffee bean types which all have their own flavour pairings. Let’s look at what foods you can try and pair with your liquid fuel.

Is There a Reason Why so Many People Enjoy a Sweet Treat With Their Coffee?

The most common pairings for coffee and food is sweet foods. Pastries or desserts often accompany a cup of coffee. This is due to the fact we are very sensitive to the bitterness that is present (to a certain extent) in every coffee. That’s because, for our ancestors living two million years ago, a bitter taste was closely associated with something poisonous.

Nowadays we are much more accustomed to bitterness, but even relatively small amounts of bitter compounds can feel challenging to drink or difficult to enjoy. That’s why people like to complement it with comforting sweetness which, in the past, was mainly associated with foods that are ripe and nutritious.

Different Coffee Beans and Brewing Methods Give You Endless Variety

Whilst it is best known for accompanying cakes and sweet desserts, coffee isn’t limited. The scientific approach to selecting and roasting beans ensures that coffee can be perfectly served alongside a wide variety of savoury meals and snacks.

These days, more and more people now understand the huge variance of potential flavour existent within coffee due to its origin, processing and brew method (Espresso/Filter, Black, with milk, double/single shot etc) – in fact, coffee is possibly the one beverage we all have an opinion on in terms of how we like it best! This makes coffee an incredibly versatile drink.

What Are The Rules For Coffee Bean Pairings

In short, none! There are some obvious classic rules and guides to pairing, some of the most beautiful combinations deny all of them. Every great coffee has unique characteristics and should be paired based on that. Food pairings are all about creating a balance of taste and combination of flavours and with coffee offering so much, the conventional rules can go out of the window.

This principle of partnering food and drink has long been a part of our culture, thanks to the complementary nature of the two that can really enhance our sensory experiences of eating and drinking. Coffee is no different and can be cleverly teamed up with food to enhance its own character or bring out something different and unexpected.

How to Tell What Wholesale Coffee Bean Goes With Which Foods?

So now comes the most important part: what food goes with which beans? We have a huge array of beans for you to pair foods with. Get the best variety of wholesale coffee beans for your office or coffee shop so you can best compliment everyone’s food.

There is a very tried and tested method to tasting coffee. When it comes to flavour, there’s a lot happening in a cup of coffee, but if you don’t know what to look out for, the nuances and complexities can be overwhelming or masked by bold flavours. It helps to isolate the differences.

The main aspects of coffee taste can be broken down into three characteristics: sweetness, bitterness and acidity. All cups of coffee will have these three flavours and the different ratios in which they are present will affect the taste of the cup. Let’s look at the characteristics and how they can affect taste.

Coffee Sweetness

The term sweet is used by cuppers (professional coffee tasters) to describe the intensity of the sugary qualities of the coffee when it is swooshed around in the mouth. We at 80 Stone love a coffee or tea tasting session so we’re very familiar with the term and cupping. It’s an important component to any coffee roast.

While cupping coffee is done with relative consistency – the same brewing method, timing and roast – making coffee at home gives you more leniency to bring out sweet flavours. Coffee can be made to naturally taste “sweeter” by choosing a different roast – certain coffees contain higher levels of sugars that are more prominent at lower roasts, while the roasting process may caramelize sugars in other origins.

In coffee, the sweetness is produced by solutions of sugars, glycols, and alcohols as well as some amino acids that together create a variety of sweet aroma descriptors (e.g., chocolaty, fruity, caramelly). Generally, lighter roasts will have more fruity sweetness. Roasting a coffee to darker levels continues the caramelizing process, transforming the flavour to more of a caramelly, chocolatey sweetness.

Coffee Bitterness

The most common tasting note you think of when anyone mentions coffee. In freshly roasted and ground coffee, a gentle bitterness can wrap flavours together, round out sweetness and acidity, and contribute towards the thick body of the coffee. It’s not something to be avoided at all costs. It’s a time to appreciate in moderation and context.

The kind of bitterness we want in our coffee is smooth and deep. It rounds out flavours, brings balance to bright acids, and adds complexity. Just like with sweetness or acidity, describing bitterness is easiest when you pair it with the flavours found naturally in the coffee.

Coffee Acidity

Like bitterness, acidity is a term closely associated with coffee. Acidity in coffee doesn’t refer to the PH level but is one of the basic taste characteristics along with body, aroma, sweetness, bitterness and aftertaste. Usually, you’ll hear people complaining about too much acidity but too little acidity can also result in a flat or dull coffee. The desirable quality of acidity is due to acids in the coffee combining with sugars and increasing the coffee’s overall sweetness while also adding a certain vigour to the coffee.

Acidity is a desirable primary coffee flavour sensation that is perceived as a pleasing sharpness toward the front of the mouth, a numbing sensation on the tip of the tongue, or a dryness at the back of the palate and/or under the edges of the tongue; denotes the quality of a coffee. A good acidity will lean towards being sweet, crisp and tart – enhancing the other qualities in a coffee. A bad acidity will taste sour and stringent, sometimes almost chemically.

Coffee Qualities and Food Pairing

These qualities are complex and have subsections to their taste. If you understand how to basically identify these tastes in a cup of coffee, it will allow you to pair it off with meals more easily. A traditional way of affecting the flavour of coffee is to add milk, but milk can, for example, cut the acidity of a coffee.

Opposites also support each other: a good flavour pairing could be created by serving a coffee with bright acidity and notes of berries with a lavish dessert such as chocolate cake. This applies to a very bitter coffee too, like our Bibi Plantation India coffee which is has a high level of bitterness in comparison to acidity and sweetness. You would want to pair this off with a portion of very sweet food.  For more sweet coffees you can pair it off with salty food. Salt does more than just make food taste salty. It enhances sweetness and suppresses bitterness.

Get The Perfect Wholesale Coffee Beans To Match Your Food

We provide a huge range of coffee beans with different flavours to help you perfectly pair your food. We are a wholesale coffee business so we can help give your cafe or coffee shop the edge or give your employees the best coffee break possible. If you’re looking at getting a barista to boost your office environment you should consider some barista training and great equipment to get the most out of your coffee. Stop by our cafe to taste our beans or just get in touch to learn more!

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