If we’re being totally honest here, there are very few things as amazing as a good cannabis and coffee pairing.
I mean, think about it: Cannabis and coffee is pretty much the best to happen since lighters.
Cannabis and coffee go together like chocolate and peanut butter. Or wine and cheese. Or chocolate fudge and vanilla ice cream . . . Okay, I may have the munchies.
These flavors, aromas, and effects of each one complement the other effortlessly. - - Just like cannabis and coffee.
If you’re looking or evidence of coffee and cannabis being pretty much the greatest pairing in the history of forever, well, you’re going to find plenty.
For instance, Dutch cannabis lounges are called “coffee shops” because the pairing of coffee and cannabis is just so damn good.
Cannabis enthusiasts (especially the coffee addicts) know the best type of wake-and-bake includes a cup of coffee. Extra points if your coffee mug is also a bong.
If you want to see for yourself how cannabis and coffee pair up to create the perfect blend of flavors and perfect combination of effects, you need to follow a few basic guidelines.
Keep reading for a handy cannabis and coffee pairing guide, specifically designed to help you pick a pairing that best fits your needs, flavor preferences, and time of day.
The Boolexia Cannabis and Coffee Pairing Guide
Pairing Cannabis and Coffee by Flavor
Coffee has more than 850 aromatic and flavor compounds. For comparison, red wine has 200 compounds.
There are myriad factors that go into the flavor profiles of the coffee beans as they develop. Plus, there are numerous subspecies of coffee, including the popular Kona, Ethiopian Sidamo, and Sulawesi.
You can think of these as coffee “strains,” in relation to the cannabis.
And, just as with cannabis, the environment and methods by which the coffee is grown also causes flavor and aromatic variations. For example, one “strain” of coffee grown in Rwanda will be totally different from the same “strain” grown in Latin America.
Next, the processing method (natural, washed, roasted, etc.) following the harvest of the coffee cherries plays a pivotal role in the flavor profile of the coffee. So does the roast master's decision of how long to roast the coffee beans.
Finally, all the steps taken in preparing the coffee -- from the grinding of the beans to the adding of the creamer -- will make a big difference as well.
When it comes to cannabis and coffee pairing by flavor, think about what you would just naturally want to pair with any given coffee beverage.
If you’re working with a rich Sumatran flavor of coffee, you’re probably going to want something dark, earthy, and the slightest of slightly sweet. So, you may go for an oatmeal cookie to go with that coffee. Now, switch out that cookie for a sweet, earthy strain like Dat Cookie Dough, and you’ve got an absolutely delicious cannabis and coffee pairing.
If you’ve decided to skip the at-home prep, think about the type of foods that would be good with your coffee beverage.
For example, a White Chocolate Mocha would go really well with a chocolate danish. Swap out food for bud, and you know White Chocolate Mocha would likely be amazing when paired with a chocolate strain, like Chocolope.
Once you’ve narrowed down your cannabis and coffee pairing(s), it’s time to choose your coffee brew and cannabis consumption methods.
When it comes to the coffee, espresso machines, French presses, and Aeropresses will bring out stronger, bolder flavors. Filtered drip or pour-over coffee tends to have more subtle flavors. With the cannabis, vaping or dabbing full-spectrum marijuana concentrates will usually give you the most flavorful hits.
But, you can always pack a bowl with some flower and hit the bong - - old school style.
Pairing Cannabis and Coffee by Effects
Just when it seemed like cannabis and coffee pairings couldn’t get more involved, there’s a whole other element to pairing cannabis and coffee: Matching the effects of the coffee with the effects of the cannabis.
Cannabis strains are incredibly diverse, and vary greatly in the effects they have and how they affect the user.
Coffee’s effects vary as well, though to a much lesser extent. These effects mostly depend on how much caffeine is in the coffee. Dark roasts have less caffeine than light roasts, while espresso-based drinks (e.g., Americano) will have less caffeine than a brewed cup of coffee that’s the same size.
The cannabis and coffee pairing should have a matching energy level. For example, if you’re having a groggy morning, pack a bowl of Green Crack and pair it with some light-roast coffee for an energy boost that will wake you right up.
If it’s later in the afternoon, and you need a pick-me-up that will still make it easy to sleep later, pick up an indica-dominant hybrid. Pair that hybrid with a shot of espresso, and you’ll get another wind of energy to get you through the rest of your day.
If you find you’re sensitive to caffeine, an indica strain like Bubba Kush will help soothe caffeine-induced jitters while still offering an uplifting cerebral high.
Cannabis and Coffee Pairing Guide
This delicious trend of cannabis and coffee pairing can be a little daunting at first. (There are tons of strains, after all.)
So, I’ve put together a little guide of coffee and cannabis pairing guidelines and suggestions to keep you balanced, relaxed, and able to keep moving forward through each day of week.
Yes, even Mondays.
Try some of these cannabis and coffee pairing suggestions, and your mouth, body, and mind will be be thanking you.
Early Morning Energy Boost
Light Roast Coffee + Sativa Cannabis
Coffee that’s been light-roasted is amber in color and known for having strong citrus and baked grain flavors, with a natural rawness that holds undertones that are almost earthy.
The aromatic blend of complex flavors come from the short roasting time not allowing the oils to permeate through the surface of the coffee bean.
In order to have a delicious cannabis and coffee pairing that is also effective, it’s important to pick a cannabis strain that has complementary effects and flavors.
Suggestion: You’ll want a strain with pungent, skunky / musky aromas and flavors, because those will cut the acidity of the coffee and bring out more flavor. Try Chemmy Jones, a pungent diesel strain with an earthy-diesel flavor and subtle undertones of tangy apples.
