Did you know...? #DeliciousPairings #cbias #socialfabric

...that, like wine, different coffees can be paired with different foods to enhance the flavors of both?

I never knew that. I guess I just figured that coffee was coffee and you either liked one brand or brew or you didn't...and that was that.

But I've been schooled...let me explain...

Recently I was given the opportunity to try some Starbucks Willow Blonde brew-at-home coffee to see how it paired with a bakery item found at Walmart. Well, they had me at Starbucks...

Just an aside...I don't usually buy Starbucks ground coffee...I get my fix at the shop itself. I love when all my kids are at school and I'm out running errands (by myself!!!)...I'll swing through a Starbucks drive-thru and grab my Grande Non-Fat 2 Sweet-n-Low Latte and enjoy my alone time. The smell of that coffee just fills up my whole car and makes me so happy...(that's not weird, right?).

But how fantastic would it be if I actually found a Starbucks roast I enjoyed that I could brew at home? Then that smell could fill up my entire home...yeah - I think that's something I would love.

So off I headed to Walmart to pick up some coffee and something sweet.

The Stabucks' Mermaid was prominently displayed and is completely identifiable, so I had no trouble finding my way...and the display was directly on top of the doughnut cabinet...just perfect.

I was to grab a bag of Blonde Roast Willow Blend grounds and some Gourmet Chocolate Donuts from The Bakery at Walmart...however, I couldn't find any Gourmet Chocolate Donuts so I chose to get some Lemon Sliced Creme Cake. The display gives a brief explanation as to which roasts should be paired with which flavors, and the complimentary notes for the Willow Blonde are citrus...how cool is that? I mean, really...did you ever think that coffee could be so deep and complicated?

I grabbed a bag of the Blonde Willow Blend (I realized after I had put this in my cart that I had picked up the decaf...so as I was traveling through the store exchanged this bag for the caffeinated variety)...and the Lemon Sliced Creme Cake and a few other little things I needed and headed home...anxious for my kindergartner to get on the bus so that I could have some relax time.

The minute that bus pulled away after lunch I opened up the bag of grounds...that familiar Starbucks aroma filled the air and I turned on my coffee pot.

Just a few minutes later I was pouring myself a cup.

Now, I'll have to admit...I was a little skeptical about this whole thing...first of all I like dark roasted coffee...the darker the better, actually. So the idea of drinking and enjoying a blonde (or light) roast seemed a little strange. I also really thought that there was very little chance of actually increasing my enjoyment of a dessert just depending on which coffee I drank with it.

I took my first sip and, I have to say, it was really good! I took a few more sips and realized that this was a roast I could really enjoy. I stopped to smell the coffee before I drank again and I was really surprised that I actually smelled a citrus aroma coming from the cup...are you kidding me?!? It was so cool! It was really pretty neat because the coffee itself didn't taste citrus-y and it didn't make my house smell like coffee with lemon or anything, but there was definitely an underlying citrus-y scent to the coffee...so super cool. I was already feeling myself start to unwind. Now was the time for some cake...yes, please.

I wanted to really concentrate on how the Lemon Cake tasted with the Blonde Willow Blend, so I actually shut my eyes while I took my first bite (I hope my neighbors couldn't see me). Then I took a sip of coffee and the flavor was just out of this world! The coffee was really good by itself, but with the cake it took on a whole new level of awesome. The cake and the coffee paired together really was just delicious!

I slowly finished my cake and my coffee and had a wonderful afternoon just relaxing and reading.

My husband and I finished off the rest the rest of the Lemon Cake over the course of the week and each time I brewed some Starbucks Blonde Willow Blend to enjoy with it. We actually finished off the bag of Willow Blend over the week, too (we are really big coffee drinkers around here...), but I just couldn't stand to throw that beautiful bag away...(again, that's not weird, right?). So, as I was brewing our final pot I decided to recycle that lovely little yellow and silver container.

With just a zipper and a few lines of stitching, I transformed the coffee bag into a little pouch that I now keep in my car to hold my Starbucks cards and extra change...and each time I open that little bag I'm reminded of my new coffee and food knowledge. And I think that coffee during craft time is now a must...

And you can bet that the next time I'm having a dinner party...or even a special night at home with just the family...I will be consulting that Starbucks Delicious Pairings display at Walmart to help me figure out which coffee to serve. And I challenge you to do the same! Next time you're in Walmart, find the display and create your own delicious pairing...you will not be disappointed...

DISCLOSURE: I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™. #cbias #SocialFabric

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