Elevating flavours through coffee pairing

As consumer demand increases for intriguing new flavours and dining experiences, Nespresso explores the role coffee can play in helping to elevate fine-dining menus.


With a growing collective of sophisticated ‘foodies’ on the rise, consumers are increasingly seeking exciting new flavours and gastronomical experiences. Now more than ever restaurants are looking for unusual and interesting ways to enhance their menus and attract diners to their establishments. But just how are they achieving this? 

Indeed, for many chefs, one of the answers is coffee. With this ingredient now playing a more central role within fine-dining menus, coffee is no longer viewed as an afterthought at the end of a meal. Like wine, coffee is incredibly versatile as an accompaniment when it is paired with both savoury and sweet food.

In fact, due to the parallels between coffee and wine, at Nespresso, we have created our very own Coffee Sommelier Programme. This educational programme was set up for professional sommeliers to discover the intriguing world of premium coffee, enabling them to recommend specific tastes to their guests to help elevate the flavours of their meals – just as they would do with wine.

For us, one of the most impressive trends we’ve seen in recent months is the focus on unconventional pairings of coffee with savoury flavours, for instance delicate coffee flavours served with seafood dishes and full-bodied blends paired with succulent red meats. By using coffee in this way and pairing it with a variety of dishes throughout a menu, unique and exceptional flavours can be created. This brings customers’ taste buds to life and delivers them the stimulating dining experience they crave. 

This is a trend that has also been picked up by Michelin starred chefs and through our work with them, we have learnt that ultimately, the key to enhancing flavours through coffee pairing is finding the right balance.

That is why at Nespresso, we have developed 13 Grand Crus each with a unique aroma, intensity level and flavour. With such a diverse range to choose from, chefs have the capacity to carefully select which flavour they feel creates the right balance for their meals and which ultimately elevates their dishes to another level.

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