Coffee is best when shared. While a good cup of coffee is a great thing in its own right, nothing beats catching up with a friend over a cup of coffee. But what if your bestie, or your significant other, simply doesn’t like the taste of coffee? Well, you could just accept that we’re all wonderfully unique, or you could try and convince them that coffee is the greatest and that they are fools for not drinking it. If you choose the second option, here are five ways to prove your case.
1. Don’t force the issue
This may not apply to everyone, but in my experience, having a friend continuously insisting that I try something they love is the surest way to ensure that I’ll never ever try it. Whether it be a rebellious streak, rugged individuality, or just stubbornness, when my friends try and get me to listen to certain bands or watch a show I tend to double down on my avoidance of it.
So when trying to introduce your friends to coffee, don’t force the issue. You want to share something you enjoy with them, not beat them into caffeinated submission.
2. Gift them a french press and some good beans
A good quality French press and a small bag of some of your favorite coffee is a great way to get a friend to try out your beverage of choice. Now, I’ve already expressed my opinion on the merits of French presses, but I acknowledge that for most it’s the de facto best way to prepare good coffee.
This is also a great gift because even if your friend never ends up becoming a coffee aficionado, it’s always useful having a French press around for when you have guests.
3. Take them to your favorite coffee shop
Enjoying coffee isn’t just about the drink, it’s also about the experience. The ambiance and vibe of your favorite coffee bar can make all the difference. Better yet, chances are the baristas have a great deal of experience with suggesting drinks to coffee newbies.
4. Focus on flavor
Probably the simplest way to introduce a friend to coffee is to focus on the flavor profiles different beans offer. Does your friend like hot chocolate or peanut butter? Suggest they try out some light roasted Guatemalan beans. Similarly, if your friends are fans of fruity flavors suggest they try an iced Ethiopian coffee.
5. Ditch the dark roasts
For someone just getting into coffee, shying away from intense dark roasts has a couple of clear benefits. Dark roasts tend to be overly bitter and intense, which can scare away those who aren’t used to the taste of coffee. Furthermore, dark roasts mask a lot of the interesting flavors that coffee has to offer.
6. Try food pairings
If you’ve never tried coffee, or non-instant coffee before, the taste of real freshly brewed java can be quite intense and off-putting. A great way to soften the bitter notes of coffee and bring out the subtle flavors is to pair the coffee with a well-chosen food item.
Pairing coffee and food sound more daunting than it really is. It’s true that there is a lot of room for experimentation but provided you keep these three basic pairings in mind you shouldn’t go too far wrong. Pair Latin American coffees with nut and chocolate based foods. Pair African coffees with citrus and berry-based foods, Finally, pair Indonesian coffees with herbal and spice based foods.
7. Don’t be judgemental
When it comes to coffee, I’m a total snob. If it isn’t single origin I’m not interested, and as far as I’m concerned pre-ground coffee isn’t technically even coffee. That being said, I realize that what works for me is not going to appeal to everyone.
Introducing your friends to coffee is like introducing them to your favorite band. You wouldn’t start them with some bootleg deep cuts; no, you’d either play them some singles or offer them a greatest hits compilation. Similarly with coffee, start off with a nice balanced blend and then move on the single origin when they’re ready.
Finally, If your friend has tried coffee and just can’t get into it, accept this and move on. You can’t convince everyone!