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Make your own coffee bar

As part of a bridal shower brunch, I'm setting up a make-your-own iced coffee bar.  Is there anything I should remove or add?  Should I duplicate stuff that would already be on the food buffet (like napkins, spoons or sweets?)

-Pre-made, pre-chilled coffee in a glass beverage dispenser

-Coffee ice cubes (I like this so they don't dilute the final drink but should I also have regular ice cubes?)

-Cups and straws (I was thinking these would be for stirring and sipping)

-Sugar bowl and Splenda (do I need S&L or Equal?)

-Carafes of skim milk and half and half (any need for any other creamer?)

-Dispensers with chocolate, caramel and vanilla syrups (other flavors?)

-Kahlua, Bailey's and Frangelico 

Would you include whipped cream?  Nutmeg and cinnamon?


Re: Make your own coffee bar

  • I LOVE the ice cube idea.  I don't think you need Equal and sweet and lo or other kinds of creamers.  I would have some spoons or swizzle sticks on the bar and add some whipped cream.  If you weren't going to, please have hot coffee too.

    (If you really want to go all out Jameson's would be awesome.)

  • I would make some simple syrup so you can add a sweetener that will dissolve into the coffee. 
  • image Jim&Jaime:
    I would make some simple syrup so you can add a sweetener that will dissolve into the coffee. 

    I agree with this- you can make it or buy it.  Sugar will not dissolve in cold beverages and everyone may not know that.  You'll need sugar if you have hot coffee though.

    I love this idea ~ very cute!  Everything else in the coffee bar sounds great.  Definitely add the whipped cream, nutmeg, cinnamon and maybe powdered vanilla.  The more the better!

    Favorite Flower

  • For coffee service...

    I would include Equal, Splenda, regular sugar, simple syrup, agave nectar, honey and flavored syrups (hazelnut, french vanilla, caramel, irish cream, etc)

    I would offer skim, half & half, and soy milk

    I would offer regular chocolate sauce, white chocolate sauce & caramel sauce

    How about a mint liquor

    I would include whipped cream, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla powder, cocoa powder.

  • Ha, well, I wish I had enough of a budget to include all the suggestions!!  Great ideas so far and I'll be sure to make a plain simple syrup--I was planning on doing that for the vanilla and caramel anyway and it will work so much better--I make mine at home starting with hot coffee then adding tons of coffee ice cubes so even I wasn't thinking about dissolving sugar into fully chilled coffee. 

    I've been torn on also offering hot coffee only because it's been over 100 degrees lately and this week mid-high 90's are forecast (shower is on Saturday).  But, yesterday my husband ordered piping hot french onion soup so maybe people's tastes are not always dictated by the weather :)  I'm actually transporting everything to the MOH's house so brewing a small pot once I get there should be really easy.

    Thanks so much for all the feedback and ideas!

  • 97 degrees, 98% humidity, 110 heat index, and no a/c.  DH and I were still drinking hot coffee. 

    I know this is a stupid question, but I see people stir sugar into iced tea all of the time.  That dissolves doesn't it?  Why would cold coffee be different? 

  • Sugar doesn't dissolve in iced tea either. Other sweeteners will though. When I make tea, I fill the pitcher half full of cold water, then pour in the tea from the pot, then add more water to the pot and pour into pitcher until it's full. The hot water dissolves the sugar.
  • So, the short answer is that the degree of solubility depends on temperature and "cold" is relative.  Sugar dissolves faster and more completely the hotter the water gets so different amounts of sugar will go into solution in water that's 4 degrees, 20 degrees and 100 degrees C. 

    Lots of people sweeten their iced tea when it comes to the table--full of ice and very cold.  You'll get some dissolution but a lot of it will still be crystallized at the bottom of the glass.  But, that may not matter if you drink it and get both the cold tea and the sugar granules and the sugar immediately dissolves upon hitting the heat of your mouth--same taste.  It will matter if you get the tea but no granules.

  • I'd print a cute coffee bar menu so none of the great things you're offering get overlooked by your guests! ;) Also, I like chocolate covered spoons if you're serving hot coffee. Sounds like you're doing iced only? They're easy to make. Just melt choc chips in double boiler and dip cute disposable spoons. Line them on wax paper until they harden. (put in fridge to speed process up) Then you put mini bags (find at stores like Michaels) over the spoons and tie with fun ribbon or silver/gold twisty ties. They look like spoon lollipops in the end if you can visualize that. Coffee
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