Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

By Rob Corliss
September 29, 2022

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Coffee is a premier flavor to market and cross-utilize, especially on breakfast and brunch menus. Kickstart your morning menu with subtle yet discernable coffee-spiked flavor sensations. Leverage the broad appeal of coffee, utilizing its assertiveness to boost dimension, adding deeper aromatics and a touch of bitterness for complexity.

Here, we offer four coffee-infused condiments/toppings/finishes, providing variations and application ideas. Each serves as a modern flavoring system designed to enhance the breakfast experiences and engage coffee-loving patrons.


Coffee gravy delivers new experiences in a craveable comfort-centric format.


  • Coffee-Onion Gravy: Sautéed minced yellow onion + cold-brew coffee + beef broth + red wine + Worcestershire + red wine vinegar + cornstarch + rosemary
  • Redder Eye Gravy: Coffee liqueur + orange juice + pan drippings (ham or beef) + smoked paprika + butter
  • Coffee Country Gravy: Ground breakfast sausage + flour + whole milk + chicken broth + cold-brew coffee + cracked black pepper + brewed coffee grounds


  • Scrambled Egg Rolls: Scrambled eggs + shredded hashbrowns + bacon + Colby-Jack cheese + eggroll wrapper + coffee-onion gravy (for dipping)


Coffee glazes allow menu developers to push the flavor envelope, offering an assertive, yet familiar flavor profile. Get specific with your coffee type or region, calling out its style or provenance.


  • Caribbean Coffee Glaze: Espresso powder + Serrano pepper jelly + dark rum + ginger + garlic + clove
  • Ancho-Coffee BBQ Glaze: Cold-brewed coffee + ancho chile + smoky barbecue sauce + honey
  • Maple Coffee Glaze: Snap-chilled coffee + maple syrup + tamari + grain mustard


  • Caribbean Sunrise Bowl: Saucy black beans + soft scrambled eggs + carnitas tossed in Caribbean coffee glaze + cotija cheese crumbles


Enticing savory coffee jams elevate breakfast handhelds, tying into the daypart theme nicely.


  • Espresso-Bacon Jam: Espresso powder + smoked bacon + caramelized onion/garlic + brown sugar + bourbon + cracked black pepper
  • Hot Java-Berry Jam: Coffee concentrate + raspberry preserves + harissa + crushed walnuts + scallions
  • Cracklin’ Joe Jam: Coffee concentrate + orange marmalade + chopped pork cracklin’s + red pepper flakes


  • Java Smashed Burger Melt: Smashed burger + white American cheese + fried egg + espresso-bacon jam + English muffin bread


Luscious coffee “whips” deliver signature indulgent versatility across the breakfast menu.


  • Whipped Jalapeño Mocha Butter: Unsalted butter + cream cheese + coffee liqueur + cacao nibs + jalapeño
  • Espresso Comeback: Espresso powder + Southern comeback sauce
  • Coffee Schmaltz-oli: Chicken schmaltz aïoli + brewed coffee grounds + Sriracha


  • Mocha Me Crazy Toaster: Black Forest ham-stuffed French toast + whipped jalapeño mocha butter


To dial in traditional Southern comfort, this Redeye Ham Gravy and Biscuits is the ticket, with that classic recipe of coffee-infused gravy rounding out the savory flavor from the ham.Credit: Smithfield Culinary

To dial in traditional Southern comfort, this Redeye Ham Gravy and Biscuits is the ticket, with that classic recipe of coffee-infused gravy rounding out the savory flavor from the ham.

Get the Recipe for Redeye Ham Gravy and Biscuits



About The Author

Rob Corliss

Rob Corliss is a three-time James Beard House guest chef with more than 30 years of experience that includes running world-class hotels, launching new concepts, working in top marketing agencies and owning the culinary consultancy ATE (All Things Epicurean) since 2009. Based in Nixa, Mo., ATE has an energizing passion focused on flavor innovation and is dedicated to connecting people to their food, environment and wellness. Rob is also a regular contributor to Flavor & The Menu.