Summer Activity: Coffee and Chocolate Pairing

You Pick the Pair: Coffee Marries Chocolate

Chocolate and coffee – what’s the magic? There must be something special about the combo of these two beans. They aren’t closely related by genus or specie. Still they come paired in all kinds of recipes and in desserts, so they’re undoubtedly a natural marriage.

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A case in point: the two frontrunners in our summer contest are both chocolate iced coffees. If you haven’t voted in our contest, you still have until August 14. So get your screen to, grab some coffee and try a recipe or two. But, even if you don’t make them right now, at least vote for the ones you would try first because they sound so enticingly delicious.

Once you’ve voted, if you’d like to try a delicious project, how about getting into a coffee and chocolate pairing? This is easy to try at home, maybe with your best friend, spouse, or coffee drinking buddy.

To evaluate the pairings, you will want to consider the fragrance of each and the flavors of each. We don’t want to get too geeky, so just take a laid-back approach and think in general terms about the tastes and fragrances. The point is that different pairings of flavors produce different outcomes than each element does on its own. You want to determine the best combinations as if you were developing a recipe.

Here are a few ground rules:

•    Have chocolate at room temperature.

•    Use fresh brewed coffee, either iced or hot.

•    Prepare several kinds of chocolate, such as fruit-flavored, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, rum-flavored, etc.

•    Break pieces of chocolate into a small bowl; each kind into a different bowl.

•    Pour the coffee into glass or ceramic cups.

•    Fragrance:

Savor the aromas of both the chocolate and the coffees by picking one bowl of chocolate up in your hands, lifting to the nose and taking a long deep whiff. You can make written or mental notes if you want. Do the same with the coffee.

•    Pairing:

Take a chocolate piece and put it into your mouth. Chew, coating your tongue with the chocolate flavor to feel the texture; let the chocolate partially melt. Think of the flavors you taste. Take a sip of coffee. Talk about your reactions. Take your time, tasting the chocolate and coffee combination again. Did you notice a change? Are there any different flavors? Write down your thoughts or just discuss them.

•    Repeat the chocolate procedure with each kind of chocolate.

Pick a favorite. Enjoy!

What a way to celebrate the arrival of Starbucks and Peets to ROASTe! See below.

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