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Coffee and plant-based beverage: find your magic formula

Wednesday 07 June

Oat, almond, soy or coconut: which plant-based beverage pairs best with my coffee? If this question oftenly pops into your mind, you might find our newly released "Coffee and plant-based beverage synergy tool" very interesting.

Alpro and Coffee Knowledge Hub have developed an innovative scoresheet to help baristas and coffee lovers to find the best combinations, between coffee and plant-based beverages.

This tool is inspired by the SCA scoresheets used to analyze specialty coffee. But the evaluation of specialty coffee is completely objective and more complex because it depends on a sensory analysis of the coffee blend (aroma, fragrance, body, acidity, etc.). In our synergy tool, the evaluation is completely subjective because we ask you to analyze the pleasantness of the combination, which is very personal.

You don't have to be an expert to use this scoresheet, but it's certainly very useful also for experienced baristas and business owners to create new drinks and coffee menus with plant-based beverages.

And, of course, it could come in extremely handy for those baristas who are preparing for competitions: for your next World Barista Championship (WBC), our synergy tool will help you to find the best pairings that will satisfy the judges.

If you are one of the Baristas preparing for the competitions of World of Coffee Athens 2023 you can test your preparations before presenting them on stage. Our innovative pairing tool helps you to analyze and identify the descriptive notes of your drinks (it also works really well even between coffee and regular milk).

This is very important in competitions because the judges will evaluate if the notes that the participant identifies matches their perception.

Don’t underestimate the importance of choosing the plant-based beverage that suits better your coffee blend: it’s not only a matter of brand or trend, it’s a matter of taste and sensorial experience.

As a pro, you have probably already done your personal research to find the best variety of coffee, your favorite coffee machine and the perfect steps to prepare incredible milk beverages. What about your coffee proposals for customers who ask for a plant-based cappuccino or flat white?

Download our free "Coffee and plant-based beverage synergy tool" to find the best plant-based beverage to use in your preparations. 

Scoring guide:

  • Horizontal scores: are based on the hedonic key and are subjective
    (half points can also be given)

  • Vertical scores: are for intensity

  • Header: needs to be filled in with your personal information
    (Who are you? What's the context? Coffee info: coffee name and roasting process. Brew recipe: how many grams of coffee, water temperature, pre-pour time, grind, which machine you used, etc.)

  • Each row is for a preparation: on the left you specify the plant-based ingredient used

  • Taste Experience: identify and describe the scents (similar to what is done with wine)

  • Balance: evaluate if the flavor is well balanced

  • Complexity/sinergy: evaluate if the ingredients are well combined

  • Overall: evaluate your general impression about the drink

  • Space for notes: useful to suggest improvements.

How do I use the scoresheet?

  • Choose the plant-based products to test (usually the Barista range is recommended)

  • Take your time to prepare and taste

  • Complete the evaluation sheet

  • Take note of your personal sensations about the pairing

  • See the final scores and choose your favorite drink

  • You have found your magic formula