My accidental lunch: an apple, Gruyère, and Kenyan French Mission 1 chilled coffee. 2 Originally I was going to have a cup of chilled coffee and get on with my day, until I spotted an unmarked slab of Gruyère and an apple in the fridge. Sitting down at the table with The New Yorker and my food, I had a sip of coffee and a piece of cheese. Immediately getting a burst of flavor, I ran to get my notebook, and proceeded to catalogue different coffee/apple/Gruyère pairings.

A bite of cheese followed by a sip of coffee: The coffee preserves much of the Gruyère’s taste, while incorporating its own flavor. An interesting a delicious combo.

A bite of apple followed by a sip of coffee: The naturally fruity apple 3 seamlessly morphs with the coffee. The result isn’t a solid nor liquid, but a brilliant combination of the two.

A sip of coffee followed by a bite of cheese: This is the combination that prompted me to make these notes. The Gruyère bursts with flavor: nutty, rich and strangely creamy. The taste registers immediately, and each flavor is distinct.

A sip of coffee followed by a bite of apple: The coffee simply overpowers the apple here, bringing out the apple’s textural flaws.

A sip of coffee followed by a bit of cheese/apple: The cheese/apple becomes very woody. Strangely, little of the coffee’s taste remains, as a simple yet ardent flavor emerges.

A bit of apple/cheese followed by a sip of coffee: Ick! The result is overly acidic, but this makes sense. When the mouth is coated with something naturally acidic like coffee, and something complex like Gruyère and apple is added, we’re only going to register the acidity.

My favorite combination was easily the coffee followed by Gruyère. Robust and ripe, I’ll be trying it with other cheese and coffees in the future.


  1. This is the same bean I reviewed earlier this week, but roasted for 29 minutes instead of 27. At 29 minutes, the flavors remain the same only more pronounced. At hot temperatures, it’s very bitter, but as it cools, it becomes very smooth. 

  2. It’s worth noting the difference between iced coffee and chilled coffee. Iced coffee (as the name suggests) is coffee with ice. It may be convenient, but the ice ends up diluting and weakening the coffee. Chilled coffee (sometimes known as cold coffee) is brewed coffee that’s been put in a fridge. I like to cover, but not seal the coffee, as it allows some carbon-dioxide to escape while retaining aromas. No footnote about chilled coffee would be complete without mentioning cold brew. By adding ground coffee to a mason jar filled with water, and leaving it in the fridge for 24 hours and pouring through a filter, a coffee concentrate is created that ice can be added to for true “iced coffee”. 

  3. I noticed that the fullest flavor of the apple came towards the skin. I’m not sure why this is, but I’ll definitely look into it. 

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