The fragrant, distinctive flavour of coffee is instantly recognisable the world over, and a smooth Hoxton Coffee blend works brilliantly with quality bakehouse goods, bringing out different characteristics.
We work with some of the top bakeries in London and love the opportunity to recommend subtle pairings, whether you're after a chic Cafe Gourmand menu or a rustic Italian vibe.
No matter your flagship bakery products, savoury or sweet, there is a magic mixture of Hoxton Coffee and expertly prepared bakes that will delight your customers and boost your business bottom line.
The Basics of Pairing Hoxton Coffee and Bakery Menus
Coffee is the most popular drink worldwide, and some of the deep-rooted combinations include pastries and a velvety espresso, from coffee and biscuits for breakfast to lavish doughnuts.
Our Proper Strong (single-origin, max caffeine!) is an incredible coffee for punchy, wake-me-up short drinks and is the gold standard partner for traditional pastries.
- Croissants: the beloved French sweet treat is best enjoyed with a creamy cappuccino, whether you serve a simple cup or a luxurious coffee with honey or chocolate.
- Cakes: anything from a heavy fruitcake to an iced bun goes nicely with a warm, smoky brew - there are countless coffee blends to try!
- Cookies and biscuits: there's little better than a cookie made with chocolate or dried fruit, with a brisk espresso or cortado to add vibrancy to the flavour.
Serve a sultry coffee cake, and unsure whether double-beans are the way to go? We'd recommend a medium roast coffee (of exceptional quality) to compliment the taste and texture.
Combining Bakery Breakfast Menus With Hoxton Coffee
Although we're focusing on London bakehouses, as one of the primary artisanal retail sectors stocking Hoxton Coffee, we'll pause to run through some alternative breakfast foods that pair agreeably with coffee!
Whether you have a morning menu, a delicatessen or a comfy cafe, there is a brew made for you.
- Crepes stuffed with savoury ingredients, such as veggies, herbs, meats and cheese, are normally served with a strong, deep blend.
- Eggs with bacon or sausages are the basis for a western breakfast and work well with a medium roast (hello, East End Blend!).
- Fluffy, light omelettes with goat cheese, mushrooms or basil go well with a strong, robust, but well-rounded coffee flavour.
- Oatmeal is quite dense, so the best combination is a slightly lighter roasted coffee - the Hoxton House Blend is ideal.
- Pancakes (better with maple syrup!) need an intense coffee to offset the sweetness and stickiness of the syrup.
- Breads - a wholemeal loaf is great with a medium roasted coffee for a simple, delicious and nutritious breakfast pairing.
- Quiche, a staple of French breakfast cuisine, has to be eaten with a full-bodied espresso for the perfect pick me up.
Coffee suggestions can reinvent your menu and make it easy for non-coffee connoisseurs to pick the right beans to compliment the skill you put into your baking and cooking.
Don't forget, if you'd like tailored advice about which coffees to serve with your unique menu items, please get in touch - the Hoxton Coffee roasters are always happy to help!
Why Does the Quality of Coffee I Serve in My Bakery Matter?
The humble coffee bean has come a long way since the fallback was a stale drip machine or a mug of bitter instant.
You wouldn't serve old bread or sour wine, and in just the same way, a great quality coffee will back up your menu and match your brand values.
Londoners know quality when they taste and smell it, so the idea is to have detailed knowledge about your coffee beans' origin, production, and sustainability as you would with a vintage bottle of wine.
Increasingly, customers expect high quality and environmental ethics from every restaurant or bakery they frequent, so if you’re keen to build a reputation for stand-out-from-the-crowd values, Hoxton Coffee is the way to go.
So many bakeries promote organic produce or artisanal loaves, so reinforcing your collaborations with local farmers and growers adds credibility and means you earn green points.
Did you know that coffee has twice the aromatic compounds of wine?
Knowing the few notes an espresso offers can elevate a delicate pastry into something truly special.
The Theories Behind Hoxton Coffee Pairings for Bakeries
The cool thing about eco-coffee and superior quality beans is that there aren't hard and fast rules.
