Coffee & Food Guide Vol. 1: Coffee Pairings for Christmastime

Date Posted:14 December 2017 

Welcome to the first edition of the Coffee & Food Guide, a series of articles where we look at the best of coffee and food.

Welcome to the first edition of the Coffee & Food Guide, a series of articles where we look at the best of coffee and food. In this post we look at the ­ultimate coffee and dessert combinations, to help give you the ultimate coffee pairing guide just in time for the Christmas season.

Coffee Pairings for Christmas

It’s Christmas day and you’ve just finished more food in one sitting than you’d normally eat in 24 hours. The family is lounging around the backyard, sleepy-eyed, and the festivities are starting to wind down. In a few moments, desserts will be brought out and the second feast will begin. Everyone may be tired now, but the perfect pairing of coffee and cake is likely to bring some life back into the evenings celebrations. Coffee at Christmas is quickly becoming a staple in Australia, so how do you make the most of this iconic pair? 

Pairing with Rich, Heavy Desserts

When it comes to Christmas day, there’s no more classic dessert choice than the Christmas Cake. A rich mix of dried fruits, spices, and often brandy, this sweet goes best with more robust, darker coffee roasts. Dark roasted coffees are chocolate to black in colour, with a generally bitter and even smoky taste. As such, they offer the perfect undercut to the heavy, sweet flavours of seasonal desserts like Christmas Cake or Plum Pudding.

For the tastiest result, serve Christmas Cake and other rich desserts with dark roast Ethiopian or Tanzanian coffee. Alternatively make the coffee as espresso for a real kick in contrasting flavour!


Pairing with Creamy Desserts

Another classic Christmas dessert choice is the English Trifle. A velvety combination of fresh fruit, soaked sponge fingers, and plenty of cream, the Trifle is a Christmas favourite that has had many delicious variations over the years.  In general, creamy desserts like Trifle are at their finest when served with medium roasted coffees as they offer a contrast in body and acidity. A warm brown in colour, medium roasts have more body than that of light roasts, providing a more even mix of aroma, taste, and bitterness. Pair your Trifle and other creamy sweets with medium roast Central American or African coffees for the perfect balance of flavours!


Pairing with Light Desserts

Perhaps the most iconic Australian and New Zealand Christmas dessert, is the Pavlova. A light, summery sweet perfect for the heat of Christmas day in the southern hemisphere, the classic Pav is made with meringue, whipped cream, and fresh fruit. For light and fluffy desserts like the Pav, light-bodied, acidic coffees work best. Light roasts are a faded brown colour, with a toasted grain flavour and strong acidity. They offer a gentle contrast to the softer tasting sweets, so we recommend trying a light roast Brazilian or Colombian coffee with this years Christmas Pav.

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