Cold Brews to Serve with Donuts

Donut and Coffee

For many people in America, breakfast is as simple as coffee and a donut, and while it might not sound like much, it’s exactly what they need to get their day started. Cold brew coffee is especially popular around National Donut Day, and with all of the available brands and possible combinations, there are some things to consider when picking the right donut to dunk in your coffee. To help you get the most out of your favorite cold brew coffee and donut pairing, Columbia Distributing offers a few tips.

Picking the Right Cold Brew Roast for You

Coffee beans are grown and harvested all over the world, but no matter where they come from, you’ll find that they typically come in one of three roast levels, which include:


Light roasts are indicated by their light brown color and lack of oil on the bean. They actually contain more caffeine than darker roasts and tend to have a brighter, floral flavor.


Medium roasts have a distinctive brown color, and unlike the light roast, some of their flavors come from the roasting process. Since they’re roasted for longer, they have slightly less caffeine than light roasts.


Dark roasts are dark brown, sometimes appearing black, as they spend the longest time roasting, and the natural oils from the bean are drawn out. Their flavors are bold and often smoky.

Matching Donut Flavors to Your Roast

For the most part, donuts are made using chocolate or vanilla flavoring, and when deciding which kind of donut to eat with your cold brew coffee, keep in mind the flavor profile of the bean you used. If you brewed using a light roast, you’ll want to pair those floral notes with the richness of a chocolate donut. On the other hand, a smoky, dark-roasted cold brew can be complemented by the light, sweeter flavors of a vanilla donut. When it comes to the medium roasts, it’s up to your personal preference.

Of course, not all cold brews and donuts are limited to a single flavor. Specialty coffee is becoming more and more popular, and they frequently advertise a unique blend of additional flavors that usually include a rich cocoa profile and a fruit of some kind. Donut shops are also becoming increasingly creative with the ingredients used in the dough, as well as the toppings and glaze or frosting. No matter the situation, keep in mind the basic principles of coffee pairing. For example, if you have a dark roast cold brew that highlights notes of dark chocolate, try reaching for something like a maple bacon donut. Likewise, lighter specialty roasts are often infused with floral aromatics to enhance the bean’s natural flavor, so something like a red velvet donut is sure to go well with your cold brew. 

For More Great Food and Drink Pairings, Contact Columbia Distributing

Coffee and donuts are staples in many American breakfasts, and there’s no reason one shouldn’t compliment the other. Next time you pick up a cold brew coffee, make sure you pair it with the right donut, especially on National Donut Day. For more information about the cold brew coffee brands and other products we supply to retailers in the Pacific Northwest, contact Columbia Distributing.