Wise Coffee! Pairings and Tastings!

Some of you know, I am part of a fantastic group of women, called W.I.L.F.S.(Women In the LA Food Scene). We get together monthly to network, share, plan, learn and of course, eat!

In February, our meeting was all about Coffee. Sheila Okabayashi and her husband Ryuichi, own their own micro-roasting coffee company called Wise Coffee.

Wise Coffee

They generously brought some amazing coffees for us to sample, and as we have incredibly talented bakers in our group, several ladies made specialized pastry items to go with each coffee. It was an afternoon of pure bliss!

“Until you’ve had great coffee, you really don’t know what you’ve been missing. But once you have an amazing cup of coffee, freshly roasted and respectfully brewed, you’ll never be able to go back to retail coffee again.” Ryuichi Okabayashi. Roaster & Founder, Wise Coffee, Inc.

I can’t begin to tell you how true this is!

Photo courtesy of heiserphotography.com

Photo courtesy of heiserphotography.com

The table was beautifully set and we happily began! Ryu carefully prepared each coffee, as Sheila walked us through the pairings and why she’d chosen the specific foods to go with each one.

Pairings - tasting mat

Not only did Sheila and Ryu prepare the coffee, we each had a tasting mat and a whole folder of information including a Glossary of terms, Coffee Tasters Flavor Wheel, Coffee Tips on Storage and Brewing and a nifty paper explaining each coffee and the dessert that went with it!

Fresh Fruit and Brazilian Coffee

We started with Ethiopian Sidamo and Brazilian Coffee, paired with fresh fruits!

Photo courtesy of heiserphotography.com

Photo courtesy of heiserphotography.com

After we had our fruit, the next pairing was a Guatemala “La Reina” and a coffee from Peru. These were paired with an incredible Apple Pie.

Photo courtesy of heiserphotography.com

Photo courtesy of heiserphotography.com

The cinnamon and spices in the pie brought out the flavors in the coffee, especially the Guatemala. Although the nutty notes in the Peruvian Coffee complimented the apple pie as well.

Apple Pie

The next delicious offering was a Colombian Medium Roast and Sumatra. Both strong in body with rich flavors, we paired this with a Butternut Brioche spice buns swirled with coffee and spices, topped with maple coffee icing.
Red Bread
Coffee baked into both the pastry and the icing, really enhanced the coffee notes and flavors of these particular coffees.

The dairy round of our tastings consisted of another Colombian – Light French Roast and a Mexican Oaxaca. These coffees were dynamically different, but paired well with a raw Mocha Cheesecake and French Vanilla Ice Cream.
Raw Cheesecake

Finally, a chocolate and caramel round of tastings ended our afternoon. We had a Shade Grown Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, paired with a pice of hand poured dark chocolate and a dark chocolate flour-less coffee cake with salted caramel drizzled over the top.
Both of these pairings also used coffee as an ingredient in the pastry.

If you’ve never done a comparative tasting between two coffees matched with a perfect food item, you are missing out on an incredible experience.

More important than the food, is the way Wise Coffee offers 100% organic, micro-roasted, single origin coffees for the highest quality flavor and aroma. All their coffees are certified organic and fair trade certified. Even their coffee bean bags are made from 40% recycled and 25% PCW (Post-Consumer Waste) brown paper. The lining of the bags is PLA (Polylactic Acid), a thermoplastic derived from renewable resources, such as corn starch. They use stamps to mark their bags rather than toxic labels. So what that means is when you’re done drinking their amazing coffee, you take the wire off the top of the bag and you can throw the whole thing into the compost pile or your recycle bin!

How AWESOME is that?

If you want to know more, follow this link and check out Wise Coffee for yourself!

Leave a comment


  1. Still jealous….That’s it!! I’m moving there!! You got a spare bedroom I can borrow?? 😉

    • Heehee! I can make space for you! xoxo

      • You know what we should do? Start a “Host A Food Blogger” program! Like exchange students, food bloggers would get to know different customs, areas, what is available in those areas, how climate affects food purchases, etc. Only, I have no clue how to fund it, lol!


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