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The Joy of Java, Buzzed on Flavor

Coffee’s popularity just keeps perking up, thanks to its distinctive flavor. Of course, the love affair between coffee and dessert is legendary—and coffee and ice cream have always been sweet on each other. But now coffee flavor is enjoying a new moment as it gets cozy with both sweet and savory menu concepts.

Even coffee’s old love ice cream has found inventive ways to keep the relationship interesting.

  • Arby’s long-running and popular Jamocha Shake continues to make snackers swoon with its decadent pairing of chocolate and coffee.1
  • Coolhaus, the independent ice cream truck chain known for their uniquely flavored artisanal ice cream sandwiches, tantalizes palates with Vietnamese Iced Coffee Ice Cream tinged with chicory.1

As a flavor enhancer, coffee can always be relied upon to give just about any food a jolt in taste. Combining a rich complexity with subtle bitter overtones, coffee is prized by chefs who want to jump-start their dishes with a flavorful twist.1


Creamy coffee dessert
An example of an unlikely coffee coupling is the Lighter Take Chicken Marsala at Maggiano’s Little Italy. Made with a char crust that contains coffee, oregano, parsley and smoked salt, the dish has an amped-up taste1 that has their patrons abuzz.

American menus have been waking up to coffee’s bitter quality as a new flavor dimension.1 Case in point is the promotional Pumpkin Spice Latte Burger at Umami Burger. Made with a coffee glaze and finished with a coffee-molasses drizzle,1 the dish strikes a delicious balance between java’s bitter overtones and the sweetness of the other flavors.

Flavor-seeking consumers’ love affair with coffee as an ingredient, whether paired with savory or sweet food concepts, continues to heat up. Your customers are sure to fall head over heels too for coffee-infused fare like this creamy coffee dessert. Add it to your menu for what is likely a caffeinated boost in business.

Do you use coffee as an ingredient? Tell us how below. 

1 Kruse, Nancy, Nation’s Restaurant News, “Coffee's influence expands to savory, sweet foods,” October 26, 2015, http://nrn.com/food-trends/coffees-influence-expands-savory-sweet-foods

Topics: Specialty Coffee Shop, Beverage, Beverages, Shakes/Frozen Beverages, Food & Beverage

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