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How to Host a Coffee Tasting Party

Laura Leavitt Laura Leavitt • July 01, 2021

When it comes to enjoying gourmet experiences, the “flight” phenomenon is happening all over: whether it’s a suite of wine glasses or a wooden tray featuring multiple tiny beers, taste testing a bunch of craft drinks is a popular way to enjoy a day. Without having too much of any one flavor, you can have a rich, varied experience.

Within coffee circles, professionals and well-versed coffee drinkers participate in specific types of coffee tastings called coffee cuppings, but even without the guidance of an experienced barista or roaster, you can enjoy tasting coffee at home with friends. 

I personally love creating informal taste tests of all kinds as part of parties: nothing breaks the ice like a good conversation between people who are trying something new together. Coffee from Bean Box is particularly well-suited to be shared with your coffee-loving friends and family; here’s how to throw a coffee tasting party and share the craft-roasted love.

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1. Prep Your Taste Test 

The fastest way to get the right coffees for your group is to browse these boxes; from the World Coffee Tour Box to a Coffee Sampler, you can try any variety of coffees. Want to up the game a bit? Try a Coffee + Chocolate Tasting Box or Coffee + Biscotti Tasting Box.

Once your coffee arrives, the biggest thing is organizing how you’ll serve it. If you have small coffee cups such as espresso cups, those work well, but you’ll need a way to wash them out quickly, so keep that in mind. Also, to brew quickly, consider setting up pour overs that you can start as soon as your group starts sampling the first coffee. You don’t want to have to restart a percolator or wash a French press every time your group moves to the next coffee.

2. Get a Group Together 

Get a small group of coffee lovers togetheranywhere from four to eight peoplefor your coffee tasting. You might want to aim for a brunch-style party, since everyone may end up drinking the equivalent of more than one cup of coffee! If your coffee tasting won't include a full meal, consider making a coffee cake or other breakfast pastry to accompany the coffee tasting.

3. Compete or Converse

You can create a little coffee quiz fairly easily using the labels on each of your coffees for the taste test: note the flavors in each coffee sample on a key, then have your more competitive friends try to guess what the flavor notes are in each non-identified coffee. Afterward, compare answers and see who has the most discerning palate. You can even give them some coffee as a prize!

That being said, not every group of friends loves to compete, so instead, you might work together to decide which coffee is the smoothest or richest. Coffee lovers will enjoy the chance to try so many kinds, and coffee newbies will get information about the kinds of single-origins and roast levels that they actually like. 

4. Recommend the Best to Each Other

A great reason to pull your sample boxes from Bean Box is that many of the sample-size coffees are also available in the full-size format. Share your referral code with your friends and let them know that they can get a 12-ounce bag of their new favorite coffee. Everyone will leave the coffee tasting party with the ability to relive the fun of a taste test as they add their Bean Box favorites to their morning rotation. Enjoy!

Laura Leavitt is a passionate coffee drinker who experiments with coffee roasting at home with her husband. She's always ready to try a new brewing technique or new single-origin or blend. 

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