Culture Magazine

Coffee and Pipe Tobacco / The Coffee Blogosphere to *Smoking Pipes*

By Aristippos
Coffee and Pipe Tobacco / The Coffee Blogosphere to *Smoking Pipes*

Pipe Smoking and Coffee

Some days ago I heard the claim that being interested in health, in good-quality water, in good results from drinking water and in the best water assimilation possible for the body, one MUST renounce coffee altogether.

While I grew up, due to religious convictions and the ministry of my father, I had no contact to alcohol, tobacco, tea, mustard and a few other things. Also the use of sugar at home was reduced to a minimum, and if sweeteners, it was honey or brown sugar; if bread or rice, it was whole-wheat and only products conducing to better health were chosen – at least to the knowledge and conscience of my parents. Until today I abide by the idea that nutrition is highly important for the well-being and that this means as many well-balanced meals as possible, as well as the preference for whole and organic foods. However, today I believe much more in a well-balanced nutrition, than in a one-sided approach focusing strictly on nutritious meals.

Furthermore, I agree with the scientific view that pleasure is conducive to health, and most of all it is clear to me that it is not the use of alcohol, caffeine or/and tobacco what harms us, but the misuse of these. Needless to say, an unbalanced body is often too weak for a ‘normal’ usage. When my body tells me it is ill, it never calls for a pipe smoke, nor does it get an urge for a cocktail.

In many corners of the world where individuals have managed to live more than 100 years, one single question gets asked repeatedly, and which tips do these individuals give for longevity? One of the common answers includes the regular, but modest use of alcohol or other similar pleasures. I will not cease to mention my great-grandmother who lived 105 years and smoked her cigars daily.

So, I say, have a good coffee.

Pink Floyd says: “Have a cigar”.

Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin said: “Those persons who suffer from indigestion, or who become drunk, are utterly ignorant of the true principles of eating and drinking.”

And Smoking Pipes says: choose your tobacco and coffee wisely and respecting the capabilities of your palate.

“What could be hard about pairing coffee with Tobacco? You pour a cup, you pack your pipe and it’s a good Morning, right? Well, not once you learn that there are almost as many coffee varietals out there as there are tobacco blends. That means a lot of “research”! Unfortunately, this much research means that there is a lot of information to share with you, so I will have to present the results to you in installments. This, our first installment, will focus on the African and Arabian coffees.The African and Arabian coffees are characterized by their wine-like flavors and fruity or floral aromas. They are arguably the most acidic tasting coffees going, but that can be much to the advantage of the pipe smoker, as pipe tobacco naturally has a base pH. This allows for quite a bit of “tension” to be built-in combining the natural acidity of these coffees with the natural base state of pipe smoke.”

“Anyway, that’s enough about chemistry. Let’s get down to the good stuff – what tastes good with what!”

“Our first coffee up is a favorite of fans of African coffees. Kenya AA grows mainly on small estates along the sides of Mt. Kenya. It has a medium to full body, delicate acidity, a smooth wine-like flavor and an almost blueberry aroma. I love pairing this coffee with a slightly “rougher” tobacco, such as Rattray’s Black Virginia or Samuel Gawith’s 1792 Flake. However, to see the more aromatic side of this coffee, it is always nice to pair it with a mellow, aged Virginia, such as Former’s Grossgrain Flake. An excellent Sunday morning treat!”

“Tanzanian Peaberry has a bit more sweetness than other African or Arabian coffees. A snappy acidity with fruity undertones complements the delicate wine-like flavor, making it the perfect foil to very bottom-heavy tobaccos such as Dan Tobacco’s Bill Bailey’s Balkan Blend or Cornell and Diehl’s Pirate Kake. On the other hand, lovers of natural sweetness will find palatal bliss by pairing Peaberry with a naturally sweet Virginia flake such as Fribourg and Treyer’s Vintage Flake or my old standby; Orlik’s Golden Slices.”

“Also from Tanzania, we have Kilamanjaro, a coffee with a brisk, wonderful wine acidity, medium body, and a truly rich flavor. A bright coffee for those who crave a taste of the exotic, and what could be more exotic than a licorice flavored tobacco? I have been consistently pleased with the pairing of Kilamanjaro with Esoterica’s Blackpool. I have also been quite pleased with a bowl of Reiner’s Professional Mixture with this interesting varietal.”

“Ethiopian Harrar Horse is a “handmade” coffee is processed by the traditional dry method. Harrar has a full-bodied richness and a bold tantalizing flavor, with a smooth, lingering, slightly wine-like finish. Perhaps it is simply the air of symmetry, but I do love to pair this with a “handmade” traditional process tobacco, such as a rope or twist. The bold flavors of both coffee and tobacco will definitely make you sit up and take notice, but with patience, they settle down into a delicious symbiosis.”

Coffee and Pipe Tobacco / The Coffee Blogosphere to *Smoking Pipes*

Pipe Tobacco with Coffee

“Ethiopian Yirgacheffe is one of the world’s truly remarkable coffees: clear and bright, with unmistakable floral tones. Uniquely flavorful, and perfect paired with a floral Lakeland tobacco such as those offered by Samuel Gawith, or Gawith, Hoggarth and Co. This is a very “clean” and forgiving coffee that pairs well with a huge variety of tobaccos. This is where I started out pairing tobaccos and coffees and I heartily recommend it as a starting place for your own research.”

“Of course, no article on coffee would be complete without mentioning Yemeni Moka, the original, historical Moka. Hand processed, shade grown, chemical free, and sun-dried by the world’s first cultivators of coffee. Delightful body, complex, sophisticated, with a long finish. A transporting from the micro-regions of Mattari, Sannani and Rimy, Moka is a very entertaining coffee with quite a bit of tension and juxtaposition already going on in its flavors before you add a tobacco to the mix. Caution is advised. This is a coffee to become familiar with well before adding in a pipe tobacco, or you may muddle the flavors and miss out on the intricacies and nuances of the resulting experience. Try simple, unadorned tobaccos, such as toasted Burleys or single-belt Virginias at first, and see where that takes you before slamming together complex tobaccos and this, the most complex of coffees.”

“Last, but certainly not least, we have Zimbabwe AA, A brisk, crackling cup with a pronounced bright, refreshing acidity and intimations of dark fruit and finally, a dry, winey aftertaste. Very sophisticated and a savvy accompaniment to chocolate flavored tobaccos, and believe it or not, Dan Tobacco’s Blue Note! The up front flavorings of Blue note combine almost mystically with the bright, strident flavors of AA, creating what I consider to be a near-perfect pairing: I am not a big fan of either this coffee or this tobacco by themselves, but together, they are something that I look forward to.”

Published with kind permission of Smoking Pipes.

With this post I start yet another category in my coffee blogs. I find the web and the blogosphere are full with rich and valuable information and these deserve to be pointed out. Besides, no single blogger can encounter alone the vast list of things that need to be addressed, so it is only wise to share the good stuff we find.

Thank you for reading!


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