Best Cigars With Coffee: Top 10 Cigars To Pair With A Cup Of Joe
Best Cigars With Coffee: Top 10 Cigars To Pair With A Cup Of JoeCharles-Philippe2022-01-09T14:50:32-05:00
Coffee is by far one of the most popular and successful cigar pairings that is enjoyed by both seasoned enthusiasts and beginners alike. Whether it’s the marrying flavours of a creamy Connecticut or a dark and oily maduro with freshly-ground roasted beans, both can get cigar and coffee lovers salivating.
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What Are The Best Cigars With Coffee?
Before you explore the Top 10 Cigars For Pairing With Coffee, please take a moment to note that the following blends aren’t featured in any particular order of preference. Each cigar featured in this list here has merits as to why you should consider it for your morning smoke.
There are various types of coffee and this generalised guide acts as an introduction, which is why the blending styles will vary. We’re currently building out more specialised guides that offer an insight into particular pairings with different preparations such as espresso, cappuccino, and latte.
Similarly, feel free to leave a comment if you have any personal favourites you feel have been left out!
Despite being a Casa del Habano exclusive, the Ramon Allones Superiores is relatively commonplace. However, it’s often overlooked in favour of Cuba’s more celebrated brands. That said, it’s one of our favourite regular Cuban smokes and is well worth stocking in bulk.
Furthermore, it’s an exquisitely versatile cigar that can be accorded with a number of pairings. Its suitable for various types of coffee that marry well with its complex yet characteristically Cuban terracotta notes. With added aromas of bay leaf and nutmeg, it’s wonderfully aromatic and ages very well over time.
2. La Aurora 1903 Emerald
Filler: Barrel-aged Dominican Cibao Valley, Peru, Brazil, Nicaragua
Thanks to its use of an Ecuadorian sun-grown Sumatra wrapper as well as a unique combination of Peruvian, Dominican, Nicaraguan, and Brazilian tobaccos, the 1903 Emerald produces a rich flavour profile that marries well with coffee.
With hints of oily leather and cinnamon in the tasting notes, La Aurora’s historical blend is a harmonious experience that accords nicely with both rich espresso blends as well as lighter Moka coffee.
Thanks to its medium body, the 1903 Emerald remains restrained, which allows the coffee’s flavours to express themselves alongside the cigar’s characteristics.
You’ll learn later that we’re particularly fond of a coffee and Connecticut. Although it works best with milder blends of coffee, a well-crafted Connecticut Shade cigar can offer a creamy nuance that pairs wonderfully with coffee.
Thanks to the added aromatic complexity in JC Newman’s Brick House, this is probably one of the best Connecticuts that you can pair with a coffee. However, there are many more worth exploring too.
Having been crafted from tobacco sourced from seven different countries, the Ritmo is a complex and compelling cigar to say the least! The result is an overall mild experience with hints of grapefruit through the first third before developing notes of pecan, rye bread, and a charred oak finish.
Like the two blends listed above, the Ritmo is remarkably versatile. In fact, even more so! Its rich bouquet of flavour can be married with a variety of different types of coffee and offer something new every time.
A hommage to the celebrated American novelist released in 1983, the Hemingway is a yeasty caramelised experience with notes of toasted cedar. Although larger vitolas may be more popular, the stout Short Story is ideal for accompanying a short coffee if you have limited time.
Being a relatively mild cigar, we would also suggest seeking out likewise-bodied coffee. However, it does still goes extremely well with espresso and those toasted caramel notes add substance to the overall experience.
This somewhat elusive Nub release doesn’t get half the attention that it deserves. Indeed, it actually features the same Sumatra wrapper as the Oliva Serie V Melanio listed below but at a more affordable price.
Another caramelised blend, this time you can experience nuances of leather and nutmeg, which draw you towards a thick molasses and honey finish. Therefore, it’s an ideal choice for bolder coffee blends and while we prefer it with espresso, it goes well with filter coffee and cappuccino too.
Thanks to its Sumatra wrapper and Nicaraguan Ligero filler that features Estelí, Condega, and, Jalapa, the Melanio V offers a richly gourmand experience. You can expect hints of cocoa nibs as well as creamy coffee and toasted brioche. Therefore, it’s no surprise as to how it complements your coffee so well.
Needless to say, the Melanio V demands bolder coffee blends. We would go as far as to suggest earthy Kenyan beans to really drive the experience home. Nevertheless, that may not be to everyone’s palate.
The Cask Blend made the rounds when it was revealed that they would be available in 200-count cedar boxes. However, the cigar itself is shrouded in mystery. Unfortunately, Gurkha have been very protective over its “top-secret” blend and all we know is that the wrapper is made from a Habano leaf.
