Most coffee lovers enjoy having a hot cup of coffee with a tasty snack. That’s why we have listed 12 quintessential snacks that go with coffee.
Food pairing is always a fascinating thing for me. Back in the day, one of my go-to afternoon snacks was chocolate-flavored oatmeal and salted dried fish. This stark contrast in flavor creates a wonderful sensation in your mouth because, as it turns out, salt reduces bitterness and enhances the sweet, sour, and umami receptors in your tongue.
This can explain why salty foods can be a good pairing with coffee. However, it’s clear that desserts are far more popular with the drink.
That’s because we crave s because sweet flavors that go with the coffee’s bitterness. Believe it or not, that’s because the taste of the coffee actually enhances these flavors.
Coffee And Snacks: A Perfect Match
When it comes to being paired with coffee, not all snacks are created equal. There are some combos that just don’t fit together. Luckily, we spend far too much time in our local coffee shop, so we have compiled a list of the best combinations of satisfying snacks and delicious brews.
Our list has a little something for everyone, with hearty options, as well as sweet snacks, and choices for vegetarians and vegans. Whatever your taste, there should be a great snack listed below to go with your morning pick-me-up brew.
Hearty Snacks With Coffee
1. Grilled Cheese Sandwich
The grilled cheese sandwich is a carb-filled snack widely available and relatively easy to make. It is best eaten with coffee during breakfast or your late afternoon break.
The crispy texture gives contrast to your smooth cup of coffee, and the bitterness of it brings out the creaminess of the cheese as its sweet and salty notes are highlighted. This pairing is a match made in heaven if you are an espresso lover and goes exceptionally well with dark roast coffee beans.
Bagels are great with coffee as the sweet and salty flavor blends perfectly with the java. What is great about this snack is that you can dip it in your brew to give it a tasteful coffee twist, or you can slice it and put any spread that also goes well with coffee.
You can start with classic cream cheese, peanut butter, or grape jelly. What you get is a complemented flavor between your coffee and bagel and between your bagel and spread! It’s a hearty way to start any day and perfect for when those hunger cravings hit.
3. Bacon & Eggs
No list won’t be complete without a staple American breakfast. Bacon pairs well with coffees that are smooth and with notable sweet notes, such as Colombian, Costa Rican, or Brazilian coffee, to name a few, as its salty nature reduces the bitter flavor and heightens the other flavor profiles.
Don’t fret, as any sweet-tasting coffee will also work with this breakfast. For that added silky texture, you can top your breakfast with a creamy scrambled egg. You may have to watch your proportions, though! This breakfast is best enjoyed in moderation, though, as it can adversely affect your cholesterol and blood pressure.
Here is an item regularly paired with coffee in European coffee houses. And depending on where you go, there will be slight variations in the recipes too.
For instance, they add sundried tomatoes in the Mediterranean, which add an acidity that matches perfectly with milky coffees. Whereas, in the UK, raisins are more commonly added. And in Ireland, the wholemeal variety of scones is a breakfast treat that’s often paired with a strong black coffee.
Whatever type of scone you go for, you are sure to get a treat that tastes perfectly when paired with a fresh roast.
Healthy Snacks With Coffee
Pairing berries with coffee doesn’t just mean actual berries, but berry-flavored goodies. You can spoil yourself directly with jelly or bake some berries into a pie, which will still blend well with your cup of joe.
This works extremely well with coffee that has high acidity levels and features a bold and smoky flavor profile with fruity notes. You might enjoy our list of the best Kenyan coffee brands to pair with your berries the next time you are enjoying a cup!
A word of caution – it is best to choose another option if you are sensitive to acidic foods, as both the coffee and berries might irritate your bowels.
Here is a type of berry people forget is a berry. Bananas are low on the acid scale but are deliciously sweet. Its unique notes of sweet candy, melon, and pineapple are a treat when paired with your cup of coffee, and it has health benefits too!
Caffeine can lower your body’s potassium level, and eating a banana right after can counteract this side effect.
