Entertaining with Coffee

The perfect way to spruce up your party

FEATURING LISA THIELE | DECEMBER 18, 2015

Entertaining friends and family is one of the best ways to celebrate the holidays, and setting up a simple coffee bar gives people a convenient place to mingle, mix, and refill at will. There are many approaches you can take to tailor your coffee cart to your guests and your space. Here are some essential tips to get you started.

Tip #1: Establish a location

Move your coffee machine or brewer to a designated space outside of the kitchen, unless you have enough room for people to cook and mingle comfortably. Get creative; this could be a wine bar, a bookshelf, a coffee or side table, or a desk—just make sure there’s room for mugs and other staple items.

Tip #2: Create a Medley

Offer your guests some variety. If you have a Verismo or Keurig, provide an assortment of pods—for example: a Christmas blend, a caffe latte, and a decaf option.

Tip #3: Bring out the Mugs

Have mugs at the ready. Rather than requiring everyone to rummage in your cabinets, have the coffee mugs already set out.

Tip #4: All the Mixings

The staples: Arrange the milk, sugar, and syrups (whipped cream, perhaps?) close together. Include spoons so your guests can mix at will—“clean” and “dirty” spoon receptacles are a nice touch.

Tip #5: Small Bites

Consider a food pairing, something simple to go with the coffee, such as biscotti, cookies, or Cranberry Bliss bars.

Tip #6: Pre-Grind

Grind your coffee. Ask your barista to grind your beans specifically for the brewer you plan to use. That way you’re not stuck to the grinder all night.

Tip #7: Seasonal Decor

Spruce things up with some simple decoration. Whether it’s a wreath, candles, lights, or flowers, this will help create a festive atmosphere.