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Dining Out 1 minute 10 June 2016

The best chocolate pairings for your coffee

Is it possible to make chocolate more addictive, more intense, and…dare we say, more delicious? Why, yes.

beverage coffee technique

Thoroughly smitten with chocolate as we are, we also know that nothing quite ruins a splendorous meal like a poorly matched chocolates and coffee.

As such, we've tapped on coffee consultancy Bettr Barista’s resident trainer Natasha Shariff for some tips on how to best pair your post-meal cuppa with after-dinner chocolates, and suggest three easy combinations you can try at home, too.


“Coffee and chocolate have natural synergy and make for a very harmonious pairing. If I were to host a lunch for a bunch of friends I would first need to know whether or not I have access to an espresso machine. If not, not any brewing or pour over equipment would be just as adequate. 
If you're having an espresso made with a Colombian and Brazilian coffee blend, I would recommend pairing it with dark chocolate of about 70 per cent cocoa content. The dark, robust flavours of the chocolate will pair well with the chocolate and nutty notes of the coffee. And the slightly fruity notes will counter the medium acidity in the espresso - making this a good entry level pairing to get everyone's day going or to start off lunch with. (If you don’t have an espresso machine at home, French press or drip coffee will suffice). 

If you’re having a Sumatran coffee, look for any bittersweet cocoa bar with about 53 per cent cocoa content. The sweet accents found in the chocolate paired with the earthy spice notes and bold flavors of the Sumatran coffee should make for a really delicious combination, and hints of spice in coffee, if done well, can really take things up a notch. You can make your Sumatran coffee with a French press, a classic method that most people would use in their households. Alternatively, if you have access to an espresso machine, a classic long black or americano would work just as well. 

There's nothing better than sipping a nice milk coffee and having a great chocolate bar to go with it. I would choose to finish off lunch with a milk coffee made with a single origin coffee from Ethiopia for its clarity and floral and citrus notes, and pair it with a cocoa bar with about 35 per cent cocoa content. There is a certain complexity to this last pairing as it works in elements of sweetness, acidity, and floral notes, depending on the exact type of coffee used.
If using an Aeropress - a hybrid home-brewing device - to make your coffee, make sure to brew a strong cup so that its flavours won’t be diluted when milk is added in, and guests can opt to drink it hot or iced. Alternatively,  if using an espresso machine, any milk based drink - a latte, cappuccino or flat white - would suffice.”

“Want to try your hand at your own chocolate and coffee pairing? Natasha will be conducting a free coffee and chocolate pairing session, on 12 June (4 to 5pm) at the #LiveBettr Lab within the Singapore Coffee Festival. Held at F1 Pit Building from 10 to 12 June (11am to 9pm), the Singapore Coffee Festival is Singapore's first coffee-centric festival offering interactive multi-sensory experiences and a unique platform to showcase local craftsmanship in specialty coffee. Tickets are on sale from SISTIC and at the door. Visit www.sgcoffeefestival.com.sg for event and ticketing details.”

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