How to enjoy coffee and chocolate

14 Jun 2021

Chocolate Knowledge Coffee

Coffee and chocolate go together like two beans in a pod, but you probably already knew that, right?

Coffee and chocolate together — one of life’s simple pleasures. We have to admit, we’re a little bit addicted to this flavour combination – and no, it’s not because of the caffeine! At Hotel Chocolat, we’re constantly looking for new ways to balance these beans to create delicious and exciting coffee chocolates.

Whilst coffee chocolate might be a relatively well-known cacao combination, there’s more to it than just mixing coffee and chocolate together. Each variety of coffee and cacao bean boasts its own flavour profile, meaning that if you get it right, you can experience a chocolate experience like no other. 

Coffee and white chocolate

Why do coffee and chocolate go so well together?

It might seem like a bit of a no-brainer, but there’s a reason why coffee and chocolate go together. Coffee and cacao beans both have deep, intense flavour profiles. However, this can change depending on the region the beans are grown in. 

For example, we source our cacao beans from all over the world. From the rocky and mountainous region of Ecuador to the luscious and vibrant island of St Lucia. Many different factors can affect the resulting taste of the cacao bean, including the amount of sunlight it receives, the soil it’s grown in and the quantity of water the bean gets each year. 

For some cacao beans, their growing conditions mean they have a slightly tart, red berry flavour profile. As such, these kinds of beans make the perfect dark chocolate. Our R&V Honduras Pistachio Praline Selector uses beans grown in Honduras to impart a distinctive fruity edge that complements the delicate pistachio praline beautifully. 

Other beans impart smokey, savoury notes or aromatic summer fruits flavours. To discover the complex and nuanced world of the cacao bean, why not dive into our Single-origin Chocolate range?

This flavour diversity is very similar to the coffee bean. Because its taste is so varied, we couldn’t help but gather five different blends for you to enjoy. Our range of carefully-curated Coffee Beans impart anything from mellow, subtle flavours to punchy caffeine hits.

So, what does this all mean? Well, because both coffee and cacao can boast such depth and hold their own against other flavours, it makes them the perfect suit. However, it’s also important to know how to pair the right beans together. For a heavenly coffee chocolate tasting experience, you’ll want to make sure you get that combo just right.

How to enjoy coffee and chocolate

Light roast

A light roast is your most mellow option. Lighter and somewhat fresher than darker roasts, light roasted coffee is a good pairing with white or milk chocolate. Our Cashmere Whole Roasted Coffee Beans impart notes of crème caramel and freshly baked brioche notes, releasing aromatic and delicate aromas.

Because of its delicate flavour, a light roast shouldn’t be overpowered by anything too strong. So why not enjoy alongside a few squares of White Chocolate? We suggest that you go for one with 36% cacao butter or higher for the most creamy finish. Alternatively, drizzle some of our melted White Chocolate Batons over whipped cream to top your coffee off with something extra indulgent. 

Coffee-wise, grind these beans to make a delightfully smooth latté and enjoy that alongside white chocolate. A milky coffee allows you to taste the perfect balance between a creamy light roast and aromatic white chocolate. Don’t worry if you don’t have a fancy coffee-making machine at home. There are plenty of cheap coffee grinders available, and we’ve put together a guide on how to make a latté at home, without a coffee machine. 

Medium Roast

A medium roast is one of the most versatile coffee options, making it a great pairing with both milk and dark chocolates. Coffee beans that evoke red fruit and deep berry flavours tend to go best with a high cacao milk chocolate.

Try looking for milk chocolate that ranges between the 40% to 50% cacao benchmark. Anything lower, and it might not be able to hold its own against the punchier notes of medium roast coffee. For a cappuccino that boasts extra depth, grate our 40% Milk Chocolate Slab over the froth. Or swirl a piece or two through an Americano and enjoy the melted, velvety tastes of coffee and chocolate. 

Or, if you prefer more indulgent, caramel flavours, then look for a medium roast with creamy, toffee notes. The One Whole Roasted Coffee Beans is our most classic blend, imparting full-bodied notes of milk and caramel with undertones of warm fruit for that molasses edge. Nutty chocolates work best alongside this type of roast, creating a taste that’s akin to a crunchy praline.

Dark Roast

Bold, punchy, powerful. Unsurprisingly, a dark roast demands a chocolate that can level with its standards. Look for dark chocolate with anything between 70% and 100% cacao solids for a deep, indulgent coffee-chocolate combination. 

Bold notes of oak and tobacco tones underpin our Rocket Whole Roasted Coffee Beans. For a pairing that can really hold its own against these smokey flavours, our 70% Dark Chocolate Batons balance intricate cacao notes with a surprisingly creamy backdrop. 

For those who are serious about the dark side of chocolate, we urge you to try something a little more daring. Our Rare and Vintage Dark Chocolate Batons contain 100% cacao. Although this might sound daunting, we promise it’s unlike anything you’ve tried before. Slightly savoury, these batons have a malty edge, making them the perfect pairing alongside a flat white, a macchiato or a double espresso. Plus, their long, curved edges mean they’re perfect for swirling into a hot drink of your choice.

Roasting coffee beans

Chocolate flavoured coffee

For those who enjoy their coffee and chocolate together in one swift-yet-glorious gulp, chocolate-flavoured coffee is the ideal option. Although this might sound like a bit of a cop-out, sometimes there’s nothing better than a warming mug of coffee and chocolate. 

Our Chocolate Latte Sachets balance coffee and chocolate notes effortlessly. The problem with most mocha blends tends to be that they don’t commit to quality with both blends. We believe the flavours of both cacao and coffee are equally important. As such, we use grated flakes of our chocolate for an indulgent chocolate flavour. We combine this with our ethically sourced coffee beans for a roasted, deep taste. 

A mocha lets you experience the indulgent tastes of both beans with each sip, making it a simple option to enjoy your favourite tastes with ease. Pair with The Velvetiser for even quicker results. In a matter of minutes, you can slowly sip on a little bit of decadence, warmed to the ideal temperature and velvetised for the smoothest results.

Mocha: perfect blend of coffee and chocolate

Coffee flavoured chocolate

The flipside of the flavour combination. Our coffee-flavoured chocolates come in a variety of white, milk and dark chocolates. Enjoy different grades of chocolate alongside smooth, complex coffee notes. They make the perfect gift for chocolate and coffee connoisseurs alike — or an indulgent treat for yourself when you need a bit of a boost!