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I was asked to talk about coffee and chocolate pairing. I've already done pairings with whisky and beer, but never with coffee.

Does anyone has ever done pairings like this? Do you have some guidelines you can give me, or tips? Are there big diffrences between pairings with alcohol and pairings with coffee? I'm thinking, for example, about the fact that coffee is drink hot, not beer or whisky.

Thank you very much for your help!


Tags: chocolate, coffee, pairing

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Great topic!  For about a year I have been delving into the world of fine coffee, so I have been learning all I can about good beans and brewing techniques.  I think that coffee and chocolate are a very natural pairing, hence the many coffee flavored bars out there.

What brewing method are you considering using?  Yes, I think you're right that having the coffee hot is crucial.  It also needs to be brewed in a quality way so that knocks out the ubiquitous drip coffee makers or percolators.  It takes some time to grind the beans, set up the equipment, and then brew it.

How many cups of coffee are you going to make?  I assume you will pair several kinds of beans with one chocolate.  If you had 5 types of coffee beans then you would need to brew 5 batches.  I think it would go much quicker to have 5 sets of equipment ready to use.  I guess a coffee cafe or a brewer would be the best place to do it so you have access to that equipment.

Just a few thoughts off the top of my head... I've been thinking of offering some chocolate and coffee tastings so this has been on my mind for a while.

Please keep us informed of how you progress.


I will be working with a guy that is a coffee roaster. He has very professional Simonelli equipment for the brewing, so I guess it would be a quality brewing. He asked me to do the pairing, so I will use his coffees, which are only blends.

I think it will be a "live discovery", unless I can try at home his coffees before the real event.

Like we said, a hot coffee is important, but I suppose that too hot can complicate the tasting? I mean that when something is too hot, it's harder to taste and to recognize flavors.

I'll keep you updated, and I would be interested to know what pairing you'll do if you

organize an event. :-)

Thank you for your tips!


I'm curious... why is a roaster only using blends and not single origins?  The roasters that I've seen use mostly single origin beans.  I think this would work better for a tasting.

And what kind of equipment is Simonelli?  Have you or he done any pour over cups?  Does he know how to do a coffee cupping?

I hope the guy is used to do coffee cupping, because I'm not used to it... The Simonelli equiment is italian: They have coffee machines for coffee shops and restaurants.

I would prefer too single origin coffees. I know that this coffee roaste make his own blends with beans from all over the world. It's a choice, I asked him.

The Simonelli website says that it makes Espresso machines.  Are you really going to use espresso for these pairings?  I hope not.

If I do a coffee and chocolate pairing, the coffee will be made by pour over or French press.  

Hi Lowe,

Thank you for the tip, but why is a French press coffee or pour over better than espresso for a tasting? I know chocolate, but I'm new to the coffee world, and these are the things I want to know and understand for a tasting. I want to understand the basics, at least, and a little bit more.

I'll ask the roasters if they have something else, not only espresso machines, but if I'll do so, I'll have to explain them why.



Is your coffee person just a roaster or a barista at a cafe?  You need to partner with someone who knows about coffee.  You should ask your coffee partner about pour overs or French Press (not to mention Clever Coffee dripper or the aeropress or other brewing methods...)  If they can't tell you what these are and the advantages and disadvantages to a cup of coffee then you need to find someone else.

IMO pure espresso is much too concentrated to pair with chocolate.  It is one popular brewing method, so it might work, though.  I haven't gotten into espresso all that much because it is so concentrated and powerful.  I think it would totally overpower any chocolate.

Hi Lowe,

I'll ask the guy, which is a roaster. He doesn't work at a café. I'll see what he knows (or doesn't know) about all these methods, maybe he knows a lot anyways. What I explained to Giovanni is that the first thing I'll do is a video only with the guy, for a webtv. So the first time, it won't be a real tatsing with people attinding it. But I want to do these kind of tastings soon.

With what you tell me, I think this first step with the roaster will tell me if I can work with him for real tastings or if I should find a barista or someone who knows more the art of coffee tasting.

I'll try with espresso, just to see and make some tests. I'll let you know what I find and if it really overpowers the chocolate.

We attempted a coffee and chocolate pairing with a local roaster as I agree it seems like a natural pairing. Tried a variety of different types of beans and coffees, there are so many commonalities it was easy to come up with concepts to discuss. BUT... after doing marketing and promotional there turned out to be very little interest in the general concept from potential clients.  We've sold our products in coffee shops but again people tended to buy more baked goods then chocolate with their coffee. Maybe it's a west coast thing?

So in a nut shell we didn't find it worthwhile to pursue any further.  It was fun exploring the pairing but beer, wine and scotches seems to be more agreeable. I don't think people care as much about the process or nuances of coffee as they do wine or beer etc. I maybe wrong but I asked a few people while doing research after to see if I could find a reason why it didn't work and the general consensus was they just liked there coffee because they need their coffee fix. nothing more. 

Not to put a damper on your question or the experience as you may find you get a great response? You just never know. Good luck with it and have fun.



I don't know if chocolate and coffee pairing is more popular here than in the West Coast. But that's true that I don't see a lot of pairing events with coffee. You are right, the pairings are mostly done with wine and ports, at least here in Montréal. I'll see the answer and the interest of the public.

Can I ask you what kind of pairs you've found? Were you using coffee blends or origins? And for the chocolate?



Ciao Karine

Interessante quesito. Ho sempre ritenuto la degustazione cioccolato/caffè più uno scontro che un abbinamento,  entrambi molto complessi e ricchi di aromi che tendono l'un l'altro a sovrapporsi. Amo sia il cioccolato che il caffè di cui faccio grande uso. Proprio adesso mentre leggevo il tuo post stavo prendendo rilassato il mio caffè  della domenica pomeriggio e così ho pensato di abbinarlo ad un cioccolato ed è proprio così gli aromi in bocca si moltiplicano e non è facile fare più di un assaggio.

Credo che dovrai fare molte prove prima di abbinare le due cose, cioè dovrai scegliere bene sia il caffè che il cioccolato da mettere assieme in base a quello che hai a disposizione. Ho capito che il caffè sarà servito espresso. E' molto importate come hai detto che il caffè giunga caldo all'assaggiatore e valuta anche se devi essere tu a somministrare e dosare lo zucchero nel caffè o servirlo amaro e che ognuno faccia da se perché è una cosa molto legata al gusto personale, almeno in Italia è così.

Sarebbe ottimo abbinare sia cioccolato che caffè single origin.


Ciao Giovanni,

Sì, farò un bel po' di prove prima per vedere cosa succede in una degustazione del genere. Però non sarà una degustazione con gente: starò da sola con il barista e saremo filmati per una webtv:  Magari avrei dovuto spiegarlo, anche se il mio obiettivo è di organizzare degustazioni con gente eventualmente. Quindi tutti i consigli mi saranno uitli.

Quindi per il momento l'obbiettivo è soltanto di spiegare come abbinare il cioccolato e il caffè, così la gente potrà provare a casa e vedere cosa esce fuori. Quindi mi organizzerò con i caffè del barista, anche se non sono single origin. Ma è chiaro che preferirei che entrambi i prodotti siano mono-origine.

Quale cioccolato e quale caffè hai abbianato oggi?



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