10 Savory Pairings For A Cup Of Coffee, According To Lomond Coffee Roasters

When it comes to coffee, pairing a cup of Joe with your favorite snack or meal can be an unbelievably satisfying experience. But why should baked goods like cinnamon rolls and coffee cake have all the fun? For those with a savory tooth or anyone looking to branch out and pair more savory-leaning items with your next coffee-related beverage, it helps to have a bit of guidance. We reached out to co-founders (and sisters) Hayley Bryant and Linzi Coe of Lomond Coffee Roasters – a women-led independent business in London — to garner their expert advice on creating the perfect savory coffee pairing. We received email responses from the Lomond Coffee Roasters team for this interview.

When it comes to pairing coffee with any food, Lomond Coffee Roasters reminds us, "You want to select foods that either mirror the flavor notes of the coffee or alternatively foods that will balance out the flavor of the coffee. For example, if you were to pair food with a full-bodied, richer coffee, you may choose to have something chocolatey or meaty to echo the depth of the coffee. However, if you were to have a fruity, acidic coffee, you may opt for foods that tend to neutralize the acidity."

Here are 10 exceptional coffee beans and suggested brunch pairings. Both the beans and brunch are sold on-site at Lomond's cafes, but could easily be purchased from the roasters and brewed at home, paired with your favorite home-cooked brunch. Alternatively, these can be suggestions for what to order at your favorite local brunch spot, wherever you are.

Mantilqueira Amarelo from Brazil with grilled cheese

With notes of caramel, chocolate, orange, plum, almond, and hazelnut, this fruity, nutty coffee bean from Brazil makes a great drink served black as espresso or with milk. This region's coffees are "crowd pleasers," Lomond Coffee Roasters says, "– mild, smooth, chocolaty and with a nutty undertone." Mantilqueira Amarelo is a recommended bean for filter or espresso-based coffees. 

"When I think about what I'd want to eat with smooth coffee I gravitate towards a rich cheese toastie. Our Lomond cheese toastie, (St John sourdough, extra mature Cheddar cheese, a lightly spiced tomato chutney and salty butter) would be a great partner to this easy drinker. The creamy rich cheese and bitter sourdough stepping up with the flavor intensity, with the coffee as the unsung hero," the Lomond team says.

Toasties, or grilled cheese as they are often called stateside, are a savory and satisfying anytime food that can easily be customized and altered to suit the palate of each diner or the time of day it's eaten. Add-ins include bacon, pesto, tomato relish or chutney, avocado, eggs, or whatever else might be hanging around your fridge. The fruity, smooth coffee balances the richness of the cheese.

San Ernesto from El Salvador with butternut squash, salty cheeses, and nuts

With tasting notes of orange, almond, and cocoa, the San Ernesto bean from El Salvador is similar to the Brazilian Mantilqueira Amarelo — nutty, slightly fruity, and easily paired with similar flavors. Lomond Coffee Roasters suggest autumnal-feeling foods will pair well, including roasted butternut squash and other pumpkin and squash varieties

"In a similar vein to Brazil, this coffee leads with flavors of nuts and chocolate with a discreet fruitiness. With nut-forward coffees such as this, I'd go with a dish that has nuts in the forefront for the texture to compliment the flavors on your palate," Lomond Coffee Roasters tells us.

They recommend the cafe's butternut squash toast, which is topped with mint, feta, and pine nuts. Other types of squash like acorn and delicata — roasted and served with crunchy, toasted hazelnuts (or any other nut), and a sprinkle of feta, queso cotija, or Parmesan — would also pair well.

Inza from Colombia with full English breakfast and meat

"Columbian [sic] coffee is robust. It's smooth and well balanced and makes for a wonderful espresso-based drink because it can hold its own against creamy milk," says Lomond Coffee Roasters. Because of its balanced flavor and robustness, it's often used in coffee blends to achieve a good body. Lomond uses it in its own unique "Market Yard" blend alongside bean varieties from Brazil and Kenya. 

Lomond Coffee Roasters notes that Colombian coffees often evoke tasting notes of rich molasses, caramel, and sweet mandarin. The Lomond team says, "When it comes to pairing the strong flavored coffee with an equally robust food that won't risk being overpowered, I don't think there's a better friend to the almighty Full English than this trusty cup of Joe. If I were to tuck into a big plate of meaty tradition, I wouldn't want a delicate brew; I'd want everything a Colombian coffee provides — well-balanced, reliable, and classic." 

