Coffee and chocolate space often contrasted thanks come the overlap in between their growing regions and the similarity in smell notes. Both coffee and also cacao share a huge flavor profile; end 600 fragrant compounds in cacao and more than 1000 in coffee! Let’s destruction into much more similarities and differences in between the two gorgeous plants!


Coffee and also cacao come obviously indigenous two an extremely different plants, from two various continents. Cocoa comes from Theobroma cacao likewise known together ‘fruit of the gods’- an evergreen tree with fruits and flowers cultivation directly on its trunk. One oblong fruit, called a pod, different in size, escape on types and is as vibrant as one have the right to imagine (red, yellow, purple, blended colors) and each pod includes 20-60 cocoa beans, surrounded by sugary and fragrant pulp. Approximately 7-14 ford are necessary to produce 450 grams that cocoa beans. Just to remind, coffee bean come indigenous coffee cherries that develop two beans every cherry.

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Fun fact; words "cacao" is usually supplied for the pods and also beans prior to they are fermented. After ~ fermentation they space often referred to as cocoa. 

Just choose coffee trees, cacao flourishes in cocoa belt: along or close to the Equator in Latin America, the tropics of western Africa, Asia and India. Originaly, reduced Amazon (South America) is house to cacao, yet now is finest grown in Africa. And coffee comes from Africa and also Arabia (Ethiopia and Yemen), and now is best grown in southern America, kind of a switch there, however it works. ?


Coffee has two key species: Arabica and also Robusta, native which assorted varieties have arisen over time (e.g. Caturra, Typica, Bourbon, Castillo). Cocoa beans also have various varietals – researchers space still finding new genetics, but now we know that over there are an ext than 10 significant families of cacao (before cacao was classified into only 3 varieties/genetics - Criollo/Forastero/Trinitario). And CCN-51, i m sorry is a clone v high yield, an excellent resistance to diseases. Criollo is delicate, fine, much more expensive, white beans yet less productive. Forastero is more condition resistant, heartier yet poorer quality. Trinitario is the Goldilocks in-between. Each varietal has actually unique characteristics in terms of appearance and also especially flavor. Importantly, every action of the procedure has influence over that end-flavor. The key guys are: genetics, terroir and fermentation at origin, and roasting and conching (just because that chocolate). Even transportation and also storing will have an impact.


Theobroma cacao in Mexico.Additionally, chocolate and also coffee different in that is description consumption of “dark”. For chocolate, a “dark” chocolate is a recommendation to the ratio of cocoa solids to other ingredients. Therefore the higher the concentration the cocoa solids and cocoa butter, the an ext “dark” it is. Craft cacao bar is made utilizing very few ingredients, sometimes only two: cocoa and sugar. However, as soon as talking around coffee, “dark” method the form of roast. A dark roast means the coffee was over roasted to attain a certain flavor profile, such as smokey, burnt and caramel tasting notes. A irradiate roast method that the coffee was a bit less roasted and preserves flavors of the bean’s beginning like the fruity and also floral notes.


Yes, the beans come native a various plant, but they serve quite a similar purpose: coffee and cacao need to stimulate. Us talk about those alkaloids, caffeine for coffee and also theobromine because that cacao. Cocoa was a ceremonial drink that Mayan and Aztek gods, then desired by europe royalty and also much later on became available to the basic public.

So both bean contain far-reaching amounts of antioxidant - cacao an ext than coffee. Theobromine only occurs in cacao and also tea, therefore it stimulates mildly and also less effectively as caffeine. (FYI A 70% dark coco bar can have as much as 810 mg that theobromine!) Also, those 2 play a role in maintaining our brain and cognition sharp together we age. Dietary flavanoids discovered in cacao have been verified to protect against neuroinflammation and promote learning and memory. Our cup the Joe or caffeine has been shown to promote learning and also memory with simply a cup a day!

The processes of fermentation, drying and roasting has numerous parallels. Stop look into those. Together both fruit ripen at assorted times, manual picking from little farmers is required. Both Theobroma cacao and Coffea Arabica needs about 5 years prior to producing berry or cherries. So after harvesting, cacao pods are opened, beans space removed and also piled into huge wooden containers for fermentation (covered v banana leaves) for 2-7 or sometimes even 10 days, depending upon variety. Beans space turned in order come ferment evenly. During fermentation, a variety of chemical reactions happen which help develop flavor. 


