Perfect Foods We Love To Pair With Coffee

One of the reasons coffee is adored around the world is its versatility. A good cup of coffee can complement a wide variety of foods, meals, and social settings. If you have gotten tired of the standard office donut with your coffee, this list is for you. Trying a new combination will breathe new life into the food and the coffee.

Fresh Fruit

You might grab a banana with your coffee on the way out the door, but have you ever made fresh fruit the center of your coffee-time snack? A grapefruit half, fresh berries, or ripe peaches are perfect complements to the dark and toasty flavors of coffee. The sweetness and acidity balance out the bitterness of the coffee, making for gustatory bliss. Cool, hydrating fruit is especially satisfying on warm afternoons and can be enjoyed with either hot or cold coffee. Best of all, fruit is a healthy, low-calorie treat that won’t give you a sugar crash 30 minutes later.

Dark Chocolate

Most people already know that a hot cup of coffee and a candy bar is a match well made. The two highlight the deliciously dark and bitter flavors in each other, so eating them is heaven for people who love black coffee. Dark chocolate offers the same appeal but without the extra sugar and fat that milk chocolate brings. Try a few squares of high-quality dark chocolate with your afternoon coffee and save those vending machine dollars for something better. More dark chocolate, perhaps?

Coffee Cake

Finally, a reason to have cake without a party! Pastries such as doughnuts, croissants, and tarts are typical pairings with coffee, but why not cake? Eating cake with coffee is as traditional as it gets and may stretch back to 17th century Germany and Scandinavia. Though it is less popular in modern America, sweet, spiced cakes make a delectable pairing with black coffee. Coffee cake typically features flavors like cinnamon, nutmeg, nuts, ginger, and cloves. These cakes are perfect for entertaining a group for brunch, an afternoon get-together, or an after-dinner dessert. When groups aren’t an option, a cake can be kept on the counter or in the fridge and slowly eaten by one person over the course of a week. Even if the cake gets a bit stale by the end of the week, a good cup of coffee keeps it perfectly enjoyable.

Ice Cream

This is another classic pairing that is often neglected. You might be familiar with affogato, the Italian dessert that’s a combination of espresso and ice cream, but you can use any type of coffee and expect spectacular results. Pour a little black coffee into your ice cream bowl and discover the adult alternative to the root beer float. Though affogato is typically served with vanilla ice cream, we don’t see the need to limit our choices. Some of our favorite flavors to serve with coffee are raspberry, chocolate, and pistachio. Try it once, and you’ll have a new summer favorite.

Charcuterie Boards

Charcuterie is a French word for specially prepared meats, such as sausage, pâtés, and ham. Charcuterie boards are generally combinations of these specialty products with cheese, fruit, olives, and crackers, or slices of quality bread. While most people eat charcuterie with wine, coffee is a surprisingly good match with the savory meats and creamy cheeses. Dark roasted coffee (like our Bonafido blend) is a good choice for most charcuterie spreads. Serve it with high-quality cured meats like prosciutto, salami, mortadella, or thinly sliced ham. Combine those with the best cheeses you can find (we like local cheeses best). Fruits like figs, grapes, and dates are frequent guests at the charcuterie party as well. Artfully arrange your chosen offerings and enjoy them with fresh, black coffee.


Maybe it’s been a long day at the office. Maybe it’s late, and you don’t want the party to end just yet. We won’t judge. Either way, coffee cocktails are what you need. The most well-known of this family of cocktails is the Irish Coffee, a combination of coffee, sugar, cream, and the Irish whiskey of your choice.

While the Irish Coffee is an old standby, might we suggest something like the Siciliano? Mix together 2 oz. sweet vermouth, 1.5 oz. Amaro, 1.5 oz. cold-brew coffee, and 1 oz. simple syrup. Top with club soda and serve on ice with a twist of orange. Our cold brew coffee packs make the coffee portion of the cocktail simple, and since this is a stirred cocktail, no special equipment is necessary. The Siciliano is an after-dinner cocktail that’s just boozy enough to help you relax, after a meal but just caffeinated enough to keep you from falling into a food coma. Mixing a batch for guests will have them in awe of your creativity and sophistication.

As you can see, the world of coffee is so much more than the drive-thru line of your local coffee chain. Coffee has a place at the breakfast table, beside your favorite comfort food, and in a high-society salon.

Hugo Coffee Roasters recognizes the versatility of coffee and strives to make our blends the highest quality possible so that they can be enjoyed anytime and anywhere. And you can always feel good while drinking a mug of Hugo because we make coffee that supports animal rescue. Turn your daily indulgence into an act of kindness.