An unlikely pair: Cheese paired with coffee is a buzz for your taste buds

[image-1]We started with a fresh chèvre or “goat” cheese from Vermont Butter and Cheese Creamery. It was delicious with a Buddy Brew Espresso Americano. The lemony, cake-like goat cheese accentuated the rich, chocolate notes of the espresso beans. For another match to espresso, ricotta cheese is an exceptional pairing. Translating to “cooked twice”; ricotta has fragile cloud like lumps. Drizzle a touch of maple syrup over the milky white cheese and add crunchy granola to the lineup for a perfectly indulgent breakfast or dessert.


Speaking of desserts, according to Jennifer Meier, author from About.com, the sweet Norwegian cheese Gjetost (yay-toast) is a decadent choice with espresso. Gjetost is literally caramelized cheese. The whey is slowly cooked down until the natural sugars turn deliciously sweet and the texture becomes like thick peanut butter. After being shaped into a perfect square, the light brown cheese even resembles a giant caramel candy!


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Do you prefer your cheese with a little age? Josh and I loved enjoying Reypenaer two-year-old Gouda with the medium bodied Brazil Cerrado medium roast. The extra nuttiness of this particular bean brought out the toffee sweetness so endearing to aged Goudas, while the cheese stood up nicely to the coffee’s subtle acidity. Of course the lovely protein crystals in the paste of Reypenaer offer a pleasing contrast to a syrupy smooth cup of coffee. This pairing also reminded me of Beehive Cheese Company’s Barely Buzzed Cheddar. Barely Buzzed is coated with coffee grounds and French lavender before being aged in Utah caves on racks of blue spruce. This treatment creates a sweet, nutty and floral cheese full of character. It is a slam-dunk with a cup of Brazil Cerrado!


The most sophisticated treat was the Valdeón mixed milk blue from Spain with the Ethiopian Longberry Harrar Horse. The coffee has a medium acidity with rich berry and dark chocolate nuances (two flavors made for blue cheese). The unique fruitiness of this prized bean brought out the earthy creaminess of the blue. Sycamore leaves snugly wrap the paste of Valdeón creating a mild spiciness . That light spice and touch of salt in the cheese create an elegant match to the gourmet Buddy Brew Longberry.


Whether you prefer a breakfast nibble or an after dinner cheese plate, coffee is a loving companion -- as long as you have the right cheese!

If you like coffee and you like cheese then keep reading; — the two make an amazing pair! You have had them together already without much thought about what you were combining. We drink coffee for breakfast and add cheese to items like eggs, bagels and croissants. Most of us use dairy creamers in our coffee too. Although I am not suggesting you add a chunk of cheddar to your morning brew, I would highly recommend a few good wedges of protein-packed cheese while you work on your caffeine buzz.

To find out what cheeses work best with coffee, I met with Josh Bonanno of Buddy Brew Artisan Roasters. Josh helps owners Dave and Susan Ward run their shop on Kennedy Boulevard and he really knows his beans. Buddy Brew uses the freshest green coffee beans from all over the world and hand-roasts them to perfection right in their store. I gathered different styles of cheese and headed to Buddy Brew for a tasting. I wasn’t expecting much, but any opportunity to sit around and eat cheese in good company is always appealing. Josh and I were quickly reminded that quality products made with a lot of love tend to compliment each other, and in some cases make one another better!

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