Perfect Coffee and Tea Pairings for Passover and Easter Desserts

Come next week, dining room tables as far as the eye can see will be bedecked with copious amounts of brisket or lamb, ham, lox and the rest of the trimmings—Monday marks the beginning of Passover and Easter is right on it’s heels!

And once the meat sweats have settled and you’re hankering for something on the sweeter side, will it be coffee or tea with which to pair your desserts? To find out, we asked a few notable caffeine vets for their favorite pairings for after-dinner delicacies. Here’s what to serve with your Easter and Passover favorites: 

Chocolate-Toffee Matzo
“My sisters and I grew up eating this,” says Wine Advocate Managing Editor Melissa Vogt, of the flour-water flatbread many serve as a dessert dipped in chocolate and crunchy toffee bits. “Though, in our house we called it ‘Chocolate-Covered Matzo Madness.’ For chocolate and butter-based desserts, my go-to is a dark French roast like the one from Bella Rosa Coffee Company—one that really brings out the richness of the chocolate and butter with its strong, roasted flavor-profile.” 

Whether served standalone or more fanciful like a pavlova, the light and delicate meringue makes a great pair for a complex beverage option. In Pursuit of Tea’s co-owner Ana Dane suggests pairing these with a white tea from Fujian, China: “Light-bodied, fresh and vegetal—it would be a nice counterpoint to the intense sweetness in a meringue.”

Coconut Macaroons
Don’t confuse this traditional Passover crispy-on-the-outside and chewy-on-the-inside treat with the delicate French cookie. The coconut macaroon is a concoction of egg whites, sugar and coconut, so err on the side of its simplicity. “Definitely the juicy Rwanda Bushoki,” says Paul Schlader, co-owner of NYC-based Birch Coffee. “It has a big body and bright, floral flavors that compliment the macaroon’s toasted coconut.” 

Hot Cross Buns
Traditionally eaten on Good Friday, this spicy-sweet bun flecked with cinnamon, nutmeg, currants or raisins, and topped with an icing cross marks the end of Lent. Dane recommends a black tea from India: “Something bold and malty often used in English Breakfast blends would be a classic pairing for this British treat.”

Easter Bread
The symbolic braided bread featuring various colored hard-boiled eggs nestled throughout the braids takes center stage at the table. “Braided Easter bread is deliciously fluffy and eggy,” says Vogt, who likes to serve this with a variety of teas. “It's simple yet tasty; I enjoy Easter bread with herbal tea, such as hibiscus or raspberry leaf.”

This hearty Neapolitan dessert features a filling of wheatberry, ricotta, eggs and spices poured into a pie shell and baked. Opt for a beverage that can hold up to this heavy dessert. “Try a blend from Oaxaca, Mexico,” adds Schlader. “It has a heavy body, yet light acidity, while offering flavors of chocolate and hazelnuts.” 

The egg custard-based dessert is reminiscent of a cheesecake—minus the crust—and typically shaped into a pyramid to resemble a church. So do as Vogt does and try pairing this Russian dessert with black coffee: “Whether it's made with cream cheese or ricotta, you'll love the way pashka tastes with black coffee. You'll find that the pashka can stand in for the usual cream and sugar.”

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