A Guide to Chocolate and Coffee Pairing | Equal Exchange
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A Guide to Chocolate and Coffee Pairing

Beth Ann Caspersen
December 2, 2008

Everyone is born with the ability to be a specialty products taster. In fact, we have thousands of taste buds in our mouths, but most of us are just learning how to describe the sensations we experience with everything we eat. The key is to relax, take a deep breath and enjoy the tasting!

Before You Start:

  • Chocolate should be room temperature
  • Coffee should be freshly and properly brewed.
  • Take notes about the flavor elements you are experiencing.

Begin by breaking the chocolate into squares and putting them into a ceramic or glass bowl. Placing your hands on the bottom of the bowl, bring your nose to the rim of the bowl and inhale deeply to experience the aroma. Feel free to write down your thoughts on your Chocolate and Coffee Pairing Form.

Using a freshly brewed French press*, pour the coffee into clean ceramic or glass cups to cool. Much like smelling the chocolate samples, bring your nose to the rim of the coffee cup to smell the aroma and write down your thoughts.

*If you don't have a French press, substitute a drip brewer.

The Pairing:
When the coffee is cool enough to drink, begin by taking one square of chocolate and put it into your mouth. Chew the chocolate and coat your tongue with the chocolate flavor to feel the texture and let the chocolate partially melt. Think about the flavors you are experiencing and then take a sip of your coffee. Write down your thoughts or share them with the other participants in the tasting. Take your time and taste the chocolate and coffee combination again. Did anything change? Are there new flavors? Write down your thoughts.