Have a customer who loves a triple espresso with a macaroon or someone who orders the Frappuccino every day (rain or shine) with lashings of caramel sauce? Let them eat cake!
However, there are some basic theories, and although we'd always recommend a tasting session to ensure you're 100% happy with your menu, it can help to have a few tips.
Here are the elements that go into finding the pairing made in heaven.
- Body: the heaviness of the coffee in the mouth. Full-bodied coffees are silkier, and lighter-bodied beans go best with equally light foods (crisp cookies, fresh fruit and meringue). Concentrated coffee is great with anything sweet and rich - think baklava or pecan pie.
- Roast: the darkness of a roast doesn't indicate the caffeine levels - we talk about that in another article! Rather, it means the length of the roasting time. A lighter roast is brighter in flavour, whereas medium to medium-dark coffees have an earthier, nutty flavour, best next to creamier or savoury tones.
- Flavour: without getting deep into it, growers are becoming far more experimental with varieties and growing methods, so it's no longer the case that every South American coffee is citrusy and every Asian Pacific bean is spicy. Regional standards don't really apply, so it's important to look at the tasting notes on the blend or bean you choose rather than making assumptions about which coffee will have those subtle flavours that make all the difference.
If you're serving something heavy, like a New York cheesecake (yum!), you'll want a fuller-bodied coffee with strong flavours that won't clash with the cream but balance it out.
Lighter, fruity flavours such as an apple pie with ice cream need a gentler coffee that tastes amazing next to vanilla.
What Equipment Do I Need to Pair Hoxton Coffee With My Bakery Menu?
Ok, let's talk about equipment - you don't need to invest millions, but you will need the right tools to ensure you bring out the best in your coffee beans.
Our advice is to think about your customer preferences and invest in the highest quality resources to ensure you meet their needs.
Mainly serve classic coffee based on espressos, such as Americanos, cappuccinos and lattes?
You'll need a grinder and an espresso machine as the basics. NB espresso machines are a lot easier to use than a filter coffee dispenser, believe it or not!
It's also really important to pay attention to the quality of your grinder and beans, perhaps over and above the espresso machine itself.
- Fantastic grinders create a uniform grind, vital for a consistent and high-quality espresso (plus, you'll serve each customer much faster!).
- You don't need the largest possible espresso machine going, and they're often overpriced. Instead, go for a single-group espresso machine that does its one job to perfection.
It's worth emphasising that last point again because we often speak with bakehouses who assume they need to focus on speed and machine size, but the reality is most bakeries won't be serving 15 coffees a minute!
Therefore, you don't need a three-group machine because it'll eat up far too much counter space and cost more than you need to spend.
Advice for Training Bakery Staff to Serve Craft Hoxton Coffee
Now we've got a decent idea about the best pastry and coffee pairings, you've got an equipment wish list, and you're ready to amplify your brand head and shoulders above the rest.
The final step is to think about staff training - and we get that it can be tough to work out what to invest in, particularly since coffee isn't your primary product offering!
There are a few things to think about here:
- How much income do you anticipate making from coffee sales? Will that income multiply if you serve flawless drinks that generate a buzz?
- How concerned are you about having premium service and experiences and ensuring every item on your menu stands on its own feet?
- How much faster will your team be able to explain coffees and pairings and serve beautiful drinks, with a little training and practise?
Underinvesting in training can be an exercise in self-sabotage. Even the most awesome beans and a gastronomically exquisite menu will not work if service falls short.
As a rough guide, most of our partner bakehouses allocate one day to learning about the coffee, or perhaps an hour at the start of each day practising using the espresso machine and knowing the answer to every question a customer might ask.
Taste is also crucial, so we recommend showing your team the products, smelling and tasting each coffee, and only then thinking about marketing and presentation.
With a small investment in time, some immersive tasting sessions and an exciting bakehouse menu, Hoxton Coffee can transform how your bakery products taste, with every item a showstopper, from the fluffiest, buttery pastry to the freshly brewed coffee.