Although coffee and chocolate come from different plants that originated on opposite sides of the world, the two share many similarities, including their complementary flavors. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see chocolate and coffee combined to create delectable flavor combinations—think café mochas and coffee infused chocolate bars. Many recipes containing chocolate even call for a bit of coffee to enhance the chocolate flavor. Why do these two work so well together? Here we’ll take a closer look at this natural pairing.
Distinct Plants Grown in Similar Environments
Chocolate comes from the Theobroma cacao tree, while coffee comes from the woody evergreen coffee plant. Cacao trees are native to South America, and coffee plants originated in Africa and Arabia. However, the two grow in very similar rainforest environments, and today chocolate and coffee are both grown throughout Africa, Arabia, Central America, and South America. Along with similar growing conditions, both coffee and chocolate also require a long fermentation and roasting process to bring out their complex flavors and aromas. Both also benefit from sustainable growing practices with fair trade partnerships to ensure a higher quality finished product along with a reduced environmental impact.
Historically, coffee and chocolate have filled the same niche for consumers. They are both stimulants, although coffee contains more caffeine and only trace quantities of theobromine, while chocolate has much more theobromine and less caffeine.
Complementary Flavor Notes
Because of their similar growing needs and fermentation processes, both chocolate and coffee have similar tastes. Both are somewhat bitter and acidic and may offer tasting notes of flowers, citrus, berries, and other fruits. When paired together, coffee and chocolate tend to enhance each other’s distinctive flavor notes, yielding a rich, satisfying combination. Explore the pairing possibilities of coffee and chocolate with a distinctive lineup of chocolate confections from Zotter Chocolate. Treat yourself to our Cognac + Coffee or Coffee Toffee hand-scooped chocolates, or swap out your morning espresso for our Xocitto 100% cocoa sipping chocolate for a truly unique experience.