As because that coffee, many choices for processing: dry, wet, honey, anaerobic and also so on. Either procedure removes the pulp native the bean while emerging varying degrees of aroma, body, mountain that write the bean’s flavor. Both beans room then dried in the sunlight to alleviate moisture levels.

Coffee beans climate undergo milling, hulling, cleaning, grading, and also polishing the green coffee beans. The post-harvest process is critical for both beans alike as to ensure properly developed flavors and also quality. So here comes the roasting part. Both cocoa and coffee beans space roasted to draw out the unique flavors the the bean’s origin. This requires technique on the part of chocolate makers and also coffee roasters, who work to discover the right balance in the roasting.

Do you want to know more about cacao roasting?

Pairing the two? that would mind it?

As us now understand the plenty of similarities between the two and also how facility both beans are, it have the right to come handy once planning a pairing. Roasting procedure actually brings around many equivalent flavors, many thanks to Maillard reaction. Let’s say a dark roast coffee and also dark-roasted cacao will have actually slightly bitter and solid chocolaty spices that will match each other with part sweetness native the chocolate. Lighter roasts will keep acidic and fruity notes, which gives a sparkle come a pairing. It"s a common thing, either coffee will boost the flavors of chocolate, or angry versa, however pairing castle together should really produce delicious and also unexpected combinations. 


So when starting to think around the pairing, keep in psychic the basics: flavor, acidity, complexity. Bitterness can be well balanced out by sweet or salty seasonings and tart/acidic can balance spicy and sweetness. There room no specific rules what goes through what, it"s more of an experiment and also what you think that room the best combinations. However for a start, friend can try matching espresso v dark cacao - 70% through cinnamon or caramel and those creamy coco notes in her espresso will mimic the cacao itself. Have a dark coco with chili flavor notes and don’t understand what to do with it? then pair it with a Brazilian coffee! Classic, medium roasts space a an excellent match to milk chocolate and try contrasting bold, dark roast v white chocolate with strawberries. It’s the exact same logic in every one of these – either mirroring the spices of cacao or contrasting them. 

Remember: fresh brewed coffee and also cooled a little, coco at room temperature, notebook and a pen to track the flavors and impressions. 

The ABC:

Smell both coffee and chocolate separately, be breathing deeply and also write down what friend smell. Take it a item of chocolate, placed it in her mouth, resting on your tongue, let that melt. If the piece is big, break it right into smaller pieces, chew a bit and while it melts, it will coat her mouth so friend should focus on the texture, aroma and the length it takes to melt. Determine the flavors and write them down. If girlfriend swallowed the chocolate already, take one more piece, melt the and take a according to slurp the coffee – this is the minute when the equivalent happens – observe how the seasonings change, evolve, match or comparison each other. Savor all aromas and flavors, take your time and taste the enhance again. Space there new flavors? go anything change? Aftertastes? carry out the flavors and also aromas walk well with each other or contradict each other? compose down your thoughts.

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Be motivated to try few combinations of different coffee and also chocolate till you uncover your favorite pairing. Possibly it will become your morning ritual? Trying new coffee, equivalent it with 3 various chocolates? beginning day work energized and also stimulated? i think I might do that. ?  

Nature has actually blessed us with impressive fruits (coffee and also cacao) and also people perfected that into new heights – exactly how lucky us are, gift able to reap these fruits. Craft cacao industry has actually a smaller market mark 보다 its cousin coffee in its fourth wave that development, but makers are discovering from coffee industry and also pursuing same purposes of sustainability, traceability and also sourcing. Both markets place a high value on raw material and also both storage the diversity that it. Bean-to-bar chocolate, just like coffee, have the right to reveal itself thru origin, roasts, recipe and also different handling methods.

I encourage you come reach because that craft, bean-to bar cacao next time you room in your favorite specialty coffee coffee shop or coco store and discover the whole brand-new world