Americans are the biggest coffee drinkers in the world, managing an average of 1.64 cups per person, per day. Independent coffee shops have a relatively large share of the market, with $12 billion annual sales. Throughout the country an average of 30% of the population is drinking coffee, in an average cup size of nine ounces. There?s coffee available everywhere, and if you?re planning any sort of event, you?d better plan for coffee and all the coffee accessories you need to pull it off. Here are five things to consider when you plan to put out the java:
- Make sure you?ve got nice cups with lids If there?s one thing people hate, it?s cheap coffee mugs. They don?t hold the heat and they look a bit trashy. If you want people to have hot joe in a convenient package, get a coffee cup that people will enjoy.
- Get good beans. The number one party mistake that people make is to get cheap beans. That doesn?t mean you have to buy the priciest offerings on the market, but you do want something several good steps up from swill. Make sure you buy fresh beans, properly roasted, brewed on freshly cleaned equipment using good quality water.
- Get your method planned out in advance. Decide ahead of time whether you want to go pour-over, French press, or brewed coffee. Just be aware that while espresso or pressed coffee might taste amazing, it?s likely too much to do for a crowd. Another option is to make a cold brew coffee concentrate and dilute it with hot water when everyone arrives.
- Always have the right coffee accessories. It?s not just good paper coffee cups you need, but also stirrers, lids, creamer, and sweeteners. In this case, it?s best to know your audience. Will they want primarily powdered creamer, or are they going to appreciate real cream? Are they whole milk people or the type that will faint over anything with more than 2% fat? Make sure you know what people want before you splash on coffee accessories.
- Clear enough space for your coffee station. You need room to lay out all the options and clearly mark your decaf from the rest of your drinks. You also want to be able to move freshly made coffee into a carafe quickly, as letting it sit on a hot plate will make it bitter. Use a nice tablecloth to cover the whole area and it?ll look inviting and well-planned.
People expect coffee at an event, so make sure you?re ready to meet their expectations; and exceed them! Don?t be afraid to offer some neat upgrades like whipped cream, grated chocolate, or peppermint extract. But whatever you do, make sure no one leaves your event without an awesome cuppa.