Nevertheless, its a wonderfully mellow cigar with a sweet spice flavour profile that’s perfect with your daily dose of caffeine. Although it goes well with most types, we quite enjoy marrying its spiciness with a cappuccino during the Autumn months.
Overlooked in favour of his more prominent artisanal blends, the Montecristo is probably one of our favourite creations by AJ Fernandez. Indeed, it’s consistently satisfying with a gourmand profile featuring nuances of salted caramel extended by dark chocolate and espresso.
With that in mind, the Montecristo’s AJ Fernandez blend is an ideal accompaniment with particularly complex coffees with bolder flavours. Generally, we favour it with espresso. However, you can easily imagine how well it harmonises alongside a frothy cappuccino with a dusting of cocoa powder.
Although a coffee and Nub Connecticut is a household favourite at the Bespoke Unit office, it isn’t necessarily the best choice. However, we couldn’t let our fondness of this combination go unmentioned.
Admittedly, the Sumatra listed above is the better option if available but the Connecticut’s creamy profile is very relaxing indeed. In fact, its notes of yeasty brioche marry well with black coffee to create a thick an creamy texture that just rolls across the palate.
Why Does Coffee Pair So Well With Cigars?
Tobacco and coffee beans share a lot in common. Both are produced in geographically similar territories with comparable topologies. Their production isn’t too different either with intense harvesting, fermenting, and blending processes.
Coffee and tobacco were also first introduced to Europe in the 15th Century following Columbus’ expositions and were initially outlawed by the Vatican. Although we often feel criminalised for enjoying cigars, members of Columbus’ crew were actually sentenced to 7 years when they returned with tobacco.
Despite this, it doesn’t quite explain the fascination for marrying the two. After all, many non-smokers detest the smell of tobacco just as some cigar enthusiasts don’t drink coffee.
Nevertheless, the aromas produced by freshly-brewed coffee or an open humidor are both equally alluring and can entice many us to the point of salivation. You don’t have to be a hedonist or an epicurean to appreciate the potent oils produced by either separately.
It’s largely thanks to their respective fermentation processes that they both develop their distinctive aromas. When tobacco is fermented in stacks called pilons, it experiences a similar albeit much slower process to the thermal degradation reactions when coffee is roasted.
Indeed, coffee alone contains approximately 800 different aromatic compounds. One of these compounds is actually 2 methyl furan, which is also present in fermented tobacco. In fact, this particular chemical alone is often described by perfumers to be like chocolate.
Therefore, it’s comes as no surprise that the combination of the two can greatly heighten the pleasure experienced by our olfactive nerves. Indeed, both aromas are often used together when producing fragrances for men.
Which Types Of Coffee & Cigars Pair Best?
Like tobacco, there are many varieties of coffee bean that are blended to produce a specific brew. As such, it can quickly become overwhelming when trying to analyse the ones that pair best together.
Indeed, this sounds like something to which we should pay more attention and Bespoke Unit may soon have dedicated guides towards it. Until then, we’ll quickly break down what you need to know when choosing a cigar to pair with your coffee.
Firstly, there are several subspecies of Coffea that can be used for making coffee. The first, and most common is Arabica, which you may have seen written on many labels.
Meanwhile, the other is Robusta (sometimes called “canephora”), which is rarely mentioned. This is because Robusta is often regarded as an inferior cultivar that produces decent crema but bitter flavours. However, it is quite resilient to pests and disease, which is likely the reason behind its namesake.
As it’s highly caffeinated, it’s often used for making instant coffee. On some occasions, it’s included in coffee blends in order to produce a thick crema, which is a practice mostly undertaken in Italy.
On the other hand, Arabica is prized for its richer flavours and reduced bitterness. Therefore, it’s not surprising that it should be what you seek when looking to pair it with a premium cigar!
Coffee Cultivars & Varieties
Before we continue, it’s worth quickly defining the difference between a cultivar and a variety. Firstly, a “cultivar” is short for “cultivated variety” and is used to describe a sub-group within a species that have been naturally selected and bred from the wild.
Alternatively, a variety is a type of wild plant that’s naturally-occurring. Indeed, this are actually quite rare when making coffee but is worth noting as the term is often used incorrectly.
Finally, there are also hybrids, which are produced by successful cross-pollination between two cultivars and is also a typical practice in tobacco.
While you don’t need to know this now, it can be helpful for the future.
Admittedly, the potential of combining different types of coffee and cigars is almost endless. There are countless combinations that can be made so it was particularly challenging to synthesise it into a single list.
However, as mentioned above, we sought to generalise somewhat in order to provide you with some the most reliable cigars for enjoying the two together. Nevertheless, we’ll provide you with a foundation in coffee flavours to help you find the perfect pairing with your cigar.