The fruit is also flexible as you can cook it to turn into chips for that contrasting crispy texture or bake it and make yourself banana bread for that upgraded sweetness and malty consistency. An easier option would be to smear it with chocolate syrup or peanut butter. The flavors of banana, peanut butter, and coffee make for the perfect start to the morning.
7. Other Fresh Fruit And Nuts
Whatever your fruit of choice, you can pair it with a coffee. It’s a healthy way to start the day and an ideal method to mix the slow-releasing energy of the food with the burst of energy that the caffeine gives you.
Apples are my favorite choice when I am on a health buzz. They may not be as indulgent as chocolate chips, but they sure are delicious when had alongside a cold brew coffee. However, cashews also make for an exciting choice.
The creamy notes can add a character to your coffee that you might have missed previously.
Sweet Snacks With Coffee
Why not get a little continental and enjoy a croissant with your coffee? It’s one of the most popular pairings with the drink in Europe and for good reason too. Croissants are delicious, convenient to eat on the go and go perfectly with a takeaway cup of joe.
If you feel adventurous, add some ham and cheese to your grub. This is croque monsieur with a twist. And as far as twists go, this is one of the more delicious ones. The food has both sweet and salty textures, and when paired with your morning coffee, it will bring your breakfast experience to new levels.
A staple in police pop culture, you can never go wrong with this classic pairing, but the experience can certainly improve if you know which goes well with which. For instance, a regular black coffee, an americano, or an espresso shot works well with a good old glazed donut, as the latter’s sugar makes up for the lack of sweetness and masks some of the bitterness.
On another note, a traditional Boston Cream is worthwhile when paired with light roast due to the latter’s mellow and subtle floral sweetness complementing the creamy vanilla flavor of the donut. For me, a latte, cafe au lait, or any typical coffee with milk tastes fantastic when paired with a cinnamon-flavored donut or churros. It is a personal favorite that you have to try!
It is no surprise that tiramisu made our list as its combination of different flavor profiles is emphasized when you drink Java. The delightful balance of creaminess, saltiness, sweetness, and bitterness produces an explosion of flavor accentuated when you have an espresso, a cappuccino, or a medium roast coffee with prominent nutty notes.
Additionally, choosing the perfect coffee as an ingredient for your tiramisu will take this drinking experience up a notch. You can learn more by reading our list of the best coffee for making this delicious dessert!
This one is a no-brainer. Chocolate is often used to concoct some of the most delicious coffee beverages, which are usually topped with cocoa powder. It is only logical that chocolate, whether white, milk, or dark chocolate, goes really well with a cup of joe.
If you love a fruity and nutty cup of coffee or prefer a mellow light roast, white chocolate desserts should be your go-to as it complements the silky and creamy texture of the cocoa butter. For dark roast lovers, the robustness of the beverage will elevate the sweet richness and pleasant bitterness of dark chocolate brownies and dark chocolate cake. Those who prefer the balanced taste of medium roasts can go for the softer chocolate treats like ice cream (which offers a contrast in temperature, as well), chocolate tart, or mousse.
12. Coffee Cake
A coffee-coffee pairing is so delightful that I can’t resist adding another one to the list of snacks that go with coffee, especially if it is a coffee cake topped off with cinnamon powder. The dessert is so soft that it absorbs your java effortlessly if you dip it into your brew.
Try to eat a piece of the cake first, but don’t swallow it! Sip the coffee with the dessert in your mouth and let it sit and melt on your tongue to appreciate the flavors more. The cinnamon powder is a treat since it gives that subtle sweet zing.
This is best paired with a latte or a cappuccino if you love sour cream coffee cake. Consider a French roast if you prefer the classic sweet dessert or fruit-filled variants. If you have leftover coffee cakes, don’t forget to store them properly! You might want to learn how to freeze it to enjoy it later.
14. Coffee Crisps
Coffee crisps are a type of confectionery that consist of a thin layer of a crispy wafer filled with a coffee-flavored cream. They are often coated in a layer of milk chocolate, giving them a sweet and slightly bitter taste. They are a popular treat in many countries, particularly in Canada where they are considered a national treasure.
Coffee crisps are nice if enjoy the taste of coffee but want it in a sweet and easy-to-consume form. They make a great gift for coffee lovers too!