Depending on your eating time, a sausage or bacon sandwich or a meaty pork chop would also play well with the full-bodied flavors Inza delivers.

Hermosa from Costa Rica with ricotta with honey

Costa Rica is known for its tropical climate and ideal conditions for coffee growing, often producing floral and fruity beans (though this will vary based on region and climate). Lomond Coffee Roasters recommends pairing Hermosa bean-based brews with savory soft cheeses like burrata, goat's cheese, or ricotta to balance the sweet, floral notes of the variety.

The Lomond team recommends a well-loved item from the cafe's brunch menu to accompany a cup made from Hermosa beans — ricotta and pistachio on sourdough toast with drizzled honey. "This summery dish, with the fresh, savory ricotta, compliments [sic] the delicate sweetness of this Costa Rican coffee, with the drizzled honey giving a little nod to the honey process used when de-pulping the bean, leaving a percentage of mucilage on the bean, creating a natural sweetness once roasted," Lomond Coffee Roasters says. Dishes like this complement the floral peach notes and the brewed bean's rich caramel and chocolate notes, too.

We can picture it now — sitting on a terrace or patio in the sunshine, sipping on a freshly brewed cup of Hermosa coffee and tucking into a salad of sweet peaches and fresh ricotta cheese drizzled with honey. Total bliss unlocked.

Chuchumutan from Guatemala with sweet corn fritters, fried eggs, and whipped feta

Lomond Coffee Roasters says, "There isn't a one-size-fits-all rule when it comes to Guatemalan coffee, and Guatemala offers a wide range of options and flavor profiles for coffee enthusiasts." As Coe and Bryant explain, the Chuchumutan variety errs on the fruitier side of the beverage's range of flavor profiles, with tasting notes of caramelized pomegranate, strawberry, and a healthy amount of acidity.

This fruity, acid-packed profile pairs exceedingly well with one of Lomond's best-selling breakfasts, which Bryant originally created as an homage to the Aussie brunch scene. The cafe's plate is comprised of sweetcorn fritters with fried eggs, tomato chutney, whipped feta, and smashed avocado. It's no wonder it's a popular item amongst customers.

"The fried eggs neutralize acidity, with avocado offering some body, and tomato chutney and whipped feta complimenting [sic] the acidic notes. It's also delicious if you sub out the eggs and serve the fritters with some of your favorite vegan toppings," the Lomond team says. 

This entire pairing is our idea of heaven. At the height of summer, when sweet corn is at its best, a plate of this freshly cooked, super savory vegetarian breakfast, and a cup of Chuchumutan, served over ice, would make a perfect start to the day.

Primavera Swiss Water Decaf from Guatemala with sausage roll and blue cheese

While decaffeinated coffee sometimes gets a bad rap, Lomond Coffee Roasters is here to tell you that not all decaf deserves negative associations. The Primavera Swiss water decaf — bought, roasted, and sold by coffee experts at Lomond — is ripe with chocolate, hazelnut, and lemon notes.

The Lomond team says, "This Swiss water decaf is utterly delicious and is the antithesis of everything you've heard about decaffeinated coffee. It is full-bodied and nutty with a citrus undertone, and I'd challenge anyone to pick it out of a lineup against any specialty caffeinated coffee." It's recommended for espresso-based drinks and does well as a filter-based coffee, too. 

If you crave meaty, strongly flavored breakfasts with generous amounts of blue cheese and don't need the miracle of caffeine to wake up your senses, there's no better pairing for you than this one. Lomond Coffee Roasters says, "We couldn't not pair this with our best-selling pork, Stilton, and caramelized onion sausage roll. The robustness of this coffee can easily stand against the meatiness of our sausage roll, with the Stilton mimicking the chocolatey creaminess and the acidity as a nod to the lemon characteristic of the coffee."

Abeja from Honduras with Caprese salad

Another variety from Central America, a region known for its perfect coffee growing conditions and fruity, nutty coffee varieties, Abeja is from Honduras. The bean has notes of rum, apricot, and papaya.

