Coffee Facts

Chocolate In Coffee: Add The Cocoa Flavor To Your Favorite Brew

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Chocolate in coffee can be delicious and add depth of flavor; if you haven’t tried it yet, you should. It can also make it a real treat, much like hot chocolate. However, there are many ways to add chocolate to coffee, and some may be strong and savory while others are sweet and rich. 

Learn how to add a bit of chocolate to different types of hot coffee and find out what to expect. You’ll also be able to gather a few ideas and determine if it’s a good choice for your particular taste. 

Different Types of Chocolate

There are many types of chocolate on the market, and you can experiment with just about every single variety when you pair it with coffee. 

Dark Chocolate

One of the best and boldest types of solid chocolate is dark chocolate. It’s slightly bitter and rich yet provides just the right balance of flavors. Several types of dark chocolate bars are on the market, but you’ll get the best results from 72% cocoa or higher. Keep in mind that the higher percentages are bolder and not sweet. There’s a trace amount of sweetness, and sometimes if it’s 80% or over, it’s mostly a bitter chocolate flavor. 

White Chocolate

White chocolate is the cocoa buttercream that’s sweetened and solidified. White chocolate is very sweet and has a mild yet noticeable flavor. It’s unique because it can pair with most fruit flavors and add just the right touch to a dessert coffee. There are several methods to try, but it’s best to choose a bolder coffee to offset the mild, sweet flavor of the white chocolate. It helps balance the flavors out if you serve it with fruit or a fruit extract. This option would make a great after-dinner/dessert coffee option. 

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Milk Chocolate

You should use milk chocolate sparingly with coffee. You’d be better off using it in freshly ground, medium roast coffee and in smaller quantities. You could even add a touch of nut-flavored syrup to offset the sometimes overpowering flavor.


Cocoa is bittersweet powdered chocolate that you can use sparingly to create a pleasant flavor. This is the powder used to make hot chocolate, and most are familiar with the taste. It goes well with coffee but gives it a bitter flavor if it’s not sweetened with some additive sweetener like sugar, sorghum, honey, or stevia. The great thing about cocoa is its ability to adapt and blend into various types of coffee. 

Different Types of Coffee

There are many types of coffee and just as many preparations to choose from now. When adding chocolate to your coffee, the options are nearly endless. You could select one of the many chocolate-flavored coffees or coffee beans. Or sweeten up a regular flavored coffee bean.

Espresso Roast

Espresso roast coffee is strong and bold. It’s roasted longer to give it its classic dark brown color and delicious scent. This roast is the perfect choice for brewing traditional espresso and provides a kick of flavor and caffeine. If you want a real eye-opener, this is the roast to choose.

  • Cocoa
  • Dark chocolate
  • Bittersweet chocolate square
  • Swiss chocolate

It’s generally served as a small shot because you don’t want to ingest too much caffeine, and with espresso, it’s easy to do. One great addition to espresso roast coffee is chocolate. It adds a deep character and flavor without too much sweetness. Choose a high cocoa content of over 72% to get the best taste. 

Light Roast

A light roast coffee is bright and easy to drink. It has a light to medium brown appearance before its ground and doesn’t have the bold kick that darker roasts provide to the drinker. 

  • Cocoa 
  • Milk chocolate
  • White chocolate 

The light roast coffee types are compatible with all kinds of chocolate; however, just be sure not to add too much dark chocolate or cocoa because it overpowers the coffee and drowns out the flavor.

Medium Roast

As the name suggests, medium roast coffee is an excellent middle-ground for people who like to drink coffee but don’t want it too strong or bold. Try the following chocolate additions.

  • White chocolate
  • Swiss chocolate
  • Bittersweet squares (baking chocolate)

It’s stronger than light roast but provides a rich, deep scent and taste that’s perfect for everyday drinkers. If you want to add chocolate, avoid a combination of milk chocolate or cocoa unless you add an alternating flavor. It’s also a good choice for applications requiring white chocolate or sweeter additives. 

Dark Roast

Dark roast coffee is bold and has a slightly bitter taste. Although it’s not an espresso roast, it still provides a deep flavor that pairs well with dark chocolate and can be an excellent vehicle for syrups or other sweetener additives. Some chocolates you should try include the following: 

  • Milk chocolate
  • 72% dark chocolate
  • Cocoa powder
  • Cocoa nibs

The bitterness from the dark roast balances well with the sweeter flavors of chocolate, especially milk or dark chocolate. 

Pairing Chocolate and Coffee

Chocolate and Coffee

If you have a dark, deep roast like espresso or dark roast coffees, you’ll be able to add equally bold flavors. Although white chocolate and dark chocolate may not provide the best flavor for people who like less sweet or bitter flavors, the bitterness from the coffee can carry the sweet flavor well. 

Adding chocolate into coffee may be an excellent choice for people who don’t generally like dark roast coffees but may enjoy the addition of sweetness and depth. 

Using light roast coffees requires restraint when adding chocolate. Add a little at a time, and don’t go overboard because the coffee loses its presentation. Add small touches, and don’t add too much sweetness. Try bittersweet chocolate to begin with and experiment with cocoa and perhaps Swiss chocolate. 

For espresso, use cautious amounts of cocoa powder, touches of Swiss chocolate, or even bittersweet chocolate. If you use white chocolate, consider it a garnish and try not to melt it entirely into the brew, or it can ruin the appeal. 

Happy Caffeinating!

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