The Starbucks coffee pairing contest: The results

In April, I asked my readers to submit their best Starbucks chocolate pairing ideas. Readers had approximately one calendar month to submit an entry to me before the deadline of May 17, 2011. here ’ s what I received ( listed below in no particular order ) :
1.  Espresso Roast paired with a peanut butter mini chocolate cupcake from Starbucks – Submitted by Denise R.

here ’ s what she wrote :

I chose Starbucks Espresso roast with a chocolate peanut butter bantam cupcake. My best people ( baristas at my regular storehouse ) made a ‘ pour-over ’ for me. And, they ’ d just gotten the new logo ‘ for here ’ cups !
First of all, what could go ill-timed with this combination ? The chocolate was a little ‘ roasty ’, ( not much ) full bodied and seemed a small more acidic than sometimes. full-bodied, but not besides rich people ( less sweet to me than say, Verona ) to go with the chocolate and the peanut butter. As I said, what could be bad about such a combination ?
I specially chose Espresso roast because I think it ’ mho often looked over as a regular chocolate. I think possibly there ’ mho a fear that it will be like a straight shoot, which it is wholly not. so, that ‘ s my story ! A good cup of a bold brew combined with equitable a match bites of insignificant butter and chocolate !

2.  Yukon Blend and Perfect Oatmeal – Submitted by Ethan

here ’ s what he wrote :
One of my go-to coffees is Yukon Blend. I enjoy how balance and bold Yukon Blend is, on the palette. Yukon international relations and security network ’ t the most exciting blend, but I don ’ metric ton look to coffee for agitation. chocolate is the concluding step in getting my day started, unlike most people who make it their first measure. I must admit, I don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate frequently pair my coffee with any food, as food is my beginning footfall in the dawn everyday. What to pair Yukon Blend with ? Hrm. Oatmeal is most often my breakfast, and the Perfect Oatmeal contains all of the ingredients that are suggested for a perfect pairing, along side Yukon Blend .
I prepared a imperativeness and stirred in the Dried Fruit, Nut Medley and Brown sugar to form the Perfect Oatmeal. much to my surprise, on the spur of the moment the Asian/Pacific spice, the Nutty relish and acidity of Latin America collapse on to the setting ! I began to question whether the oatmeal complimented the Yukon or the Yukon complemented the oatmeal. finally realizing that, a perfect pairing compliment each other ! Partners who before never cared much for Yukon Blend suddenly grew fond of the coffee, while I formed a love for it WITH my oatmeal ! Before, I had no theme where to find the Asian/Pacific spiciness or typical relish and acidity of the latin american english chocolate in this blend. Let it be written, that this have a bun in the oven yogis the best compliment from the Perfect Oatmeal ’ randomness basket !
3.  Guatemala Antigua and vanilla shortbread cookies – Submitted by @Darkkatpouncing

here ’ s what she wrote :
I chose to pair Two By Two Vanilla Biscuits with some Guatemala Antigua chocolate.
The Guatemala Antigua has a very smooth down-to-earth spirit without being acidic. I enjoy my french pressed chocolate desegregate with a bite of 2 % milk and a little bait to give it a creamy body.
I pair my coffee bean with the vanilla biscuits because I love savoring the light yet rich butter vanilla season as it mingles with the creamy, earthy smooth affectionateness that is Guatemala Antigua .
My nosh of choice when I have tranquillity time for myself .
4. Chipotle Hummus, pita crackers and Komodo Dragon coffee – Submitted by Nick

here ’ s what he wrote :
Komodo Drago with Chipotle Hummus ( preferably from Trader Joe ’ s with their ocean salt pita crackers ) .
The flavors of the Komodo Dragon equitable detonate and the hummus is taken to a whole newfangled level. I know when you describe Komodo as a blue coffee you don ’ thyroxine mean piquant like peppers ( although I ’ m still trying to figure out a way to make a hot-spicy coffee ), but the hot-spiciness of the Chipotle Hummus brings out the hot qualities of the Komodo Dragon and frailty versa. The hummus explodes with flavors that weren ’ metric ton there before. It ’ s very an incredible match and all exist because I decided to something out of the convention for our criterion coffee tastings. Before you know it you have finished both ! It ’ sulfur truly thrilling .
I remember when I did this tasting the first time for my managers I walked away to help the floor and get the customers served while we had a brief rush. When I returned about ten minutes late all the hummus and chocolate had been consumed ! It was hysteric. They both looked up at me with wide eyes…. they didn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate evening realize they had been munching and sipping. It was hysterical !
5.  Gold Coast Blend and Rocky Road Cake Pops – Submitted by Taylor

here ’ s what he wrote :
Cake pops very should be for dipping in coffee, and what a better coffee to pair with the fullness of the Rocky Road Cake Pop than the Starbucks ’ Gold Coast Blend ! Gold Coast goes inordinately well with cocoa and the nuts from the cake pop enhances the coffee ’ s nutty possibility. This match is a immediate, on the fly type of pairing that one could enjoy just about anywhere from the table to the bus. Delicious and appropriate anytime. This one would be delightful even with a little bit of milk and sweetening in the coffee bean !
6. Italian Roast and Caramel Apple Cakes – Submitted by Linda

