Cigar Pairings

5 Cigar and Coffee Combinations for the Perfect Start to Your Day

Holt's Staff Cigar's picture

Holt's Staff

Beginning the day with a proper cigar-coffee match can be a wonderful experience, one that has been the staple of countless morning rituals for generations. That said, the days of limited choices in cigars and coffees are long gone, replaced by a daunting array of selections for each. Choosing a quality cigar to partner with your morning cup o’ joe is made easy by an unabridged range of blends and brands guaranteed to please your palate, stimulate your senses and perk you up. We’re here to guide you through the innumerable possibilities with the intention that you’ll discover a coffee and cigar combination you simply can’t put down. The key to making a perfect match between cigar and coffee is three-fold: First, remember that both originate from specialized agricultural crops whose individual characteristics are largely contingent on geographic regions; second, the distinctive flavors of each must be complementary rather than contradictory; third, cigar tobaccos and coffee beans are usually blended, respectively, for best results. So how does one wade through the nearly infinite possibilities of cigar-coffee pairings? What follows are some suggestions and perspective to make your choices all that they can be.

To start, it is important to understand the flavor fundamentals of cigars and coffees. Cigars’ potency (body) is measured by strength, thus a mellow, flavorful cigar would be deemed mild-bodied, increasing to full-bodied for its boldest brethren. Similarly, coffees’ potency (roast) is also measured by strength, whereby light roast will have a pronounced acidity and toasted grain taste, medium roast will maintain balanced levels of acidity, aroma, and flavor, and dark roast will generally be sharp, bitter, and smoky. It is worth noting that caffeine levels decrease from light roast to dark roast. Once these basic parameters of cigar and coffee potencies have been clarified, it is far simpler to evaluate different selections, then pair them accordingly.

A superb choice for mild-bodied fare is the Montecristo, with its creamy finish and sweet, grassy taste. Montecristo’s mildness will match perfectly with a medium-dark roast coffee, as it offers a heavier body than medium roast, and often has a discernible spiciness. Also worth trying is a dedicated dark roast coffee, whose profound sharpness will provide tasteful balance to the Montecristo’s mild stature.

Moving toward the medium to full-bodied side of the spectrum, both the La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor and San Cristobal Quintessence offer profiles steeped in a subtle sweetness juxtaposed against a formidable but balanced spice. Notes of almonds, dark cocoa, spices, and black peppers (with hints of black cherries) in Mi Amor work best with a mild, light or medium roast coffee. Quintessence delivers a profile of molasses, coffee, and black pepper (with hints of dried fruit, figs, spices, and sugarcane) that matches well with a solid medium-dark blend.

For those prefer a maximum strength pick-me-up in the morning, Ashton Symmetry and Padron 1964 Anniversary cigars are recommended choices with one’s initial cup of daily coffee. Both selections boast full-bodied tastes. Ashton Symmetry is built around a distinct spectrum of figs, cedar, spices, and hints of cream, while Padron 1964 showcases a uniquely dark, earthy flavor with edges of cinnamon and a touch of sweetness. Either would match well with similarly strong dark roast coffees, provided the respective strengths do not compete. Somewhat milder options in a medium and medium-dark roast brew will remain potent enough not to be overwhelmed by either of these celebrated cigar blends.

Ultimately, the perfect cigar and coffee match will be in the taste of the beholder, and it may take some experimentation to find the ideal pairing. Use the aforementioned five examples as guidelines for your own matchmaking exploration. Remember, cigar and coffee characteristics must be complementary, enhancing each other’s nuances rather than overshadowing them. Once found, there is no more glorious way to start one’s day than with a flavorful mating of cigar and coffee.

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