"This is a bright, tangy coffee, and I'd lean towards something sweet and creamy to balance against the piquant flavor," Lomond Coffee Roasters says. They suggest something like a Caprese salad to complement the coffee while working to create balance. The Lomond team says, "A Caprese salad instantly comes to mind, with sweet tomatoes and basil, and a creamy mozzarella softening the coffee. The slight tang of balsamic vinegar gives the salad edge and imitates this pleasantly bold coffee."

Other possible pairings, based on Lomond's perfect pairing, include a burrata board or salad, garnished with plenty of dried fruits and creamy nuts like cashews and pistachios, then dressed with sweet balsamic or sweet and tangy pomegranate molasses. A mild, fig-baked brie would equally pair well, taking into consideration Lomond's suggestion for balancing out the acidity of the coffee with something creamy, rich, and slightly sweet. Just in case you need an excuse to plan your next cheese board, consider this a sign to get planning!

Matagalpa from Nicaragua with eggs 

Matagalpa bean varieties from Nicaragua are grown at a high altitude, some 3,900 feet above sea level, in the Jinotega, Matagalpa, and Segovia mountain ranges. According to the Lomond team, these beans in particular produce flavors of apples, pears, and sweet caramel and are best enjoyed when brewed and served black.

Lomond Coffee Roasters says the coffee's acidity is balanced out by almost any egg dish on the menu, giving brunch lovers carte blanche to choose whatever eggs they fancy, armed with the knowledge there are no bad choices. The Lomond team notes, "Eggs are also the brunchtime hero and warrant being paired with such a special coffee. A dish such as Turkish eggs would work egg-cellently (sorry!) with the sharpness of this coffee, the base of herby yogurt and fried eggs being a perfect balance with parsley oil and spicy harissa butter providing the depth."

Other brunch favorites with an egg base and a creamy, tangy finish include options such as a creamy quiche Lorraine, a plate of scrambled eggs topped off with a dollop of sour cream, or poached eggs with toast. As Lomond suggests, eggs of any kind provide a well-balanced pairing for this lively coffee.

La Osa from Peru with smoked salmon bagel

Unlike some other coffee bean varieties on this list, La Ola, from Peru, sits on the more delicate end of the flavor spectrum. According to Coe and Bryant, this is a unique coffee with tasting notes of pomegranate, strawberry, and rose. "This coffee would be easily overpowered, and thus, we'd recommend a dish that isn't too rich," says the Lomond team. "This delicate coffee deserves a dainty accompaniment, and our smoked salmon bagel with caper and dill cream cheese, egg, and chili jam would sit perfectly next to such a refined coffee. A fancy brunch for a fancy coffee!"

Other "fancy" brunch favorites, like savory crepes, smoked salmon quiche, or French omelets that deliver slightly paired back, refined, or delicate flavors, would also pair well with this coffee. Lomond Coffee Roasters notes that this particular bean's delicate, floral flavor is best appreciated when served black, to prevent any diluting or overpowering from milk, sugar, or any other add-ins. For those who prefer adding a pinch of this or splash of that to your brew, La Osa might just be the bean to change your mind and expand your options on how to enjoy the perfect cup of coffee.

Acacias from Kenya with avocado toast

According to Lomond Coffee Roaster founders Coe and Bryant, African coffees are known for being light in color and for their fruity, and somewhat acidic flavor. This Kenyan variety falls in line with these profiles, a washed, single-origin bean, with notes of blackcurrant, butterscotch, chocolate, and juicy lime. The term "washed" is a process some beans go through just after picking to remove any impurities from the bean that could affect or change the overall taste and finish. The results produce a clean, more precise flavor. The Lomond team says Acacias beans are favored by many coffee connoisseurs who frequent the shop for their daily caffeine fix.

"So as not to distract from the quality and complexity of this coffee, I'd keep my brunch simple and I'd go for a classic such as avocado on toast. The creaminess of avocado helps light coffee taste more full-bodied and robust, without overpowering delicate flavors, and avocado sings with a bit of acidity," Lomond Coffee Roasters says.  

Like La Osa, the Lomond team recommends drinking the Acacias single-origin variety black, ideally as a filter coffee, to fully appreciate the juicy, fruity flavors.