Wanted: Your Starbucks Coffee Pairing Ideas.

Please share your favorite coffee pairing!  I saw this comment on my blog’s Facebook page: “Melody I would love to see a blog post or Facebook post for people to chime in on pairings they have tried and loved (or even hated, lol).

This isn’t a giveaway or a contest.  But I thought that if you had a favorite pairing idea, you could share it in the comments below.  When I return to Seattle (after an upcoming vacation), the first week of July, I’ll compile  a variety of your comments and emails, and put it together as a blog article.  Please DO send me your pictures of your coffee pairings!  Melody at StarbucksMelody.com – I hope that I’ll have a bunch of pairing ideas and photos to share with you in July.  The only thing I ask is that you don’t send in old photos of discontinued coffees.  If your favorite pairing was Organic Shade Grown Mexico and some food to go with it, nobody reading my future July article will be able to replicate that pairing.  (I would love to hear about your pairing ideas for Kati Kati coffee too.)

Thank you to Jasmyn on Facebook for the great blog article idea!  I hope this works.  Please share your coffee pairings experiences – whether you’ve loved or hated that pairing.


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  • purple1

    Nice idea for a post but does this idea include noncoffee pairings as well?

  • Bridge Johnston

    Sumatra and Cheetos. Really. No joke.

  • Cecille Laxamana

    My partner Heidi found Lindlt chocolate flavors like chili chocolate or intense orange and the flavors is such a surprise. You eat the chocolate and it just tastes like “oh I just taste like chocolate” and then drink the coffee and hello ” there’s the chili” it’s a nice surprise flavor

  • Melody

    @Bridge – Sumatra is versatile! I think it pairs remarkably well with a bowl of tomato soup.
    @CeCille – Which coffee did you do that with? Sounds interesting!

  • Chrysi Rubin

    Caramel frappuccino cupcakes and Gold Coast.

  • Melody

    @Chrysi – You might have to share that cupcake recipe. 😉

  • keri

    I just did a seminar on our decaf coffees and the best was Decaf Willow with key lime pie. It was perfect!

  • jocelyn

    i’ll send you an email with core coffee pairings that i’ve done, but until then, here are some of the promo coffee pairings that i’ve done that were my very very favorite. i created all of the recipes included with the pairings – it’s always part of my presentation :)

    christmas blend 2009 – my version of s’mores.. espresso shortbread topped with an orange spiced marshmallow, bacon and chocolate.

    sumatra siborong borong – cheese fondue with three different compound butters (i believe they were tomato, herb and mushroom)

    organic ethiopia sidamo – meyer lemon tart (i’ll send the recipe for this to you because it is related to your post :) )

    colombia valley of gold – walnut & cocoa nib cookie

    myrtle&west blend 2008 (?) – this was a custom blend for my district i created. spiced date loaf scented with orange blossom (i’ll send you the paperwork for this too, as it is pretty top notch)

    101 blend 2013 – another custom blend for my district, and it will be available for purchase this year!!!!!! melody, i will send you a few pounds :) paired with chocloate coffee caramel macarons & coffee creme brulee

  • Jakub

    Kenya Blend with grapefruit – it’s very interesting! After biting that fruit, coffee isn’t acid at all!
    I also liked Rockslide Brownie (brownie with caramel and pecans) with last year Anniversary Blend.

  • barista5401

    Komodo Dragon with herbed gouda
    Not a huge French fan but for some reason i think it pairs well with raw almonds
    Sumatra with Lindt sea salt dark chocolate
    Ethiopia Sidamo with blueberry cheesecake

  • Emmy Hearn

    Cafe Verona with smoked salmon pate was surprisingly good!
    Best coffee tasting I ever did was with French Roast. We did the coffee tasting near a fire place, so instinctively when smelling the coffee, you block out the smoke you smell – underneath the obvious smoky smell in French is a rich vanilla bean! I think we miss it because the extra roasting of the coffee masks it. It ended up pairing wonderfully with vanilla bean ice cream, port-infused cheddar, fresh turkish delight & honeycomb. We replicated the coffee tasting in store by lighting a pine cone before work, blowing it out and placing it in a metal tin. It captured the smoky pine smell, so we had people take the lid off and smell the tin before smelling the coffee :)

  • Daniel

    What a fun question. I’d really have to sit down and think about this one (I once had a list of pairings that I’d done for events, panel interviews, etc… but it’s long lost in a binder somewhere, I’m sure).

