Everyone loves to savor a warm cup of coffee at the end of a lovely dinner or great party. So, why not take things up a notch and make it special?

Hosting a coffee happy hour is a fun way to make a plain old cup of coffee feel fancy, and it’s a nice way to wind down the evening with your friends. With just a few tips and tricks, you can set up a super special coffee bar that’s sure to impress.

First, you want to choose a location where your guests will be comfortable with plenty of space and seating for lingering and chatting. Then select a spot in that room where you can set up a coffee bar, and be sure to check that there are outlets nearby and you have any extension cords you need to plug urns or coffee makers into.

Plan your coffee hour ahead of time so you’re sure to have everything you need.

You’ll want to consider things like:

  • how many guests you will be serving
  • what appliances or vessels you’ll need to make the beverages and keep them hot
  • the number of teacups and saucers, coffee mugs or even disposable cups you’ll need
  • what beverages you’ll serve (coffee is great, but cocoa, hot tea and warm ciders can be tasty additions, too)
  • how many spoons, stirrers, and other extras like sugar, creamer, honey, lemon wedges, teabags, etc. your guests will need

Note: If you’ve got enough teacups and saucers of your grandma’s old china, or enough cups that came with that fancy set you got for your wedding, now is the time to pull them out and put them to good use!

Set Your Coffee Bar Up Before Your Guests Arrive

If you prepare your coffee station ahead of time, you’ll be able to relax with your guests instead of running around looking for more spoons or washing out cups.

As you set up the table, organize the elements to create a logical flow of traffic. Put the cups and saucers at one end, followed by the percolators and/or carafes, then put all of the extras at the end. Get creative with the display. Teabags can be super cute in a pretty box and a tiered rack is a perfect presentation for sugars, coffee pods, and other extras. And, don’t forget the special touches like a pretty tablecloth, flowers and cute little decorations.

Make it Memorable

Add a gourmet flair to your coffee bar with a variety of flavored syrups, liqueurs and special extras like cinnamon sticks, marshmallows for cocoa, whipped cream and chocolate syrup. Then, instead of displaying coffee and sugar on that tiered tray, use it for adorable petit fours, biscotti, after dinner mints, and truffles.

Note: If you have an espresso machine, feel free to add it to the mix. Just be prepared to serve as a tutor for guests who haven’t had experience with using them before.

Your cozy coffee happy hour doesn’t have to happen after a long dinner or jamming party. Try hosting one as a fun get together for brunch, or just as a way to spend time with friends on a cool, crisp fall afternoon.

What’s your favorite hot beverage you’d be stoked to find on a friend’s coffee hour bar? Let us know in the comments below!

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