An Olympia restaurant and an Olympia coffee roaster have paired up on what they're promoting as the latest "terra-driven" culinary trend that's ripe for picking: coffee and dessert pairings.
Don't we already order coffee and dessert together?
But are diners being served the right coffees with the right desserts?
One should never drink Pouilly-Fuissé with pot roast, much as one should never drink Rainier with ratatouille. One desires food and beverage flavors to complement and harmonize. Bitter chocolate torte is great. But it's not so great if you're drinking bitter coffee with your dessert.
See? A trend waiting to be poured.
Rather than pour whatever's in the urn, Water Street Cafe is pouring different coffees with different desserts for different effects. Batdorf & Bronson does the roasting.
I tasted some coffee-and-dessert pairings last week at the Seattle Coffee Fest. I tasted something in the "terra-driven" creations that attempted to match the flavors of the ingredients and their origins.
Pumpkin poundcake with roasted jalapenos and chocolate-hazelnut-espresso syrup was a bold and spicy bite. A cup of Sumatra Lake Tawar was equally bold and complex, with an earthy lusciousness that respected the cake.
Intensely rich and graceful Guatemalan Antigua Finca El Valle withstood the bold bite of flourless chocolate pecan torte topped with candied orange.
"It's not just a fad," Water Street chef John Sloan said. "It's a terra-driven thing. There's this whole thing (in culinary trends) that 'my fruit came from this meadow and my guy was wearing this when he brought it.'
"Looking at coffee in the same style that wine has blown up with food pairings, this is a vein that hasn't been tapped into yet."