Between the success of massive chains like Starbucks and the influx of smaller gourmet shops, coffee has become quite the star. But there’s a lot more to that caffeinated bean juice than most people think. To the average Joe, there’s only one kind of coffee, plus whatever amounts of cream or sugar he might add. But that’s barely scratching the surface of what the illustrious drink has to offer. Why not give the general public some insight into the wide variety of tastes and aromas available?

If you’re looking for the perfect event to host at your local coffee shop, a coffee tasting fits the bill. Not only is it endlessly customizable to your atmosphere and available space, but it also has the potential to draw in new business and create return customers! By hosting coffee tasting events regularly, you can begin to take your shop from pit stop to destination. Here are some tips for ensuring your event goes off without a hitch!

Choose a Coffee Cupping or Coffee Tasting

Consider the general knowledge base of your average customers. Do your patrons know a lot about coffee? Are they particularly interested in specific roasts and finishes? Or are they less knowledgeable but eager to learn? You might even consider having your baristas casually survey customers each day to collect some data.

Once you have a feel for what your customers want, you can tailor your event to them. New or casual coffee drinkers can learn a lot from a basic coffee tasting, where you offer some information on the history and origins of the drink, explain how to taste coffee, and provide several different samples. More experienced coffee drinkers might enjoy a “cupping” event—a tasting that really gets into the various aromas and acidity levels of the bean. This requires smaller amounts of coffee brewed with freshly ground beans and without filters that could obscure the flavor, so you may want to limit the number of people that attend with an RSVP.

Set Your Event Up for Success

Once you settle on the nature of your event, you can plan the setup. Consider placing different tasting stations throughout your shop to allow people to move around easily and sample the various brews. You might choose to draw decoration inspiration from the origin of each particular coffee, or keep things simple and classy by lighting candles and setting the atmosphere with stoneware coffee mugs featuring your logo. And be sure to have some cool water available so people can clear their palettes in between sips!

Advertise on Social Media

If you choose to make your coffee tasting a special after-hours event, don’t forget to let people know about it. Get the word out on social media, send an email blast to your subscribers, and put up some posters in your shop. To attract more people who aren’t already following you, consider promoting an event post over social media to make sure you pop up in relevant feeds.    

Offer Crucial Coffee Info

This type of event appeals to people looking to learn more about their favorite caffeinated drink, so oblige interested patrons by making it a learning experience! Give a brief talk on the different aromas and tastes they should look for as they sample different roasts and varieties. If you’re hosting a coffee cupping, offer brief instruction on correctly tasting coffee. And if you’d rather not give a talk in front of a crowd, or you think you’ll have too many attendees to be heard clearly, you can create a guide to tasting coffee and offer it to people as they enter your coffee shop!   

Promote Branded Merchandise

While the focus of the night should be on the coffee tasting, you can also seize this opportunity to show off your brand and boost merchandise sales. Set up a side table or post a sign directing attention to your merchandise, whether that be branded stoneware mugs, keychains, or t-shirts. With our small minimum order size, you can even have mugs specially made to commemorate the event!

Upgrade Your Mugs with High-Quality Stoneware

Here at Grey Fox Pottery, we’re as passionate about handsome, functional stoneware as you are about coffee. Our artists create unique, handmade mugs and steins that blend beautifully into any atmosphere and put your logo at the forefront, making marketing your coffee shop that much easier. Reach out today to learn more about how we can work together to tell the story of your business.