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How to Pair Your Coffee With Delicious Desserts

A good cup of coffee can stand on its own, but that doesn't mean that it has to. Coffee tastes great as a complement to many different treats. Like fine wine, not every coffee pairs well with every kind of food, however. Everything from the acidity and flavor to how heavy the coffee feels helps determine which desserts you should have along with your drink. While there are no rules set in stone for what goes best with any kind of coffee, these characteristics can point the way. Try taking them into consideration, but don't be afraid to break away and experiment with different combinations.

Body of the Brew 
One of the first things you should take note of when pairing coffee with desserts is the beverage's body, according to Coffee Kind. Coffee that feels somewhat thick and rich or silky is considered full-bodied, while a drink that has a thinner consistency and doesn't linger after you've gulped it down is light-bodied. You should try to match the body of the coffee to similar characteristics of the dessert you're eating. Heavier treats like rich cake go better with full-bodied coffees, while fluffier fare like cookies might be paired better with light-bodied coffees.

Of course, you also have to consider whether the flavor of your coffee matches the flavor of the dessert. Lighter-bodied coffees tend to be more fruity or floral, while their heavier counterparts lean toward chocolate and spice, but that's not always the case. Still, matching body to dessert first will likely lead you toward the right flavor.

Perfect Pairings 
It's best to try things out and discover your favorite combinations for yourself, but Sprudge provided a nudge in the right direction. One of the source's top picks was the beignet, a kind of fritter. Traditionally, fritters are fried dough containing fruit, but the beignets that Sprudge highlighted do away with the healthy part and consist of just fried dough and sugar. Given the lightness of these treats, especially the fruit-containing variety, light-bodied coffees tend to work best. However, you could certainly make a case for a richer coffee with chocolate flavors.

On the heavier side, you might want to go with a coffee cake. As the name implies, they're practically made to go along with your morning joe. These sweet treats tend to be thick and they're flavored with cinnamon and frosting, meaning their taste tends to linger in the mouth and might overpower a light-bodied coffee. Try pairing these up with dark roasts so that your coffee is strong enough to stand up to the dessert's bold tastes.

Dessert doesn't have to be decadent to be enjoyable, though. If you'd rather let your coffee be the star of the show and have a lighter treat to back it up, coffee can also pair well with fruit and yogurt or granola. A full-bodied coffee will wash out the delicate taste, so aim for a light-bodied fruity or floral coffee to bring out the subtlety of your healthy snack.