Much is written of the pairing of fine liqueurs or wines with cigars, however there is an alternative beverage, premium coffee. So, what cigars go well with coffee? In my personal quest for the perfect cup of coffee to accompany my choice of cigar, I always give primary consideration to availability, ease of production, and cigar characteristics that will blend with the perfect cup of coffee.
Coffee & Cigar Pairings
Maduro Cigar and French Roast Coffee
Do coffee and cigars go well together? I will share with you my cigar choices which invariably revolve around a Maduro wrap, a Connecticut Dominican or Ecuadorian, a Connecticut Broadleaf or a Sumatran wrap. When feeling that Maduro urge, I return time and again to my old two compadres, if within my cigar budget, the Ashton Aged Maduro; if not so wealthy, I will turn to the best Maduro bundled cigar on the market, the Flor de Oliva Maduro. Normally I smoke the Corona vitola, if I have an hour and a half, a Churchill roll. As to the Ashton Corona, given the wonderful dark brown Broadleaf (Connecticut) wrap and aged blend of Dominican tobaccos, I will narrow my coffee choice toward a darker, full bodied steaming cup of coffee. My favorite coffee brand is Weaver’s Coffee & Tea where John Weaver, who learned his roasting skills from Alfred Peet of Peet’s Coffee fame, roasts the most elegant coffees and coffee blends. When contemplating a Maduro cigar, my first choice is Weaver’s French Roast Coffee, a deep, dark roasted bean. A hot cup of this marvelous, aromatic coffee blends with the cold draw of the Maduro, and when lit, magic ensues as the smoke from the newly lit tip of the cigar melds with the steaming vapors of the freshly brewed coffee. It is a match made in heaven. The sips of the French Roast Coffee combined with the draw of the cigar create complimentary experiences which naturally act in harmony to give the cigar and coffee enthusiast both olfactory and taste treats that defy expectations. As you draw down on the cigar, where the smoker finds the more complex flavors and sip down into the middle of the cup, where the rich flavor profile of the fully brewed French Roast Coffee bean resides the taste buds squeal with delight as the flavors combine.
Flor de Olivia Maduro Robusto Cigar and Aged Mocha Java Coffee
My favorite Maduro hails from the Oliva family in Nicaragua. Their hand rolled Flor de Oliva Maduro Robusto is a Nicaraguan first run, not a factory second as is often assumed due to the extremely affordable price point. This vitola goes beautifully with a superb cup of Weaver’s Coffee Aged Mocha Java. John Weaver allows North African, Yemeni and Java beans to age in their tropical origin from two to eight years giving the green coffee beans a golden hue which results in a flavor of fresh cut cedar and berry with a smooth, low acidity level. After his expert hand-roasting of the coffee beans and then hand-blending, a slightly sweet acidic flavor reminiscent of a fine pinot noir is brewed and poured. This in accompaniment with the Flor’s initial first third, where its flavor notes of cedar, chocolate and a hint of cherry work in harmony with the Mocha Javas own cedar and berry notes to provide the cigar enthusiast truly amazing flavors that play off each other. Given the cigar’s shorter vitola, it does tend to burn at what seems to be a faster pace; however, given its 50 ring gauge, the oily Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapper, binder and Nicaraguan and Dominican filler leaves work together in the second third of the Robusto to create notes of earth, coffee and aromatic spices which, when combined with the rich Java flavor, bring about a sip and puff experience not to be missed.
Arturo Fuente Cigar and Sumatra Coffee
If I am in the mood for a mellow, leaning toward medium bodied cigar to smoke, I always return to my old amigo Arturo Fuente and my beloved Hemingway Signature series which I believe to be just that, perfecto. A Cameroon wrapper over Dominican binder and filler. This was Fuente’s original small batch series and still today remains the best value on the cigar market. I learned to smoke cigars on the Corona vitola, so I naturally return to the thinner ring gauge reasonable length choice. For the forty-five minutes I have set aside to enjoy my cigar, I will team it with Weaver's Sumatra Coffee. This unique, single-origin Fair Trade Certified bean brews a robust, woody and slightly earthy, smooth cup of coffee which complements the same woody cedar undertones found in the Sumatran wrapper on the Fuente. I have never found another coffee bean which so beautifully mirrors the somewhat spicy finish from the cigar. As you draw down on the Hemingway Signature, its creamy mouthfeel is accentuated by the warm maple sweetness of the Sumatran coffee bean, reminiscent of the mild tobacco found in the Fuente cigar. Together the two tastes will bring you back to this combination again and again.
Davidoff produced Corona Cigar and Astral Blend Coffee
When I am enjoying an everyday, go-to mild cigar, I will inevitably light up a 3x3 Davidoff produced Corona bundle. Wrapped in an Ecuadorian Connecticut leaf Dominican binder and long-leaf filler combine for a toasty, slightly spicy smoke which goes beautifully with a hot cup of coffee. My coffee of choice is the Weaver’s Astral Blend Coffee. A mug of this delicious artisan coffee, hand-roasted from a collection of six special equatorial coffee beans and then hand-roasted at three different temperatures, presents a lovely, sophisticated, full flavored cup, slightly sweet yet earthy finish, very similar to the naturally earthy, slightly sweet taste of the Corona cigar. The progress on the cigar mirrors the progress on the cup of Astral Blend Coffee with their respective flavors, so that as you continue to work on each, you find that both are best consumed in the mouth together, the draw of the cigar and then a pull off of the mug of coffee blend for a bold yet delicious mixture.
Depending upon your choice of cigar and the time of day, there is a wonderful assortment of Weaver’s Coffee’sto pair with your cigar. Take time to review and compare the flavor profiles of coffees and the flavor notes of cigars and you will find a closeness, unique and tantalizingly supportive to the palate of a coffee drinking cigar aficionado.