Coffee lovers and cigar heads – sometimes one in the same – share a common interest in the sensory experience of their respective indulgences. Coffee and cigars both offer complex flavors and aromas that can be appreciated through careful tasting and attention to detail. On another level, both can be enjoyed solo or as part of a social ritual, often shared among friends or colleagues in a group setting. Each, in their own ways, require a degree of knowledge and expertise to fully appreciate and understand the properties and differences from one varietal to the next. Intended as a basic introduction for anyone new to coffee or cigars, or both, these combinations can also serve as a way to calibrate even the most experienced palate. We’ll get into specific brands, brews, and buys throughout the year, but for now all I ask is that you enjoy what you like and go from there!
First on our list is the classic pairing of espresso and a Maduro cigar. The bold, rich flavors of the espresso complement the dark, earthy notes of a Maduro cigar perfectly. The intense bitterness of the espresso can balance out the sweetness of the cigar, creating a perfectly balanced experience. Whether you enjoy your espresso from the Cafe, your favorite machine, or that Moka Pot you’ve had since before you can remember, this pairing is a classic for a reason. Those who prefer a stronger, more robust flavor profile may gravitate toward these two most frequently.
For a milder option, try pairing a French Press coffee with a Connecticut cigar. The smooth, creamy texture of the French Press coffee pairs well with the light, nutty flavors of a Connecticut cigar. This pairing is perfect for those who prefer a more subtle, nuanced flavor profile.
The next pairing on our list is a cappuccino and a Habano cigar. The sweet, creamy texture of the cappuccino perfectly complements the spicy, peppery flavors of a Habano cigar. This pairing is perfect for those who enjoy a complex, bold flavor profile.
While not based around the wrapper leaf like the other duos listed, this experience is unique enough to warrant its own spot. Try pairing an Americano coffee with a Churchill cigar. The extended format of a traditional Churchill allows you to savor the full range of notes, while the strong, bold flavors of the Americano provide the perfect accompaniment. This pairing is ideal for those who prefer a more traditional, classic profile and can be enjoyed at your preferred temperature.
The refreshing combination of a cold brew coffee and Sumatra tobacco closes out this quick introduction to combining cigars and coffee. The smooth chocolate and sweet cinnamon spice notes of the Sumatra wrapper can pair very well with the rich, velvety texture of a cold brew coffee. Often Less acidic than high heat alternatives, cold brew and cigars go so well together in large part because the coffee can be made to be as strong as you like without becoming too bitter. For those who want to start their day off with a crisp, complex profile, this combination could become a fast favorite.
Let everyone know what your favorite coffee/cigar pairings are in the comments below!