Today the Courier News published an article on the evolving art and science of pairing food and drink: The Courier News :: Courier News :: No coupling too unusual for pairing food and drink. Pairing wine was just the beginning — now there are people pairing chocolate, coffee, etc., to their meals.

Which is all fine and good — even if some wines are best enjoyed by themselves while others are better when paired with food. Naturally, the part of the article that struck me most was this paragraph:

“The espresso just blew everything away with the bitterness,” says Liz Thorpe, managing director of Murray’s Cheese. “I felt like I was sucking on aluminum foil every time I tasted something.”

Of course, I wouldn’t pair an espresso with anything other than water, grappa (as a café corretto or even a resinti), or a handful of desserts. (Sorry, barista championship contenders.) But here we have a professional foodie of sorts — a director of a highly taste-conscious cheese shop — and what does she expect from a standard espresso? Bitterness. Lovely. Has she ever tasted a proper espresso shot in her life? Not likely.

Bitter espresso doesn’t pair with anything, Liz. My advice?: send it back to the barista to make properly, or demand yourself a refund.