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What type of coffee should you use in tiramisu?


What type of coffee should you use in tiramisu?

Posted by Pumphreys Coffee ,3rd Apr 2023
What type of coffee should you use in tiramisu?

Tiramisu is one of if not the most popular and well-known coffee-based dessert out there. There can be many different twists and new variations of this iconic dessert, but the foundation of the ingredients always remains the same, including the type of coffee you should use to ensure you maintain the classic features of a tiramisu. In this article we will be looking at the best types of coffee that should be used in a tiramisu as well including one of our favourite recipes so you can create the delicious dessert yourself at home.

The best coffee for a tiramisu

The key to a good tiramisu coffee is the strength of the coffee flavour. This is because with so many textures and sweet flavours coming from the other ingredients, you still want to be able to taste the coffee-soaked lady fingers as one of the stand out elements of the dessert to combat the sugar and richness. With that in mind many tiramisu recipes will feature a good espresso or espresso blend coffee.

A medium to dark roast coffee will be the best option as you will get the most prominent coffee flavours rather than a light roast which doesn’t have that same bite and will have lighter, fruitier notes. Also, keep in mind that you will need a strong brewing method as well as a strong coffee to ensure all the aromas of the coffee and roast are captured and soaked up in the tiramisu. This is why espresso is so commonly used as it is very dense and had the most coffee to water ratio. Additionally given that the dessert originates from Italy, you can’t go wrong with an Italian roast coffee for the strong, bold notes.

How to make a classic tiramisu

Tiramisu isn’t necessarily a difficult dessert to prepare but if you’re new to it there are a few key things to note. The most important thing to note when preparing the coffee for the tiramisu is that you don’t pour it over the lady fingers hot, it has to cool to room temperature. If it is too hot it will dissolve the cake texture of the lady fingers and cause the other ingredients to melt. Follow the recipe below to create the perfect tiramisu.


  • 250g mascarpone
  • 400ml double cream
  • 75ml marsala or rum (optional)
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 175g sponge fingers (if you want to do an authentic Italian tiramisu use Savoiardi lady fingers)
  • 5 tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 300ml coffee (normally espresso)
  • 25g dark chocolate
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder


Step 1 - The first step in making your tiramisu is to prepare the coffee so that it has plenty of time to cool while you get your other ingredients and equipment ready. If you are adding a liqueur to your dessert, you should pour it into the brewed coffee, but if you don’t like alcohol or have kids who want to try the dessert it won’t negatively impact the flavours to leave it out.

Step 2 - Separate the eggs, setting the yolks to one side and whisking the whites until they become stiff peaks. Next add the caster sugar to the egg yolks and beat for around 3 to 5 minutes, until the texture becomes light and smooth.

Step 3 - Pour the mascarpone cheese into a bowl and mix with a spoon to soften before adding the egg yolks.

Step 4 - Whip the mascarpone and yolks for 2 to 3 minutes before adding the stiff egg whites.

Step 5 - Use a wooden spoon to mix the egg whites into the other ingredients until a creamy and smooth consistency forms.

Step 6 - Dip the lady fingers in your cooled coffee for 1 or 2 seconds (any longer than that and too much coffee will be absorbed, making the tiramisu too runny). Then start arranging the fingers in a casserole dish or another deep dish of your choosing.

Step 7 - Lay the fingers out in a way that fully covers the bottom of your dish and then spread the mascarpone mixture over the top. If your dish is deep enough, you can do another layer of lady fingers on top of the cream and then top with another layer of the mixture. Be generous with the mixture on each layer.

Step 8 - Sprinkle with the cocoa powder and finish with the dark chocolate. Leave the tiramisu in the fridge for around 3 hours to set before serving.


If you’re looking for the perfect espresso or strong dark coffee to create an amazing Italian tiramisu, then Pumphreys has got you covered. Explore our wide range of coffees to find the one you want to use and enjoy this classic recipe for tiramisu that the whole family can enjoy. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.