Best for last: Restaurant Week’s coffee and dessert competition

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Treats from Portland Patisserie pair with a custom CBD cold brew.

Everybody knows about beer and wine dinners. But what about coffee? America’s favorite beverage has raised its profile high enough to warrant its own culinary salute.

On Sunday, a roundup of Greater Portland bakers, chocolatiers and chefs parade their best sweets for Maine Restaurant Week’s grand finale. The coffee and dessert competition held at Coffee By Design’s East Bayside headquarters ends the dining marathon with a bittersweet flourish.

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Scenes from last year’s competition in CBD’s roastery floor

Because we are living in caffeinated times, this is no mere cake social. Roasters pair the exact bean and brewing styles to optimize the sweet flavor profile. While I am partial to a dark roast and a Lara Bar, there is much more here than cup meets cupcake

For instance imagine Portland Patisseries’ chocolate macaron with a mocha whipped ganache. It’s infused with CBD’s Grand Cafe Blend, made with beans from Africa, Indonesia, and South America roasted at three different levels. Tasting notes:  “a robust cup with notes of blueberry and chocolate and just a hint of smoke.” Try the cold brew version on Sunday and don’t look back.

So Po’s Scratch Baking Co. unites its “uptown financier” (brown butter, toasted pecans, cardamom, lemon zest and cocoa nibs) with Colombia Antioquia Andes Hacienda La Arboleda peak roasted and brewed via Chemex. The result is a sweet, tart citrus, aromatic, ripe cherry experience. You won’t even miss the booze!

Multiply the above by five, and this promises to be a fun Sunday outing.

Tickets, $35 a person, are going fast. The competition is Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. http://www.mainerestaurantweek.com/events

Kathleen Pierce

About Kathleen Pierce

A lifelong journalist with a deep curiosity for what's next. Interested in food, culture, trends and the thrill of a good scoop. BDN features reporter based in Portland since 2013.