The Best Type Of Coffee For A Well-Balanced Irish Coffee

A well-balanced Irish coffee can make you fall in love with the cocktail. Caffeinated, creamy, and slightly smoky, this java-based libation is the ultimate way to end a chilly winter evening. Created in 1943 by airport chef Joe Sheridan for weary passengers whose plane had returned due to the weather, Weaver's Coffee explains that when asked if the coffee was Brazilian, the chef cheekily responded that it was "Irish coffee" — the rest, as they say, is history. The specialty can now be found just about anywhere, but if you're crafting one at home, think wisely about which type of coffee to use.

Coffee and cocktails are some of life's greatest pleasures — combine them, and they create the ultimate guilty pleasure. Whether it's a White Russian, espresso martini, or cold brew negroni, there's no shortage of deliciously creative pairings. However, there are some limitations when it comes to balancing flavors. Since coffee has such a bold taste, Punch explains that it's an ingredient that requires careful consideration when it comes to variety, roast, and amount. Naturally, the type of java used in an Irish coffee is precisely what differentiates a good one from a great one.

A medium roast is the way to go

Hot coffee, sugar, Irish whiskey, and whipped cream are the ingredients that make an Irish coffee. In perfect harmony, sweet sugar offsets the bitterness of the coffee, while the fiery spirit is instead tamed by a dollop of rich cream, creating satisfaction in every sip. But, this equilibrium can be thrown off kilter if the wrong brew is used.

Obviously, preference plays a role. While you could use almost any style (roast, origin, flavor), Whiskey Advocate explains that this will affect the cocktail's taste. This can have you scrambling to adjust the quantities of the other ingredients, that is unless you prefer tasting more or less mocha in your cocktail. Rather than use overly strong, exotic, or espresso styles of coffee, shares that the best option is a medium roast Colombian coffee blend as it won't overpower the other ingredients nor get lost in the mix.

The only other tip is to keep coffee hot since adding room-temperature whiskey and cold cream can cause the cocktail to cool. To keep your Irish coffee warmer for longer, Irish Whiskey Museum recommends heating your glass with some boiling water — make sure to keep a metal spoon in the glass to prevent it from cracking. Then, simply prepare the Irish coffee as usual. Happy sipping!