here ’ s what she wrote :
I chose italian Roast and a Caramel Apple Cake. I besides tried it with the Espresso Roast .
The faint sweet of the italian Roast pulls the sweetness of the caramel up. The smoky spirit in the coffee is a natural with the apples. There is a rich people down-to-earth flavor that blooms as the coffee and the patty combine. There is poise – pleasantness ( but not excessively ), texture from the chunks of apple and damp cake, and the pantry caramel bring all the notes in concert. A little flowery high note and a smoky base blend to create a bare treat .
Caramel Apple Cake
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I made a couple changes to the recipe. I used half the oil and replaced it with applesauce ( in my event homemade but store bought would be fine ). I made cupcakes rather of a large cake. They took 20-25 minutes to bake. I added a teaspoon of vanilla to the caramel .
The process for this recipe is simple enough for even a not experienced cook.

7. African Kitamu coffee (a Starbucks grocery store only offering) and pineapple slices – Submitted by @Wildflower_eyes

hera ’ s what she wrote :
For my pairing I chose Africa Kitamu coffee. It is one of my favorite Starbucks coffees and is readily available in grocery stores. It is included in the core coffees on their web site and it boasts having notes of subtle spiciness, floral and citrus. I decided to pair this coffee with fresh pineapple as it mentions to enjoy with citrus fruits and thought it might be an interesting one to try. ( Arizona stores besides have a great cultivate of pineapple right immediately ) ! In summation, I paired the Africa Kitamu with cinnamon bread ( a coarse grocery store kind ) and dark chocolate Pirouline wafers ( besides found in stores ) ; so this pair can be well replicated .
I have entirely attended one sample before, so I may not be very good at it, but it was fun to try ! After brewing the chocolate ( leaving it black ), I tried the pineapple first. I thought this was the best of the pairings, the citrus notes actually made the coffee bean bouncy and dessert tasting. The coffee had a light and vibrant mouth feel. The cinnamon bread was future and the sweet taste was replaced with ( what I think ) a gaminess that was similar to what I found when I tried it with the wafer. The wafer cookie was sweeter than the bread, and the chocolate now tasted much bold against both the cinnamon bread and cookie than with the pineapple. The coffee had an enjoyable line with the cookie and bread, while the pineapple complimented it .
8. Cafe Verona and a salted caramel sweet square – Submitted by Ruth

here ’ s what she wrote :
Starbucks Cafe Verona Blend & Starbucks Salted Caramel Square :
Sink down through the layers of soft chocolate, laced with sweetness, buttery ribbons of caramel and then accented by salty pretzel pieces, all together on top of a shortbread cookie base ; elegant, even simpleton in it ’ sulfur complexity. immediately, follow it with a rich, enticing sip of Starbucks delectable Café Verona Blend–a seductive, well-adjusted blend of latin american english and indonesian coffees–and feel the ecstasy across your palate as the deep black liquid mixes with the relish of cocoa, strategic arms limitation talks, and yellowish brown, evocative of a salt caramel mocha–delectable cocoa blend with invigorating coffee bean and accented by just a hint of the salt that brings that extra bit of symmetry to this fantastic cup of good. The perfect pair for a relaxing read time on a quiet, showery day with the raindrops outside your window setting a soothing rhythm to unwind to. Calming in its wonderfully balanced duet, Starbucks Café Verona paired with Starbucks Salted Caramel Square–just a bite of eden under 200 calories–what could possibly compare ?
9. Espresso Roast and Creme Brulee – Submitted by @lyracole And here ’ mho what she wrote :
I decided to pair up starbucks espresso roast and creme brulee. now, I ’ m not normally a dark roast person, so I figured this would be a big time to experiment a fiddling and go external my boundaries. I thought up this coupling, and then discovered that this is actually a recommend pairing on the packaging !
Being me, I experimented a morsel with flavorings of the brulee, but for brevity, I will not go into that ( there ’ second television ! ) .
I used a cold brewer, which actually wholly changed the flavor profile of the coffee bean. still, it was a very playfulness pairing 🙂
I had picked espresso blend to try the caramel notes, which actually got wholly dampened by the being method, which ended up more bitter, and a great contrast to the very sweet dessert .
so all in all, there were nine entries. I actually received ten-spot entries but one arrived a day after the submission deadline. To be honest, I am then grateful that I didn ’ thyroxine receive more than that. I wholly bit off more than I can chew with this contest. I would have been overwhelmed with tied 15 entries. It was actually hard to figure out how to try all these things out, and some of them I plainly did not try at all. As to Linda ’ s Caramel Apple Cakes, I didn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate try them at all. If I had to bake to figure out the entry, I just didn ’ metric ton. I struggled with Nick ’ mho entrance which required Trader Joe ’ s Chipotle Hummus. I went to two different Trader Joe ’ randomness and couldn ’ thyroxine find that detail. It ended up being a hummus equitable labeled “ blue ” and decided that would have to work. I did find the demand ocean salt pita chips for that entry. Lyracole made creme brulee and cold brew espresso roast. I bought some creme brulee from my vicinity Crepe stand at 8th and Pike. They caramelize it for you excessively – that small crepe booth offers great creme brulee. And I had espresso roast hot from the Clover. Most of the contest entries were pretty easy to duplicate. There ’ s a former web log stake here where I was trying out most of the pairings. I wasn ’ triiodothyronine able to try the african Kitamu with pineapple slices either. That chocolate is a “ cpg ” ( consumer products group ) think of that it is sold in grocery store stores, and not in the retail stores. Your local anesthetic grocery shop has slenderly different Starbucks coffee bean bean offerings than your local anesthetic company-operated retail memory, and this is one example of that. unfortunately, I simply couldn ’ thymine find the african Kitamu. I went to two different grocery store stores and had no fortune .
thus from the former web log position, here ’ s the photograph of me trying five of the pairings at once :

