While it’s definitely not unprecedented (Terry’s Chocolate Oranges will always be a fave), the flavor combination of chocolate and citrus is far from the most popular in the dessert landscape. But, in coffee, it’s actually fairly common.
Citric acid develops quicker than the other fruity acids in the coffee cherry, so even if it’s not super-up-front, most coffees have at least some tiny bit of citrus flavor. Even if they’re not particularly tart, you can find some zesty orange or lemon aromatics in a cup of coffee that leads with more familiar flavors, such as dark or milk chocolate.
Here are some coffees that highlight this delightful flavor combo with various balances of those two flavors.
Our May Act 4 All Coffee is a blend of coffees from Cauca in Colombia and Huehuetenango in Guatemala, both regions that often produce super-balanced coffees on their own. This one marries milk chocolate notes with sweet citrus that tasts like tangerine.
$2 from every Act for All Coffee sold benefits Food 4 Farmers.
This single variety Colombian coffee, starts out with a bunch of chocolate flavor, reveals some gentle citrus when it cools, and then leaves you with a delicious mix of both tangerine and dark chocolate.
PT's Villa Loyola Caturra ($18.50)
Too much acidity in espresso can be intimidating, but the orange flavors in this Colombian single origin (roasted specifically to work well as espresso) complements the cocoa flavors beautifully, leading to a shot that’s more complex and aromatic than it is intensely tart.
Many coffees feature citrus zest aromas as a complement to a chocolate-forward cup, but this one charges out of the gate with juicy orange flavors, before settling down a little with notes of chocolate-covered raisins (not to mention some unique herbal notes).
You have to look for the citrus notes in this one, but it’s a great example of how even lower (for specialty coffee anyways) elevation Brazils, known for their chocolate and nutty flavors, still have at least a tiny bit of citrus flavor underneath.
Sterling Fazenda Morada dos Passaros ($17.95)