Coffee-connoisseurs, how would you influence loved ones to explore coffee as an interest?
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Show Them that Coffee Comes in Different Flavors
I find that one of the best ways to open someone up to specialty coffee is to brew them something as far out on the spectrum of specialty coffee as possible. A super fruity natural or some sort of crazy fermented honey single-origin – something that’ll have them saying “Coffee can taste like … this?”
A lot of folks don’t take any interest in coffee because they’re so used to commodity blends that all taste the same. They think they don’t have the palate for discerning differences in coffee. Showing them something super wild that tastes different – even if they don’t love that specific taste – usually helps illustrate how variable flavors in coffee can be, and hopefully spurs them to seek out more of the flavors they enjoy.
Give Them a Coffee Gift Box
I’ve found that gifting coffee to others is a great way to get them to explore new kinds of coffee. At birthdays, housewarming parties, and other special events, you could try to bring them a new brand/type of coffee and recommend a specific brewing method to them. This way, they get their coffee for free and may even feel slightly obligated to give it a try in the way that you recommended.
I’ve also taken family members and other close ones out for coffee before and asked them to let me pick a beverage for them. I already have a clear idea of their personal preferences and taste choices, so I can curate a personalized type of coffee that they may have not tried before, yet will still enjoy. To clarify, I’ve always made sure it’s a coffee shop that I know and love first so I can vouch for the quality of the new beverage they’ll try.
Make the Brewing Activity Fun
As a coffee-connoisseur, I would influence my loved ones to explore coffee by having them over to my house and brewing coffee with them as a fun little activity. Depending on their coffee preferences, brewing coffee with them might look like grinding beans, pulling an espresso shot from my espresso machine, and making a latté with some pretty latté art. Or maybe just keeping it simple and brewing a cup of pour-over coffee.
I think coffee is more than just putting coffee grounds into a machine and pressing start. It can be a fun activity you do with loved ones and can show them that there is more to coffee than just making a boring cup of drip coffee. Coffee can be more intricate, customizable, and just fun.
Show Them the Beauty of Brewing
The biggest way to attract people to the world of coffee is through actually showing them how to brew, not just talking about it.
That seems so simple, but it couldn’t be more important. As with many other things in life, leading by example and having people actually physically see something will make them more likely to get interested. Growing up in my family, coffee always equated to the Mr. Coffee drip machine and Folgers. Pretty basic and boring, I know. To change that narrative, I began grinding beans myself and brewing using different techniques (mainly a Moka Pot) in front of my family. Seeing and tasting this coffee opened their eyes to what was truly out there and now they dabble with all kinds of coffee.
Coffee can also be intimidating to people, especially with all the different techniques, products, and roasts out there. This is again where physically showing them pays off instead of just telling them that they should try this brewing style or that type of roast.
3 Ways You Can Influence Someone to Explore Coffee
Talk to them about it
It is a simple truth of life that enthusiasm is contagious. As such, one of the single best ways to get others into the world of specialty coffee is through openly sharing your love of it with them. Talk to them about the newest brewing methods you are playing with, about what your favorite single-origin beans are, and about why you find brewing coffee so satisfying. If their impression from you is that coffee is exciting, creative, and satisfying as a hobby/interest, then they are far more likely to try it themselves.
Introduce them to variations of it
I have found that one of the most effective ways to get people into coffee is by showing them just how delicious coffee can taste. Most people have a very definite expectation of what coffee is and what coffee ought to taste like. As such if you want people to view coffee as more than just a drink you need to show them. If all they have ever had is a cappuccino, then make them a pour-over or Aeropress or cold brew. Help them to experience for themselves that coffee is a far wider thing than they imagine. Either make them some different brews yourself or else take them to a specialty coffee cafe. This is something I often do and find helpful. Go for a catch-up with the loved one at a cafe of your choosing then order for you both two different flavors of V60 so that they can try a few ones. Get them into a space that celebrates coffee and preferably has that enticing aroma of freshly roasted beans. Show them that coffee can be so much more than just Starbucks.
Buy them some coffee equipment
Another somewhat sneaky way to prompt loved ones to view coffee as interest is to wait for a special occasion or a birthday and buy them some of the gear. My go-to here is the Aeropress. An Aeropress is cheap to buy, fun and easy to use, and produces delicious coffee. As such it is a great way to introduce people to the ritual of coffee. It also naturally goes hand in hand with buying a hand grinder and experimenting with different beans. An Aeropress is a bit like a gateway drug into the world of coffee.
Take Them to Coffee Events
You can get so invested in the world of coffee that it can turn out to be your hobby; a hobby just like any other famous one such as sports or video games. However, once you become a coffee connoisseur and there’s pretty much nothing else to be learned about it, you want others to get to know it in-depth as you do. Most of the time words are not enough to convince them, so that’s when you should resort to actions.
Do you want a loved one of yours to start exploring coffee as interest and not only as a mere hot beverage? Then you should take them to big coffee events where they can get to know all the magic surrounding it. They may see coffee as such a big deal, but they’ll see they’re wrong once they realize there are always local, regional, or even national coffee events going on near you where enthusiasts can share all the knowledge they know and everyone can taste many of the different coffee varieties.
Taking that person to an event of this kind is a great method to influence them to start seeing coffee differently and it could even be the only thing you may need to do as coffee itself will do the rest.
Make a Coffee Quiz to Find What They Love and Brew Coffee Drinks that They Enjoy
Different brewing methods, coffee growing regions, processing methods, and roast levels can result in endless coffee flavors. So, prepare a few different types of coffee, iced or hot, milk-based or plain coffee, light or dark roasts. There must be a coffee drink that makes their eyes wide open as soon as the coffee reaches their lips. Most of the time people are not interested in coffee just because they haven’t found the one they’d enjoy.
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