On the first read, cheese in coffee sounds a little strange. You may think it’s a meme to trick you into trying something weird. However, if you have ever visited Colombia or Scandinavia, you may have heard of this delicious cream alternative before.
Cheese adds extra flavor profiles to coffee that you can enjoy. When you combine them, they highlight similar or complementary tastes that can enhance both. Finding the right pairings will make your coffee experience even more fun.
A Few Different Ways to Enjoy Cheese in Coffee
There are a few different ways to enjoy your coffee and cheese. Each method works to enhance the flavor, so you have to decide which style will allow you to enjoy the pairing the most. Both the Kaffeost and the Colombia style put the cheese into the coffee directly.
Some people prefer eating a slice of cheese with their coffee separately. That way, you will enjoy both tastes individually and mix the natural flavors when you feel like it.
Kaffeost literally means “coffee cheese .”The traditional way to make Kaffeost in Scandinavia involves adding leipäjuusto or bread cheese to coffee. Bread cheese can soak up a lot of liquid, so when you add it to your coffee, you will be flavoring both the coffee and the cheese.
You put a cube of cheese or fresh cheese curds in your coffee and let the cheese steep in the coffee for a few minutes. Then you can choose to remove the cheese and eat it separately, or you can drink the coffee and eat the cheese at the end.
You will notice the coffee takes on the cheese’s sweetness and tastes similar to when you add regular cream to your coffee. However, the significant flavor change comes when you eat the bread cheese.
The cheese normally has a slightly sweet taste, but after soaking in coffee, it takes on the delicious coffee flavors of the roast. Depending on your coffee, the cheese can take on nutty, earthy, bitter, fruity, and caramel tastes that pair well with its sugary base.
Colombia Coffee with Cheese
Colombians like to put cheese in their hot beverages. They serve cafe con queso, coffee with cheese, and chocolate completo (which is hot chocolate with cheese) in coffee shops. For their coffee with cheese, you put cubes of white cheese similar to mozzarella right in your coffee to enjoy.
The cheese partially melts, imparting a creamy taste to your coffee. Once you are finished with the coffee or are happy with the amount of sweet, creamy flavor the cheese has added, you can remove the cheese and eat it. Some people like to spread it on bread.
Many people in Colombia enjoy dipping bread in their coffee as well. Thus, the coffee, bread, and cheese mingle together, taking on unique tastes from each other that you can enjoy.
Coffee With Your Cheese
The last way to enjoy coffee and cheese is by chewing your cheese and then sipping your coffee to pull out all the flavor from each. People that enjoy their coffee and cheese this way say that you may want the coffee to be slightly cooler so you can take bigger sips.
When tasting cheese and coffee, look for flavors that you haven’t noticed before. Nibble a piece of cheese, then take a sip of coffee. Then, let the two mix on your tongue, touching all the taste regions to give you the best chance to find all the unique flavor combinations.
You can serve a combination of rich cheeses on a platter with the coffee so that people can try a lot of different flavors with a single cup of coffee. This method allows you to find your favorite pairings. It can be a fun way to explore new taste combinations that you may not have considered before.
Finding the Right Pairing
One of the great things about adding cheese to your coffee is the number of options you have. There are a lot of different coffee roasts and a plethora of varying cheese options. Of course, you can explore all the pairings, but there are some great combinations that everyone should try first.
Some of these combinations work together because they offer the same tastes. As a result, the flavors become more pronounced. In a few of these groups, you have complimentary flavors that pull out the tastes and let you enjoy both.
Find mild, easygoing cheeses with a slightly sweet taste that absorb a lot of liquid and a medium roast coffee with lower acidity.
Essentially you are making a Kaffeost with bread cheese or similar options like Mexican grilling cheese. It is a wonderful place to start with cheese in coffee, and it allows you to try the mix with the flavors that have made it popular.
Milky and Sweet
Soft artisanal cheese with mild flavors or slightly bolder but sweet options can be great in your coffee. These types of cheese allow you to put the cream into your coffee and add extra flavor notes that could be tasty but not overpowering. Try ricotta or a sweet brie this way.
With these cheeses, you want to pick a mild-flavored roast as well, or you can get a bold dark coffee flavor to help combat the bitterness of the roast.
Full of Flavor
Taking two robust tastes and putting them together can lead to great results, especially when you combine the right flavors. When going for this taste, you want to avoid flavors that fight for dominance, like blue cheese. Instead, focus on complementary tastes. Funkier cheeses pair well with bolder coffee flavors.
Aged smoked cheddar or similar assertive cheeses and a medium roast with sweet and fruity flavors can give you an exciting combination. A dark roast with nutty overtones and a spicy Monterey jack can also work well to get an explosion of flavor.
If you like cream in your coffee, you may have fun with a new way to experience the taste. Cheese in coffee may sound odd to some, but you can see how easy it is to enjoy when you look at the flavors.
Finding the right combinations will help you pull out all the tastes to experience both items fully. Visit a gourmet shop and buy a cheese you haven’t previously tried. Trying multiple pairings will help you find new flavors in the cheese and coffee you could have missed before.