The science of coffee pairing

By Chelzee Salera

 

DRINKING coffee is a morning ritual to many, and their day won’t start without having a fresh cup. Yet as everyday as it sounds, coffee, with its bitter taste and buzz, is one profound brew.

Toby's Estate Head Barista Paul Asuncion (Photo by Jonolin Minoza Luab)
Toby’s Estate Head Barista Paul Asuncion (Photo by Jonolin Minoza Luab)

As in wine, to fully appreciate the taste of coffee, one must get to know its components. This, among many things, is what coffee expert Raul Peralta, general manager of Toby’s Estate Coffee Roasters Philippines, shared during a coffee and cake pairing session at Treat Street Cafe last Nov. 11.

Proprietress Trina Ang Kokseng said that after more than a year of serving sweet delights, Treat Street Café will be serving exclusively Toby’s Estate coffee, having unlocked the perfect pairing of coffee and cake.

“In the past few months we have been working hard to come up with a better customer experience, we are proud to announce that Treat Street Cafe will be serving exclusively Toby’s Estate coffee,” Trina said during the pairing session.

Toby's Estate General Manager Raoul de Peralta (PHOTO BY JONOLIN MIÑOZA LUAB)
Toby’s Estate General Manager Raoul de Peralta (PHOTO BY JONOLIN MIÑOZA LUAB)

The enlightening coffee and cake pairing session started with a demonstration on how different flavors can change or add to the flavor of coffee.

“What we want is to demonstrate better ways to drink coffee. When you order coffee, especially when they have chocolate and you have a very sweet cake, what happens is that you have a sweet dessert and a very sweet coffee so all you’re going to taste is sugar and you don’t give justice to the coffee or to your pastry” said Raul, who has been in the coffee industry here and abroad for 15 years. His last stint before joining Toby’s Estate was as program director of Melbourne-based Coffee Academy.

Treat Street Pie and Long Black
Treat Street Pie and Long Black

Raul shared that the secret to drinking coffee is to pair it with desserts that will overdrive, augment or contrast the taste that you want to get. What phenomenon you want to happen on your taste buds will entirely be up to you.

During the coffee and cake pairing session, the first pairing demonstrated was the chocolatey goodness of the Treat Street Pie paired with a Long Black coffee: its bitter and slightly strong texture perfectly contrasted the sweet and rich turtle chocolate ingredient of the pie.

Honey Toffee Crunch Cake and Iced Latte
Honey Toffee Crunch Cake and Iced Latte

The second pairing was a little bit tangy where the Calamansi Cheesecake augmented the plain texture of the Flat White Coffee. The Mango Black Sesame Cake of Treat Street was paired with Mocha, which complemented the bittersweet taste of mocha. Lastly, the sweet Honey Toffee Crunch Cake added a little sweetness to the Iced Latte of Toby’s Estate.

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