Chocolate and Coffee Pairings:

Monday, April 15th, 2019
coffee, chocolate, and pistachio pairings

Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the United States. It wakes up 80% of the population every morning. And, well, Chocolate…nothing else needs to be said. There seems to be a natural draw attracting coffee and chocolate together making them a fabulous pair. The warmth and bitterness of coffee paired with the sweet smoothness of chocolate…mmmmm. Coffee enhances the flavors of chocolate. Both coffee and chocolate have a variety of unique flavors and are independently complex. When paired together, delicious combinations are created.

Coffee and Chocolate are like two peas in a pod. Literately! The reason cacao and coffee have such a kindred connection has to do with their production being so similar. Coffee and cacao come from a common latitude, both are seeds of a tropical fruit that are fermented and dried at their origin, and both are carefully roasted to bring out their flavor profiles.

Get yourself ready for some chocolate and coffee tasting with the hints to follow. Consider inviting some friends over to do it with you or just indulge on your own.

Basics of a Great Pairing:

Things to consider with your coffees…


Something to keep in mind when putting together a pairing is flavor combination. Start with the basic flavors you might want to taste like sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. Sometimes these flavors are straightforward while other times the flavor may be more subtle.


This is a big one…pay attention to the acidity in the coffee. Make sure you are using freshly roasted, quality coffee to ensure the best cup.


Some coffees will have deep layers of complexity, with strong flavors like dark chocolate or pepper. For example, high-quality coffee from Bolivia may display notes of chocolate and citrus and big acidity, versus Sumatran coffee with complex flavor profiles that are earthy and sweet. Bitterness can be balanced out by sweet or salty flavors while tart can balance spice and sweetness.

Coffee and Chocolate Pairing Ideas:

There are no rules about what chocolates go with certain coffees, so it’s just an experiment! These pairings will give you different results. The goal is to find what you think are the best combinations.

Here are some examples to get you started on coffee and chocolate pairings that you might find taste great together.

Espresso and Dark Chocolates

Try a robust Espresso with a bold dark chocolate. This pairing is a date in heaven with the smooth, rich roast that dances well with chocolates with spices like cinnamon and nutmeg or caramel chocolates. The creamy chocolate notes in the espresso will mimic the chocolate itself.

Spicy Chocolates and Brazilian Roasts

This spicy love story starts with a Brazilian roast paired with a light or dark chocolate. Try a chocolate with some heat added, such as our Chile Pistachio Chocolate Bar.

Fruity Chocolates and Guatemalan Roasts

Try an exotic Guatemalan Reserve Roast. The hints of cherry, chocolate, and cocoa powder will balance well with dark chocolates, chocolate with spices, or chocolates with a hint of vanilla or orange.

Ideas to try:

How to do a Chocolate and Coffee Pairing:

Before You Start:

  • Chocolate should be unopened and at room temperature
  • Coffee should be properly brewed and fresh
  • Take notes about the flavor elements you experience


Open the packaging slowly, inhale and break off small pieces and put them in a ceramic or glass bowl. Placing your hands on the bottom of the bowl, bring your nose to the rim of the bowl and inhale deeply to experience the aroma. Write down your initial thoughts.


For best flavor, use fresh-brewed French Press coffee. If you don’t have a French Press, just brew a fresh pot, or in a pinch, even your Keurig type machine will work. Pour the coffee into a clean ceramic or glass cup to cool just a little bit. Bring your nose to the coffee rim and smell the aroma. Write down your thoughts.

The Pairing

As the coffee cools, begin by taking a piece of chocolate and put it into your mouth resting on your tongue and let it slightly melt. Chew the chocolate and coat your tongue while feeling the texture. Think about the aroma, the texture, and the length of time it takes to melt. Think about the flavors you are experiencing and then take a sip of coffee. When you have finally swallowed the chocolate, consider the flavor and how long it lingers. Write down your thoughts or share them with your friends in the tasting. Savor all the aromas and flavors. Take your time and taste the combination again. Did anything change? Are there new flavors? Aftertastes? Write down your thoughts.

Taste Again

Immediately take another sip of coffee and note how the flavors combine with the chocolate you have just tasted. Do the flavors and aromas go well together or contradict each other? Maybe one is more detectable than the other? Write down your thoughts and/or share with the others.

Try several combinations of different coffee and chocolate until you discover your favorite pairing. Maybe this becomes your morning ritual, to try a new coffee and chocolate to start your day. This sounds like the perfect way to live in the moment!

Heart of the Desert offers a large selection of chocolates and coffees that are locally roasted. Stop by or shop online to prepare for your chocolate and coffee tastings.

Heart of the Desert is a working pistachio ranch and vineyard with four retail establishments in New Mexico. They are best known for their farm fresh pistachios and Award-Winning New Mexico wines. Each store offers wine and pistachio tastings. They offer worldwide shipping and produce attractive gourmet baskets that make great corporate and family gifts. The main store, on the ranch in Alamogordo, offers farm tours that showcases how pistachios are grown and processed as well as a stunning Tuscany themed patio that overlooks the groves and is available for weddings, private parties or enjoying a relaxing glass of wine.