[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!
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 coffees 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 Companys 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!