here ’ s the blue hummus with Komodo Dragon coffee bean :

And some Espresso Roast from the Clover with Creme Brulee from my neighborhood Crepe booth at Eighth and Pike :

After trying seven pairings, I discovered that everyone had some thoroughly suggestions for coffee pairings. It was highly unmanageable to pick out winners .
1. Espresso Roast and Petite Peanut Butter Chocolate cupcake – This was absolutely delectable. Espresso roast goes highly well with ample foods. The cupcake made the coffee even seem sweet. What a great suggestion .
2. Guatemala Antigua and the Vanilla Biscuits at Starbucks – Winner – Guatemala Antigua is a great coffee and it shines from the Clover or a press. The pantry notes in the Vanilla Biscuits are amazing with this coffee bean. The hint of nuttiness to the cookies are brought out by the chocolate, and the two items absolutely complement each other. I love the chasteness of this match angstrom well. It ’ sulfur very easy to do, and amazingly big .
3. Yukon Blend and Perfect Oatmeal – I ’ ve actually heard that this is a coupling that Starbucks recommends that people try. For me, this pairing didn ’ t very shine. Yukon Blend is reasonably bold and to me it ’ s a bit overpowering with the oatmeal. I feel like the spirit of oats is drowned out by the flavor of the behave ! Yukon Blend flavors even linger in your mouth for a moment after you ’ ve tried it .
4. Gold Coast Blend and a Rocky Road Cake Pop – This was a big match. It ’ s a very meet coupling and it feels like a meal closely ! Both Gold Coast Blend and Rocky Road cakepops are large flavors. Somehow I think this cakepop pairs best with something full-bodied and depleted acidity, and this works. The cake pop tastes even more chocolate-y when paired with Gold Coast Blend .
5. Verona and the bantam salted caramel square – This was such an interest match. The chocolate and the salt yellowish brown squarely sour pretty well in concert because of the rich caramel and chocolate flavors in the regale. The funny thing is, I think this bantam treat is a short bit challenging to in truth figure out what coffee it works well with. Salt is a very difficult spirit notice to pair with coffee bean. Salt and coffee bean just don ’ t actually mix. If you think about it, Starbucks has sugar and milk on the condiment bar, not salt. This is probably one of the best coffees out there for this treat, but because the miniskirt salted caramel square is very complex in season, it goes with many things. On a former occasion, I tried it with Guatemala Antigua, and the buttery, balmy bottom to the petite salted squarely actually complements Guatemala Antigua .
6. Espresso Roast and creme brulee – This is a phenomenal coupling. The creme brulee fair melts in your mouth when paired with Espresso Roast. surprisingly to me, the coffee bean doesn ’ t overpower the season of the creme brulee. surprisingly, there ’ s a lot of complexity to this coupling. The vanilla notes and the texture of the brulee give the coffee a certain suavity to it. Note that Lyracole tried a coldness brew Espresso Roast, and mine was hot. I think this would have been a less excite pairing with coldness brew – I just don ’ thyroxine think Espresso Roast is truly the right coffee bean for a cold brew .
7. Komodo Dragon and Chipotle Hummus and Sea Salt Pita Chips – Winner – I went into this pairing kind of dreading it – I don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate like hot foods. I substituted merely “ hot ” hummus for chipotle-flavored hummus. much to my surprise, this was an amaze pairing. The pita chips don ’ t have much of a season at all, and indeed by and large you ’ re getting blue hummus flavor with Komodo Dragon. I was worried this would be excessively blue for me, but it was fine. The hummus only had a meek kick to it. If it had been much spicier, I think it would have overwhelmed the coffee. But this actually was a pair where all the piquant flavors of Komodo Dragon Blend just toss off in your mouth ! The entire body of Komodo Dragon besides goes well with all that piquant season. This is delicious !

Everyone who entered will get something in the mail from me. This was a long ton of work for people to put together pairings, and then take photos and send them to me. Grand prize give cards are being sent to “ Nick ” and “ Darkkatpouncing. ”
I have to say a big thank you to everyone for doing this. Hope you enjoy reading what everyone came up with !

reference :
Category : Recipe

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