Which Foods Pair Best with Your Cafe Menu?
Pairing coffees with particular foods has been the new trend among coffee shops around the country. The most sought-after coffee? According to Kona Coffee Buzz: kona coffee is the most requested coffee in most independently-owned cafes. Of course, it’s also the most expensive type of coffee by far. It’s not just honeymoon coffee anymore.
Different coffees can have flavours as diverse as fine wine, and knowing which foods are best suited to bring out those flavors can be tricky. Suggesting a snack that perfectly complements a beverage is the perfect way to demonstrate knowledge to customers and drive cafe sales. Here are some tips for creating pairings that will keep your customers coming back for more.
Coffees from Ethiopia and Kenya often contain bright, fresh, citrus notes. When brewing blends from this region, stock up on sweets such as lemon cake or custard, orange marmalade on toast, or buns infused with orange zest. These pairings will delight customers with their crisp, clean flavors.
Brazilian blends are known for their low acidity and nutty qualities. These beans work well either as drip coffee or as part of espresso blends. When brewing Brazilian coffees, pair them with savory snacks such as almond tarts, oatmeal with walnut garnish, or even a rich dark chocolate with nuts. Hearty combinations like these
Chocolate flavors are abundant in various coffees from brewed blends to mochas. The best pairing for chocolate is, naturally, more chocolate. Darker Guatemalan and Sumatran blends often contain rich chocolatey notes and work well when paired with treats like flourless chocolate cake, chocolate peanut butter cups, and buttery chocolate croissants.
French and Italian roasts are known for their robust flavours. Such powerful blends do well when coupled with snacks rich in smoky, caramel tastes. Consider pairing these coffees with snacks like toasted almonds or chocolate caramel bars. Simply adding a touch of caramel to a croissant or coffee cake can enliven the pastry’s flavour profile and bring out new, complex tones for the customer enjoying the pairing.
Don’t forget to advertise these carefully crafted combinations to your customer base. If your cafe uses social media, snap a photo of a coffee and pastry on a well-lit table and post it online. Consider advertising a featured pairing of the week with a promotional deal; this is a good way to encourage customers to broaden their own knowledge of your menu. Through your suggestion, they’re likely to find a new favourite that they might not have tried otherwise.
In-store tastings are a guaranteed way to build customer loyalty. Create signage to advertise an afternoon or evening of in-house sampling and post it outside your cafe. Brew a featured coffee and prepare sample-sized portions of a perfect snack to pair with it. Ask each customer that enters if they’d like to try your new special pairing–engage with them by asking for their thoughts and suggestions. Find out what pairings they’d be interested in trying. If they have a favorite coffee blend or espresso beverage, suggest a snack best suited to that drink.It may seem difficult to discern the best food and coffee pairings, but in doing so, you can demonstrate a new level of knowledge and authority to your customers. Experiment with your pairings and reap the benefits.