There’s no denying that Americans love their coffee. The US coffee market is worth about $48 billion, and specialty coffee makes up more than half of that share. Every year the US imports more than 27 million bags of coffee and drinks up about one quarter of the global coffee imports. We are the world’s largest single buyer of coffee and coffee beans, with the average person drinking over one and a half cups of coffee every day. We put it in all manner of cups, get coffee accessories for our home and offices, and drink mix coffee and freshly roasted beans with equal alacrity. Coffee is one of the best things you can choose to serve at an event, whether you are planning a DIY coffee station at a wedding or need to provide coffee for a week long business event. Here are some ideas for how to make your coffee service a great one.
Consider Your Timing
About 30% of Americans drink coffee only occasionally, and 50% are drinking espressos, iced coffees, cappuccinos, and lattes. About 65% of all cups of coffee are drunk during the breakfast hours. Another 30% of coffee is drunk between meals, and the last 5% are drunk with other meals. The timing of your event will dictate what type of coffee you should be serving. People want to be caffeinated in the mornings and early afternoons, and in the evening they will appreciate having some decaf options.
Personalize Your Cups
As you are planning how you’re going to serve the coffee, think about getting custom paper coffee cups that you can really make your own. Your business brand, your name, your logo, or an important piece of information can go on the cups. Custom paper cups also have a more sophisticated feel than plain white paper cups.
Consider Your Coffee
There are two main types of coffee: Robusta and Arabica. The vast majority of coffee is of the Arabica variety, particularly when it comes to custom and specialty coffee, but Robusta is a cheaper option if you need to have enough for a large crowd. About 65% of coffee drinkers prefer to add sugar and/or cream to their coffee, while 35% like their coffee black. Independent coffee shops are selling approximately 70% brewed coffee and 30% espresso drinks, so this gives you an idea of what prefer. Brewed coffee will be cheaper than espresso, but for really special occasion espresso will make a significant and sophisticated statement.
Don’t Forget the Extras
Although it seems like every American loves coffee, there are definitely some people who don’t enjoy it. Additionally, if you have no decaf available there will be some people who won’t drink regular coffee after a certain hour. For these people, it’s always thoughtful to include some herbal or decaffeinated teas and hot chocolate. If your coffee bar is being set up for an event in the summer, it can be a thoughtful touch to add cold brew coffee to the menu. This is a smooth iced coffee that can be served with milk, cream, or a variety of syrups for a cooling experience. Be sure to set up a DIY area where people can make their cups their own. Don’t forget to include coffee stirrers, spoons, sugar, honey, half-and-half, soy or other dairy-free creamer options, and anything else people might like to put in their Joe.
It’s impossible to count how many cups of coffee Americans are drinking and providing a thoughtful coffee service for special events or even for a business is a great way to provide something of real value that people will appreciate.