The pairing between cigar and coffee

Coffee is a drink obtained by grinding the seeds of some species of small tropical trees belonging to the Coffea genus. Generally served at the end of a meal, coffee is intended to renew and strengthen the pleasures of the table also through pairings with drinks (water, spirits, liqueurs), foods (chocolate, fruit) and smoking products such as cigars.

The classification of coffee

Almost all cultivated coffee trees are represented by two species having different types of varieties:

Coffea Arabica: It represents about 70% of the coffee produced in the world, it is grown in East Africa and Latin America. The flavored coffee is sweeter due to the higher sugar content and the lower amount of caffeine.

  • Typica variety: the most classic and traditional. Gives coffee finesse.
  • Bourbon variety: gives the coffee great softness but needs more care during cultivation and processing.
  • Caturra variety: coffee with a pronounced pungency.
  • Catuai variety: the coffee produced will be more structured.

Coffea Canephora:
Robusta variety: the most used. The flavored coffee is more full-bodied and bitter due to the higher caffeine content.

The pairing between cigar and coffee in detail

Accompanying coffee with a cigar during the end of a meal or during a break means indulging in a small intimate moment that must be savored slowly and intensely in order to be able to grasp all its pleasures and nuances.

Pairing according to structure and persistence

As for other drinks the pairing for structure and persistence is also valid in the world of coffee. Here are some rules:
– Cigars with a light body and not very persistent on the palate should be combined with slightly structured and not very persistent coffees, possibly in the presence of fresh and delicate aromas.
– Medium-bodied and medium-persistent cigars on the palate should be paired with medium structured and persistent coffees.
– Full-bodied cigars, structured with a long persistence on the palate should be combined with structured coffees, with a long persistence, possibly in the presence of coffee with not excessive hints of roasting.

What to avoid

  • There are small things that should be avoided during the pairing between the cigar and the coffee.
    The bitterness given by the high amount of caffeine or the high roasting in some blends does not marry the tannicity of the cigar, causing an unpleasant bitter sensation in the mouth.
  • It is good to avoid combining cigars with hints of roasting with coffee with very marked hints of roasting given by long roasting. The bitter aftertaste of both products would cause an unpleasant sensation in the mouth.
  • The addition of milk or various creams in coffee creates an obstacle during the pairing because they block the taste receptors on the tongue, preventing you from perceiving the gustatory aromas of the cigar.


In this article we have dealt with the topic of the pairing between cigar and coffee. The two main species of coffee (Arabica and Robusta) have very different characteristics that distinguish them, especially during the tasting phase. Coffee can be harmonized and paired with various types of products and the cigar is fully part of this regime. The criteria of concordance on the structure and persistence are a valid reference for starting your own cigar-coffee experimentation process, remembering that it is good to avoid coffees with an excessively bitter taste and with the addition of creams or fatty liquids such as milk.

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Image by Christoph from Pixabay

Sommelier professionista (ASPI Associazione Sommellerie Professionale Italiana) in sedia a rotelle pubblicato a livello internazionale con svariate esperienze nella ristorazione e nella organizzazione di eventi. Scrive di abbinamenti sigari - bevande su Gusto Tabacco.