Jori Korhonen //
// 10.4.2017

Taste pairs @ Helsinki Coffee Festival 2017

Pairing wine and food has been done for centuries. Fine dining restaurants have specific persons, usually called sommeliers, doing that job so why wouldn’t cafés do the same thing?

What are taste pairs?

coffee and cake taste pair

Coffee beans from different origins, with different processing methods and different brewing methods taste different. If you are blending the beans, the result will also be totally different. Many people are contributing on the taste that you are having in your cup, at home and in cafés. Like we shouldn’t take for granted how our coffee tastes, we shouldn’t pair our coffee with something that undermines or ruins the taste of the coffee. This is why think about taste pairs. Think about having a lightly roasted, floral and sweet coffee and mud cake with it. Will you be able to taste all the nuances of the coffee when having mouth full of that delicious chocolaty mud cake? I’m afraid not.

The idea of taste pairs is pairing two things with same kind of flavor profile in a way they enhance each other. Take that lightly roasted, floral and sweet coffee that I mentioned earlier and pair it with water melon sorbet. Now you have two tastes that are equally delicate and they won’t undermine each other. Best case scenario they will taste even better. No idea how would those two pair, because I didn’t have those while writing this blog. Too bad though…

You can also to the other way. With excellent pairing you could be able not to use milk or sugar with your coffee. Think about it, if you are having let’s say a heavy cup of Joe brewed with a French press where you would normally add some milk to balance the flavor. What if you would pair that with a pannacotta? Then you would kind of have a coffee pannacotta!

How did we plan Helsinki Coffee Festival’s tasting pairs?


We are having events at Helsinki Coffee Festival where me, Sampo and Tomi are making pour overs and matching them with suitable raw cakes. This in mind, we had to sit down in Paulig Kulma to eat some cake and drink some coffee. Worst day ever! 
We started with tasting the coffees and cakes silently in random order so that we wouldn’t effect each other’s opinions. After a while we started to discuss which cake would dominate which coffee so we took out the no-brainers. After that we went to more detail and realized that for example our Ethiopian single origin pairs well with orange-chocolate raw cake because they both have nice acidity in them and are rich of flavors. Actually Sampo commented that the coffee tasted even better with the cake than before without it. 

Taste pairs @ Helsinki Coffee Festival

Join me, Sampo and Tomi at Helsinki Coffee Festival for some coffee and raw cakes! We will be having four sessions per day (about 30 mins each session) which will be perfect situations to learn more about coffee, taste pairs and life. Sampo and Tomi are Paulig Kulma’s roasters so prepare yourself with high tech questions about coffee and come have fun with us! We won’t mind either if you are coming just for the cakes… ;) Registration for the sessions will be available at Paulig’s stand every morning.