2005-11-03

Foods for Coffee

Be it an espresso, a latte or just a cup of instant, you've probably had your first coffee of the day already. Chances are you'll have a few more before bedtime because, as a nation, we consume 70 million cups a day, spending a total of 630_million_GBP/year on our favourite beans. But while most of us are now able to distinguish a mocca from a macchiato, do we know which food to eat with a particular cup of the dark, rich stuff?
'It's all down to personal taste but there are certain coffees which really complement certain foods,' says Ms.Lisa Ross, a coffee master at 'Starbucks Coffee Company'.
According to Ms.Ross, pairing food with coffee started in ancient Ethiopia:
'It was customary for people to invite guests into their homes for a 'buna' where they would make coffee and serve it with plain popcorn, which would bring out the flavours in the coffee.'
Here is advice from experts on what to nibble as you sip. JAMAICAN Why drink it?
'Most of Jamaica's coffee comes from the Blue Mountains near Kingston,' says Mr.Mike Riley, head coffee buyer at 'Taylors of Harrogate', the tea and coffee merchants.
'One of the most perfectly balanced and expensive coffees in the world, containing citrus, nut and chocolate flavours.'
What with? Mr.Riley recommends drinking it on its own, but adds:
'Because it's such a luxurious coffee, I'd recommend drinking it with a special treat, like some fine Belgium chocolate truffles.'
What do I look for? 'Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee', 9.95_GBP for 113_g tin [8.80_GBP/100_g], available from 'Harvey Nichols', Edinburgh (0131) 524 8388. BRAZILIAN Why drink it? 'The Bourbon coffee plant, grown in Brazil, naturally has a caramel flavour, making the coffee taste almost like treacle,' says Mr.Riley. What with? After dinner with something sweet to complement the caramel flavours -- a treacle tart, or an almond bake. What do I look for? Try 'Sainsbury's' 'Taste the Difference Brazilian Coffee', 2.99_GBP per 100_g, available from Sainsbury's ( www.sainsburystoyou.com). COLOMBIAN Why drink it? 'Colombians are known for their nutty, smooth flavour and texture,' says Ms.Ross. What with?
'Anything with nuts.'
Its smoothness and creaminess also makes it ideal with a buttery croissant or pastry. What do I look for? Go ethical with 'Fairtrade Colombian Ground Coffee', 3.39_GBP per 227_g [1.49_GBP/100_g] bag, available from 'Original Organics Limited' (0188) 484 1515 or at www.originalorganics.co.uk. KENYAN Why drink it? Usually grown at higher altitudes, the cooler temperatures mean it needs longer to grow, so giving it more time to absorb the flavours in the soil.
'With its fruity flavour and its citrus aroma, it's very refreshing,' says Ms.Ross.
What with? 'A blueberry muffin or fruit scone with jam helps to bring out the fruitiness.' What do I look for? 'Kenyan High Mountains Ground Coffee', 2.89_GBP per 227_g pack [1.27_GBP/100_g], available from 'Taylors of Harrogate' (0142) 381 4000 www.taylorscoffee.co.uk SUMATRAN Why drink it?
'Indonesian coffees are popular for their earthy flavours,' says Ms.Ross.
What with? 'It goes well with mushroom dishes, which complement its earthy notes, or a cinnamon bagel, which highlights the spicy flavours in it.' What do I look for? Try 'Sumatra Mandheling fairtrade organic coffee', 5.00_GBP per 250_g [2.00_GBP/100_g], wholebean available from 'The Bean Shop', Perth (0173) 844 9955 or at www.thebeanshop.com 'What is your coffeemate?', Jessica Kiddle, The Scotsman, 2005-11-02, We

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