The Science of Coffee: Enhancing the Culinary Experience

Across the UK, people are increasingly interested in quality coffee and they demand this from the restaurants and cafes they visit. At the same time, the rise of the foodie is creating a new group of culinary connoisseurs who appreciate good food and good coffee. This offers huge potential for chefs and restauranteurs to perfect the gastronomic experience for their guests by incorporating coffee into the meal.

Coffee is often the last taste enjoyed by a diner and therefore the memory it leaves is an important one. Chefs can capture the interest of this gourmet-minded audience through offering exceptional coffees that complement dining experiences. Pairing coffees to flavours is an important skill for today’s top chefs. Understanding the Science of Coffee gives chefs flexibility to be creative and imagine incredible new dishes – both savoury and sweet. 

Nespresso will be demonstrating the Science of Coffee at National Chef of the Year. Michelin-starred chef Claude Bosi will present two simple recipes designed to perfectly accompany Nespresso’s new flavoured Grands Crus for professional customers – Espresso Caramel and Espresso Vanilla. These naturally flavoured coffees meet consumer desire for delicious flavours and taste experiences and bring an intense and aromatic profile to the existing range.

Both coffees are based on Nespresso’s Espresso Forte blend, which is a exclusive blend of south & central American Arabicas, processed in a traditional way to enhance the flavours and aromas of malt (Costa Rica) and fruit (Colombia).

In advance of Nespresso’s Science of Coffee demonstration at The Stage at The Restaurant Show, we’ve pulled together some top tips to help you pair the right coffees with sweet and savoury dishes.

1. Coffee isn’t just for dessert! Pairing a coffee with a savoury starter or main course means balancing flavours and aromas to perfection and creating something unexpected yet intriguing. What about an espresso accompaniment to a dish with inherent sweetness, such as spare ribs, or where the dish would be served with a sweet complement, like duck liver parfait with a fruity chutney?

2. Coffees with a touch of Robusta, like Nespresso’s Ristretto Grands Crus, are often intense with roasted notes. They provide rich cremas and their strength and richness go well with the texture and flavour profile of dishes with cereal or toasted ingredients. Think about serving an intense Risretto alongside your culinary creation.

3. Coffee works fantastically well with chocolate but be sure to serve an intense and bitter coffee with a milk chocolate-based dessert or a mellow coffee with a bitter chocolate dish. This allows the pairings to balance and the flavours to sing loud and clear. Likewise, savoury dishes using chocolate, for example Mexican chilli or mole recipes, can be accompanied with an intense espresso on the side to really enhance those flavours.

4. Flavoured coffees add an unusual and intriguing element to dishes, particularly desserts. For example, our Espresso Caramel works perfectly with nut-based or toffee desserts, such as sticky toffee pudding or banoffee pie, while Espresso Vanilla is a delightful accompaniment to tiramisu or cheesecake.

Nespresso will present its Science of Coffee demonstration, which will be led by two Michelin starred chef Claude Bosi and Nespresso Coffee Expertise Manager, Jonathan Sims after the National Chef of the Year competition at The Stage on Tuesday, 4th October at 4pm at Olympia, London.