    However, off the top of my mind…

    1. Yukon with Mashed Sweet Potatoes.

    2. Guatemala with a sweet apple (Fuji? Royal Gala?) dipped in caramel. After that, redip (not communal double-dipping, please :) ) in caramel then crushed nuts. It nicely demonstrates the complexity of the coffee.

    3. Espresso Roast with chocolate croissants dipped in caramel. It again demonstrates the complexity of the coffee. (Partners: you can make these in your store by slicing a croissant in half and covering with bits of finely cut chocolate. Warm open faced until chocolate is melted, then immediately put back together. Dip in our amazing caramel sauce!)

    4. Sumatra with baked brie or Kenya with oranges are classic.

    (PS: I like the blog. I stumbled across here for the first time via a friend’s link on Facebook. Fun reading.)

  • Jasmyn

    Unfourtantely I haven’t got to experiment with coffee tastings that really go outside of the items in our store (and even less so now with the new LaBolounge product line).

    One pairing that I love is a Chonga Bagel toasted with butter and Sumatra. The butter and cheese on the bagel do something so delicious for the coffee.

    Also I recently tasted Kenya with some mango I had packed in my lunch figuring the citrus connection would hit the spot. The first bite of mango did absolutely nothing, but the second bite really brought out the citrus like I was expecting.

  • kitenarie

    This is the pairing I did for my Coffee Master Certification and people still rave about it a full year later.

    It was a butter ricotta cake (recipe here – http://www.thebakingpan.com/recipes/cake/ricotta-butter-cake.html) paired with Gold Coast. If you really want to understand a buttery flavor in coffee, but are scared to use actual butter, this is a perfect way to do it. It completely changed the Gold Coast. I’m looking forward to doing it again.

  • Eric

    A recent pairing I enjoyed was Burundi Ngozi Starbucks Reserve first with the La Boulange morning bun and then with the La Boulange chocolate chip cookie. The morning bun really mellows the coffee with its soft baking spices, whereas the cookie really brightens the cup, bringing out typical African characteristics.

    I really enjoy Guatamala Antigua with the dark chocolate squares found in certain bistro boxes (though, I fear these boxes might have been discontinued…) The dark chocolate brings out a green apple tartness in the coffee, which I find so tasty and very unique. Those dark chocolate squares are manufactured by TCHO in San Francisco… For anyone living nearby, the ‘Nutty’ bar makes for the best pairing, I think. And their chocolate doesn’t contain any nuts; like coffee, the origin/type of bean influences the bar’s flavor profile. They also have fruity, citrus, etc. all of which make for great pairings with Starbucks coffees. (I asked once, and the chocolate TCHO supplies to Starbucks is a unique blend meant only for their bistro boxes.)

  • Laura

    I’ve tried a good chunk of these, but I still remember the time that my coffee master did a french press of Yukon and we dipped the shortbread in and it tasted like smores. soooo goood

  • Fernando Navarrete

    I prepare a coffee tasting with my partners and it was awesome we use Kenya with orange ice cream and it was really good.
    I’m SM in Starbucks Mexico and I’ll prepare a coffee tasting contest with my partners and the reward will be a krups. I’ll let you know who will be the winner!

    Wish me luck!

  • Ryan

    French roast with Smoked Salmon is one of my favorite pairings. The smokiness of the salmon pairs so well with French. I haven’t tried, but I’m guessing smoked cheese, such as Gouda, would be good with French too. Kenya (hot or iced) with Grapefruit or kiwi is good. Italian is one of my favorite coffees. For my Coffee Masters I paired Italian with sticky buns (basically caramelly miniature cinnamon rolls with pecans)! I also paired Willow blend with lemon bars.

  • Cassandra Carlson

    Sumatra with breaded mushrooms the mushrooms bring out the earthiness really nicely

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