If you’re looking for an energizing strain to pair with your morning coffee, Chemmy Jones is the perfect choice. The strain has that pungent, skunky/musky flavor profile you want to go with your coffee, but still has some tangy apple flavors and aromas.
Additionally, light-roast coffee has the most caffeine out of all the categories, giving you that (giant) push you need to get up and start your day.
Now, if you want to keep that productive high going, there’s no better cannabis and coffee pairing than a light-roast coffee with a 100% pure sativa cannabis strain.
Sativas are popular for their euphoric, uplifting, and cerebral effects.
So, wake up, smoke a bowl, down some coffee, take a hot shower, and get ready to have a productive day.
Late Morning / Early Afternoon Pick-Me-Up
Medium Roast Coffee + Sativa Dominant Hybrid
Medium-roasted coffee is a medium-brown in color with rich flavors. This type of blend doesn’t have that burnt roast flavoring that really comes through in heavier blends.
Medium-roasted coffee is slightly acidic, but it makes up for it by not having those grainy, earthy undertones that are common with the lighter (and also the cheaper) roasts.
Commonly known as the “breakfast blend,” this balanced brew goes well with most cannabis strains, as you are drinking a nearly blank canvas for flavors.
Medium roasts are also the best of both worlds, with caffeine that’s mellower than it is in a light roast. At the same time, you still get that energy boost you wouldn’t get from a dark roast.
This medium roast motivates you without giving you the caffeine jitters. It’s right in the middle, which makes it great for the middle of the day.
This relaxing, coffee-induced state of mind is best paired with a sativa hybrid.
The sativa hybrid provides focused motivation, while still delivering the zen-like effects of the indica side of its lineage.
Suggestion: Try pairing the medium roast coffee with Hawaiian Diesel, a sativa hybrid with a THC content of 26.86% and sweet, tropical flavors.
The cerebral high gives you plenty of energy, while the indica side of the Hawaiian Diesel strain gives a calming body high. If you need an afternoon or late morning energy boost, Hawaiian Diesel is a great choice for your cannabis and coffee pairing.
Pairing the medium roast with a sativa-dominant hybrid like Hawaiian Diesel will make it way easier to focus on your priority tasks while smiling and feelin’ good.
Late Afternoon / Early Evening Treat
Medium-Dark Roast + Indica-Dominant Hybrid
Medium-dark roast brew has a rich, dark chocolate color, and overpowering roasted flavor that carries a bittersweet aftertaste and strong, earthy notes.
The flavors you’d get from the medium roast aren’t present in the medium-dark roast. Generally, the rich flavor profiles forces coffee drinkers to add cream / creamer and sugar to make the coffee less harsh on the palate.
Sweeteners aren’t as necessary when paired with a complementary cannabis flower that balances out the harshness of the coffee.
The coffee’s low acidity means fruity, citrus strains are the best pairing options.
You could also pair medium roast with nugs that have chocolate, sweet-vanilla, sweet in general, minty, or piney flavors.
Suggestion: Try pairing your medium-dark roast brew with some Champagne Kush, an indica-dominant hybrid with a lower THC content. Even still, the Champagne Kush strain packs quite the unexpected punch.
The medium-dark roast brew pairs well with the subtle grape undertones and mellow, yet lingering, musky aromas and flavors of the Champagne Kush strain.
Dark Roast + Indica
Dark roast coffee beans are shiny and black in color, chiefly because of how oily they are. This is a super bitter, burnt, and smoky brew with overpowering flavor characteristics.
If you’re looking for a nightcap of something strong, distinct, and unique, a dark roast is what you want.
Dark roast brew has overwhelming flavors that can only be paired with a heavy, diesel cannabis strain that coats your mouth and lingers until you drift off to sleep.
So, you’re going to want something skunky, earthy, and super dank that can complement the thick, rich dark roast coffee. With the lowest amount of caffeine, that brew is a great complement to an indica strain. You’ll get all the relaxing benefits of the indica, with a tiny bit of a perk from the coffee.
Suggestion: Cataract Kush is an indica strain created by crossing OG Kush x LA Confidential. In other words, this is a full indica strain. The THC level tends to fall between 20-24%, with high CBD content as well.
Because of this, Cataract Kush delivers strong effects that continue to build long after you’ve put the bong down. One of the main uses for this strain is insomnia relief, so it’s a great choice for pairing with your dark roast brew before bed.
Cataract Kush has an earthy, danky aroma with notes of wood, and it tastes much the same as it smells, but with added diesel flavors.
Dark roast + Cataract Kush is the perfect pairing as a bedtime snack to help you relax and drift off into a deep, peaceful slumber.
Ready to try some cannabis and coffee pairing for yourself?
Getting started is as simple as learning to experiment with pairing your favorite cannabis strains with your favorite coffee brews or beverages. From there, you can start learning to identify the layers of different tastes and effects of both the cannabis and the coffee.
As you learn about cannabis and coffee pairing, there’s one thing to keep in mind: You can’t fuck up. There is no right or wrong way to pair your cannabis and coffee, although this guide was hopefully helpful in pointing you in the right direction when pairing cannabis and coffee.
No matter what time of day, there’s a cannabis and coffee pairing waiting for you. Ultimately, though, it comes down to whether or not YOU like it.
If you like your cannabis and coffee and pairing, then it’s a good pairing. Plain and simple.
Are you crazy for cannabis and coffee? Check out my Instagram page for daily posts on different strains (and my cute cat)!