Food and beverage pairing is an art. Sommeliers artfully combine fine wines with foods that complement each other, and a cicerone, or beer sommelier, does the same thing with finely crafted brews. Food and tea pairings are also becoming extremely popular as foodies continue to seek out the best that the beverage world has to offer.
But what about coffee?
Whether we realize it or not almost everyone who drinks coffee has a preferred food that they combine with their coffee. Perhaps it’s a breakfast pastry or a sweet dessert; after all, the coffee cake doesn’t carry that name because it lists coffee as an ingredient. Most coffee drinkers automatically combine their morning cup with a favorite food, and an unconscious pairing is born.
However, what about sipping a fine boutique coffee varietal with something more savory? We’ve decided to shelve the sweets for a bit and investigate some incredible savory dishes that stand up well to a rich, acidic, and full bodied brew like Finca Deborah Panama Geisha and will allow you to give your wine key a much needed break.
A well prepared beef dish is always a thing of beauty and a delight for a carnivore’s taste buds, and most beef dishes are typically served with a robust red wine. While we certainly can’t dismiss this obvious pairing, it’s also worth noting that many of the characteristics of a good wine can be found in a good coffee like Finca Deborah Geisha. The notes of honey and citrus combined with a slight acidic bite complement beef in a new and exciting way.
A beef Wellington is the perfect pairing in this category. In a traditional Wellington recipe the beef tenderloin is seared then liberally brushed with a horseradish sauce, coated with a mushroom paste, and encased in pastry. When the Wellington bakes the pastry becomes light and flaky, the mushrooms’ earthiness becomes more pronounced, and the beef cooks to a perfect medium rare. Add a red wine and shallot reduction to the finished product and you have a dish that practically begs to be savored with a perfect cup of rich coffee.
In the past game dishes such as venison and wild boar didn’t receive much praise, let alone a place on the menus of fine dining establishments. However, much has changed in recent years and food lovers are now embracing the nuanced flavors and exciting preparations of wild game, and many of these dishes lend themselves perfectly to a pairing with fine coffee.
While some might think that venison would be more akin to beef than anything else, its lean quality combined with a rich and bold taste makes it unlike anything else. A tenderloin of venison roasted to a perfect medium rare and combined with a rich sauce of port wine and blueberries blends perfectly with a cup of full-bodied coffee. Add a splash of heavy cream to compensate for the fat that is lacking in the lean venison and you have a match made in foodie heaven.
While some people might balk at the idea of exchanging wine for coffee at their next meal, the truth is that coffee pairings are just as exciting and just as complementary as their grape counterparts are. As more chefs and food experts adopt this trend as a way to highlight various foods and the coffee varietals that elevate them, you can expect to see more fine coffees like Finca Deborah’s Panama Geisha served alongside your favorite savory dishes.
So this just means that you’ll have to enjoy your wine with dessert, and there’s nothing wrong with that.