How Coffee Tastes In Different Countries
When it comes to particular cultivars, hybrids, and varieties used for making coffee blends, there are simply too many to explore in detail. Nevertheless, we can break down the typical flavours of blends that come from different countries.
Most Asian coffee production takes place in and around Indonesia. There are a few well-known locations that have been gaining traction over the years with Sumatra and Java as probably the best known today. They tend to feature a heavy body and low acidity, which blends well with Central American cultivars.
Celebrated from its fruity berry flavours, Ethiopia hosts a range of wilder varieties compared to the rest of the world. Its coffee also features floral notes including bergamot, roses, and even jasmine. Furthermore, it’s quite acidic and its syrupy mouthfeel is often described as vinous.
Kenya offers vibrant and complex coffees with hints of bergamot, black tea, and lemongrass with a citrus finish. You can also expect cassis on the nose with a hint of berry similar to Ethiopia.
Rwandan coffee is somewhat more gourmand with notes of molasses and caramel with a lingering date finish. Nevertheless, you can expect floral aromas as well as some fruitiness with clean-cut acidity.
Vinous with notes of berries and fruit, Tanzanian coffee is harder to find but also offers nuances of cedar wood that can be appreciated by the cigar enthusiast.
Central American Coffee
With a rich cassonade nose, Costa Rican coffee is celebrated for its tropical flavours and dark chocolate finish. It’s quite well-rounded with a lively acidity.
Despite its rich and earthy notes, Dominican coffee is quite full in body yet tends to be surprisingly floral with a very light acidity.
Nuanced and quite mild in flavour, El Salvadorian coffee has a high acidity with a medium body. Its red fruit flavours are occasionally too mild but offer balance to an overwhelming blend.
Often opening with caramel and fudge, Guatemalan coffee is prized for its cocoa finish. Its tart acidity is particularly crisp while offering a full body on the palate.
Nutty and rich in cocoa, Mexican coffee is light and low in acidity that is often incorporated into other blends.
Surprisingly mild with a smooth albeit rich body, coffee from Nicaragua is caramelised with notes of chocolate, nuances of vanilla, and a citrus finish.
Coffee from Panama is of medium acidity and is quite mild on the palate. Its aromas tend to offer honey, citrus, and bergamot, which alongside occasional hints of jasmine, can be reminiscent of Ethiopia.
Latin American Coffee
Thanks to its low acidity, Brazilian coffee is often used in blends. It tends to offer a sweet and nutty opening, which often finishes with a mild bitterness that evokes cocoa nibs.
A firm favourite for many, Colombian coffee has a crisp acidity and carries notes of citrus and fleshy fruit with a warm cocoa finish.
Unlike its neighbours, Peruvian coffee is much more herbal. This is balanced by nuances of citrus and white fruit, which is often medium in both acidity and body.
How To Easily Pair Coffee & Cigars
If you’ve read the guide above in detail, you will probably realise know that it can be very challenging to find the ultimate perfect pairing. However, that is not going to stop you from having a pleasant moment with a cigar in one hand a coffee in another.
In fact, we would argue that many cigars will pair well with coffee. Although there are some exceptions, there’s a reason that coffee is often regarded as the ultimate pairing choice with cigars.
If you have a number of options to choose from, we recommend that you generally seek to look at pairing coffee and cigars of equal body. After all, the objective is to find flavours that complement or contrast with one another to create a harmonious marriage of flavour.
If your cigar is too mild or full-bodied compared to the coffee, you may lose the balance between the two as well as some of the flavour.
Like cigars, dark coffee beans do not always mean that the blend is stronger. Therefore, our sense of smell is particularly sensitive and acts as your best method of deducing how well the flavours will accord together.
If you have several cigars, smell the coffee first and then proceed to analyse them to see which go together best. Alternatively, if you have just one cigar, smell its foot and then nose each pot of coffee to find the one that suits it the most.
Since 2017, we had been developing a system that allowed us to accurately evaluate and score cigars. We were frustrated with the seemingly arbitrary numbers that were often allocated to cigars by other publications so we sought to do things differently.
This resulting in the Cigar Formula, a review matrix that gives a quick and easy insight into a cigar and its qualities. Furthermore, the formula uses a full 100-point scale rather than just concentrating between the high eighties and mid-nineties.
After consulting with several industry professionals, we finally released it in a review. From this point on, it will be featured on all of our cigar reviews and we have gone back to put our previous ones in the system.
Although the older reviews don’t publicly feature their cigar formulas, they’re part of our own internal database. Thanks to this, we have been able to easily assemble these lists with conviction and not just by random.
Firstly, did we miss anything out? Feel free to let us know in the comments below! Otherwise, now that you’ve seen the best cigars with coffee, why don’t you also check out our related guides below?