30 April 2019 | pacts insight | Views:

Coffee & wine? They’re more similar than you’d think

“What sort of coffee do you like?”

It’s a question you’d probably answer in reference to how it’s served - flat white, cappuccino, iced. But if someone asked you what your wine preferences are, you wouldn’t say “chilled” or “with lemonade”.

As a nation, we’ve got more and more into our wine - with 60% of us saying it’s our favourite tipple. We know whether we like chenin blanc or a nice pinot, for example, when it comes to white - so picking something off a wine list or supermarket shelf usually goes beyond “which one is the second cheapest?”. But the same should apply for coffee.

Coffee doesn’t taste of coffee

Coffee isn’t a flavour. I know, put down that tub of ‘espresso swirl’ ice cream. It’s made of lies. We want people to understand coffee has as much of a range as wine, from a highly acidic white to a full bodied red - and everything in-between.

Like wine, coffee is produced from fruit - cherries in fact. And those cherries grow all across the world, at a multitude of different altitudes, in different weather conditions, with different soil fuelling their growth. So variety is inevitable!

Why ‘coffee flavour’ is a convenient lie

Why do we think there is one ‘coffee’ taste? Simple - major players in the coffee industry want you to think that way as it keeps costs down. Perpetuating the idea of a homogenous coffee flavour means companies can:

- Buy cheap and bad quality beans, that haven’t developed pleasant flavour notes

- Roast them to the point of being burnt, to make the flavour uniform (like how burnt toast tastes of burnt toast, whether it’s sandwich white or seeded sourdough)

- Store coffee indefinitely, until it becomes stale - and then perpetuate that the staleness is what coffee tastes of

What Pact Coffee does differently

We don’t think that’s any way to treat coffee that’s been lovingly tended to and carefully processed over a manner of months. And we think it’s doing the industry a real disservice to pretend that coffee is a flavour, not a product with a wide range of flavours.

That’s why, as a principle, we roast our coffees lightly to bring out the natural characteristics of individual coffees. That’s why we ship out your beans and ground coffee just after it’s been roasted, to ensure ultimate freshness. That’s why we source only the best coffees that are as deliciously varied as they can be.

Which coffees match your taste in wine?

If you like a Rioja, or Chilean tempranillo…

Then try something from our ‘chocolate’ line - mostly likely a medium-to-dark roasted Brazilian, like Planalto. It’s heavy body, rich chocolatey characteristics and hint of spice will mirror what you enjoy tasting in a glass of Rioja.

If you like a malbec, or heavily oaked Australian chardonnay…

Go for a coffee from our ‘chocolate and fruit’ line. These wines are characterised by a powerful flavour profile, but one where a single taste note often dominates. Something like the Fazenda Chapada should also hit those notes you love.

If you like a sauvignon blanc, or merlot…

Opt for a ‘fruity’ number, like Finca Buenos Aires. The developed, but not overpowering, acidity and the well-balanced flavour will offer you something very similar - including taste notes you can clearly pick out.

If you like a riesling, or pinot noir…

Have a ‘fruity and floral’ coffee. Fruit-driven characteristics, high levels of acidity, a lighter body - every delicious aspect you find in a riesling will be replicated in something like El Mirador, with its similarity to Seville orange marmalade.


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