Australians love their coffee. One of the most common things Australians claim to miss when living or travelling overseas is a good coffee. Event attendees are known to leave a venue in search of a good coffee if it is not readily available – something all event planners should aim to avoid.
So, quality is important. But so too is service and quantity. There is no point arranging to have the best coffee in town at your event if the service is slow or there isn’t enough to go around. So how do you arrange for great quality coffee, efficient service and enough for everyone to get their coffee fix – you hire a professional coffee caterer!
The sheer number of coffee caterers popping up in Sydney and Melbourne proves there is a demand and here at Event Birdie we are delighted to promote three of the nation’s best. We caught up recently with them over a….coffee, to find out why your next event needs a coffee caterer.
What type of events benefit from having a coffee caterer?
Conferences and meetings
Conferences and meetings are typically the most common type of event where you will find a coffee caterer. Why…? Coffee breaks!
Conference organisers cannot afford for delegates to ‘wander off’ looking for a good coffee or have them waiting in long lines during breaks. Similarly, delegates will usually not put up with substandard coffee. To avoid these issues, why not invest in a coffee caterer?
Andrew Dimasi of 92 Degree Espresso explains, “given the short, sharp bursts that make up the breakout sessions, it is important to have fast service. For events with more than 100 delegates, we recommend that 2 baristas are serving coffee to ensure delegates receive a consistently amazing espresso-based coffee, speciality tea or decadent hot chocolate of their choice.” For more info on barista-to-guest-ratios, check out our handy guide further below.
At the end of a glamourous gala dinner, having delicious coffee (and other speciality hot drinks) available to be served to your guests adds an element of luxury. Rather than the pot of instant coffee and lukewarm tea that usually does the rounds, consider the sheer delight of your guests as they are given the option of a freshly made espresso or smooth hot chocolate at the end of the evening. Whether you take orders at the table or have a coffee cart available in the room for guests to wander up to at their leisure, having professional barista style coffee at your event will be greatly appreciated.
Exhibitions & Public Events
It is always a good idea to arrange a coffee caterer for exhibitions and public events. These events traditionally see attendees on their feet for long periods of time, so having a reliable coffee caterer on hand will make for a better experience for your attendees and perhaps temp them to stay a while longer.
Coffee carts, however, are not just for public spaces. Exhibitors who install a private coffee station or add a barista to their stand will always attract a crowd. This is a great way for exhibitors to interact with people on their stand and it allows for valuable talk time while they wait for their freshly made coffee.
Andrew from 92 Degree Expresso adds: “for large community events or exhibitions we can bring an additional dimension and brand awareness to our corporate clients by branding the coffee carts and coffee cups with their logos and company messages.”
Christine Ousman from Deluxe & Co Beverage Catering claims that it’s not just corporate clients keeping them busy, noting that they average about three weddings a month.
“People know good coffee. And what better way to end a beautiful evening than with great coffee?”, Christine says. “Guests are always so excited and impressed when they see a professional barista serving exceptional coffee at a wedding. It definitely adds a touch of luxury and a unique feature to the day.”
Baristas work well for both outdoor and indoor weddings, and can be used either at the end of the evening or as a refreshment between the ceremony and reception. Coffee caterers provide not only excellent coffee, but also delicious hot chocolates and babyccinos to ensure everyone at the wedding is catered for!
What makes the perfect coffee break?
Jonathon Sciola from Promised Land Coffee (an alternative coffee service to traditional coffee carts – more on that later!) says that “the perfect coffee break is one where there is exceptional coffee available with little to no wait time. People don’t want to spend their coffee break standing in line and then needing to scull their coffee, they want to spend it enjoying the experience.”Jonathan also suggests that “hosting the breaks in a light, bright environment where people can walk around, stretch their legs and have a conversation is also something to consider when planning your coffee breaks”.
For Christine from Deluxe & Co Beverage Catering it is all about the staff: “The perfect coffee break requires switched on staff! If you have hungry, tired people coming at you for food and coffee, you better be ready. We like to use service staff to manage the cart and take orders so the baristas are only focussing on pumping out great coffee in a flash!”
What type of coffee caterers are available?
Espresso Coffee Carts
Hiring a coffee cart is the most common way to ensure you have delicious, hot coffee at your event. Companies like 92 Degree Espresso (Melbourne) and Deluxe & Co. Beverage Catering (Sydney) provide a range of coffee carts for events. They will arrange for qualified baristas and service staff to ensure your guests are served fresh coffee, quickly.
In addition, they will provide tea, hot chocolate, chai and other speciality beverages. Some coffee cart hire companies will also provide food such as freshly bakes pastries.
When hiring a coffee cart style caterer you will need to provide access to power (usually only 10AMP required) and water.
When you think of getting a coffee caterer, most people think of a coffee cart with a barista. An alternative option to try, that still delivers a quality coffee experience, is Promised Land Coffee’s airpots!
Promised Land Coffee brew speciality coffee for you at their base and then deliver it in snazzy, easy-to-use airpots that keep the coffee hot and fresh! They have an extensive menu of coffee flavours (from dark roasts to light fruity roasts) and will help you match your coffee to your demographic.
The best thing about airpots is that they come ready to go – no power needed! Airpots will keep your coffee piping hot or icy cold all day. Helpfully, airpots are self-service or, if you prefer, you can hire wait staff to serve.
How much do I need?
This is a guide only – we recommend talking to our coffee caterers, as they will be best placed to advise on what is best for your event based on your guest numbers, length of breaks, time of day and demographics.
What is the perfect coffee?
We were interested to know what the experts in coffee catering like to drink themselves…
“The perfect coffee for me is the iconic Melbourne Magic. A Magic is textured milk poured over a double ristretto and served in a smaller 160ml cup.”
Andrew Dimasi, 92 Degree Espresso
“Batch brew (filter coffee) definitely. A direct trade specialty coffee harvest within the last 2-3 months and roasted in the past 5 days. Light roast. Brewed at 93-97 degrees. Juicy, sweet, with nice floral acidity. Single origin. Black!”
Jonathon Sciola, Promised Land Coffee
“My perfect coffee is a medium roast cappuccino. I love the taste of coffee and a little indulgence with a chocolate sprinkle!”
Christine Ousman, Deluxe & Co Beverage Catering
We’d love to hear from you! Let us know how important coffee is to you when attending events?