Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cinnamon Rolls + Guatemalan Coffee = Mmmmm.

What do you like to pair with your favourite coffee, or tea?

The concept of pairing coffee with food has become increasingly popular. Much like the idea that wine can be paired with food; so can other drinks – beer, cocktails, liquors, etc. A well formed drink, no matter it's origins, can always find it's way to a complimentary dish.

Café Novo intends to have pastries that will pair well with it's coffee (and tea). We will always be happy to talk about dark and spicy beans with you!

With the holidays just around the bend, many people have started their baking. Many cookies, breads, loafs, and cakes are to be had at this time of year. Most of them are guilty pleasures or family favourites.

We're starting our holidays off with cookies and coffee. (Elizabeth in particular could eat nothing but coffee + gingerbread cookies aaaaaall day and be quite content.) Not that this is shocking, but we wanted to share some of that spirit with all of you. A lot of holiday treats are rich, sweet and hit that spot that you've been craving all year.

This isn't going to be a full lesson in pairings, just a quick intro into the concept and a recipe for you to try at home!

Today, we're going to pick a Guatemalan coffee, which is rich chocolately coffee, while still being medium to dark and quite lively when just freshly ground. I'm not going to suggest an exact blend or brand, the region is far more important. What I am going to suggest though, is that you get high quality beans (not from a big box super market that is!), and if at all possible grind them at home. We can go on and on about the importance of equipment but we'll keep it to this : burr grinders are where it's at. (If you want to know more - please ask!)

Blade grinder : Baaaaaaad.

Burr grinder : Gooooood.

Pair with that a fresh, soft cinnamon roll. I don't know about all of you – but I don't view cinnamon rolls as being just for breakfast. I think they make a great any time of day snack. When freshly warm, they make a great escape from the winter winds, and paired with a Guatemalan coffee which picks up the softer notes in the coffee from that perfect balance of sweet, butter and cinnamon.

Knowing how busy everyone is during these next few weeks, and how complex and intimidating cinnamon rolls can be; here is a quick and easy one to ensure success and enjoyment with your rich, flavourful Guatemalan coffee that I know you're going to go out to the market, or your local roaster and buy!

Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls!


5 1/4 cup white unbleached bread flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 Tbsp salt
1 1/2 Tbsp instant yeast
1 egg
2 cups hot water

Mix dry ingredients together.

Add egg and water.

Mix for 1 minute and check consistency. If dough is too dry, add a tiny amount of water. If too moist, add a little flour.

Mix for 5 minutes.

Roll out dough on a floured surface until it is about 16 by 21 inches.


1 cup brown sugar

2 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, softened

Spread the softened butter over the dough, then sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon evenly over the surface.
Roll the dough up from the long side and cut into 16 slices.
Place into two 9x13 pans sprayed with Pam.
Cover and let rise for 20 minutes. Bake at 400 for 13 minutes.


1/2 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/4 cup cream cheese

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/8 tsp salt

While the rolls are baking, beat cream cheese and butter until combined, add vanilla, salt, and sugar slowly and beat until fluffy.
When rolls are done, immediately spread with icing.

Best eaten warm.

Enjoy - and do tell, what do you like to pair with your coffe / tea / hot cocoa?


  1. OK...I will bite. Why are blade grinders bad, and burr's good? And will I really taste a difference if I'm simply using average everyday brewers??
    the very proud uncle...!

  2. Hey Uncle Jim!
    Absolutely you will taste a difference - although I admit it won't be complete day and night, depending on the coffee and machine.
    Blade grinders chop up irregular chunks, which means when the hot water hits all these different sized grinds of coffee, some are over extracted, some under. So you'll get some bitterness from the over extracted, and lack of flavour from the under extracted. The small amount that is the right size won't win out, with all that weighed against it.
    Burr grinders grind evenly, so when you set it to a fine grind, it' s all ground finely. Same with coarse.
    It's probably the most important part of your home set-up, and they aren't expensive anymore. Loblaws / Superstore has a great one in their home line, for $29.99 that I'm currently using. It's fantastic!

    If you have any other questions let us know, we love sharing the wealth of knowledge!