Pairing flavors is an art. Which coffees taste best with Equal Exchange’s newest chocolate bars? We went to an expert to find out.
Meaghan Holmes is our Chocolate Supply Chain and Quality Control Coordinator. In the four years she’s worked for the Chocolate Team, she’s done sensory analysis on hundreds of samples in order to make sure the quality and characteristics of Equal Exchange chocolate are always consistent.
Meaghan is extremely passionate about chocolate and coffee! She says “When considering possible pairing combinations for our products, I am looking for products that consistently have flavors that compliment each other, or strongly enhance a particular flavor.”
She found a pairing for each of the three new bars. Read on to discover Meaghan’s flavor recommendations, as well as the rationale behind why they work.
Pairing the Organic Dark Chocolate Almond & Sea Salt bar with Mind Body & Soul
How Meaghan came up with it: The saltiness of this bar can make it difficult to pair with coffee. Certain light roast bright and fruity coffees would clash with the salt and create an unpleasant acidity, whereas a very dark roast can intensify the salt and feel really astringent. I knew immediately that I’d need a mellow and straight forward coffee to pair well with this complex chocolate bar.
Why she thinks you’ll like it: Mind Body & Soul is a wonderfully mellow coffee, it’s nutty and chocolatey with brown spices which makes it a perfect match to round out the sweet and salty richness of the Whole Almond & Sea Salt bar.
What else you might try with Dark Chocolate Almond & Sea Salt: Breakfast Blend. Also a mellow and sweet coffee, this pairing will complement this salty nutty bar nicely.
Pairing the Organic Chocolate with Coconut Milk bar with Ethiopian Full City coffee
Why Meaghan thinks you’ll like it: The sweetness and creaminess of the Coconut Milk chocolate is wonderful when washed down with the smooth creamy mouthfeel and milk chocolatey full bodied Ethiopian. The sweet fruity berry characteristics coming from this naturally processed coffee really enhance the toasted coconut.
What else you might try with Organic Chocolate with Coconut Milk: African Roots. Ethiopian beans blended with beans from Congo in a lighter roast than the Ethiopian Full City, this bright and juicy coffee balances the caramelized sweet notes coming from the coconut sugar.
Pairing the Total Eclipse 92% Dark Chocolate bar with Midnight Sun coffee
Why Meaghan thinks you’ll like it: Midnight Sun is a fan favorite coffee known for its rich chocolatey flavor, and the 92% is also a dominantly chocolate profile. When the two are combined it is a true total eclipse! The robust flavors coming from both coffee and chocolate are surprisingly harmonious. The subtle sweetness from the coffee smooths out the intensities of this dark chocolate.
What else you might try with Total Eclipse: Ethiopian Full City. Creamy milk chocolate plus dark chocolate combine to taste like chocolate chip cookies and other brown sugar spiced baked goods, a straightforward but delicious combination.
Can you taste the harmony of the flavors? Try Meaghan’s pairings and let us know what you think!