8 rules for serving coffee in your café


A visit to a café means more than just good coffee. Your customers invite their family and friends to the café for coffee, they want to spend their time there. They want drinking coffee to be an experience. Coffee shop guests are willing to pay a higher price for a quality product and, of course, they expect quality service. This starts before the customer even enters the café.

Especially today, in an age where almost everyone is using social media, coffee shops have a chance toimpress their customers before they even decide to walk in the door. A stylish instafriendly café is a way for customers themselves to entice others who decide to visit through social media posts and photos.

After entering the café, theatmosphere of the establishment determines the customer's next feelings and therefore whether they stay and return regularly. That is, how it looks inside, what the menu is like and, most importantly, how thestaff is . Whether the customer will feel welcome. Last but not least, apart from the quality of the product - which should be the standard of any good café - thepresentation to the customer is also important .


Like serving food in a restaurant, serving coffee has its own rules. Today's trend of café service, with its almost friendly approach to guests and more relaxed behaviour, has loosened some of the traditional rules of good coffee service, but you shouldn't forget the basic ones in your café. Include the rules of proper coffee service in your cafe in your business plan when you set up your cafe, and if you've been running your cafe for a while, make sure you haven't forgotten any of these 8 rules of coffee serving:

1. Cafe hygiene and clean coffee cups

In catering establishments, hygiene is key. Therefore, ensure cleanliness during all processes in the preparation of coffee. Coffee machine levers should be clean and ready for the next order. The steam nozzle must always be wiped and blown out after whisking milk. The cleanliness of the coffee service, i.e. cup, saucer and spoon, is also indicative of the quality of the café.

The days when waiters spent time before the start of their shift polishing their glasses and cutlery are now a thing of the past, but even today café staff should care about what they serve their guests. There is nothing worse than a cup with an imperfectly washed lipstick imprint from a previous customer. Professional dishwashers are powerful and fast, but it still happens that a piece of crockery is not well washed. The barista and café staff should notice this and not serve coffee in a dirty cup. Neither should they serve coffee in a damaged, battered and cracked cup. Even the slightest damage to the surface of the cup can cause injury to a guest.

2. Gripping the cup when making coffee

The first rule is linked to the second, i.e. the hygienic preparation of the coffee in the cup. The parts of the cup that are touched by the barista and café staff should not come into contact with the guest's mouth. By following the hygiene principles, the possibility of contamination of food and consequently health problems for the customer areminimised.In addition to regular washing and sanitizing of barista and waiter hands, café staff need to be aware of what they are touching.

A frequent annoyance when pouring milk into a coffee cup is "touching" the coffee cups. Of course, as a barista you have to grasp the cup, but when preparing and serving the coffee , you shouldnot touch the cup at the top edge, where it is put to the mouth. A coffee cup usually has a handle. This is for gripping. It is common for baristas to grasp the cups in their hands in all sorts of ways, thinking that it might make it easier to pour milk into them. In most cases, it's just force of habit. You're professionals, so hold the cup professionally.

3. Speed of serving coffee

When a guest orders a hot drink, they expect a higher temperature drink. When ordering a cold drink, on the other hand, they look forward to a cool refreshment. This expectation can be spoiled by the slowness of the café staff or by the barista working on the order in the wrong order of drinks. Thus,a quality product loses its quality by waiting to be taken to the table of the guest who ordered it.

Properly organised work means that cold drinks are prepared first, followed by hot milk coffees and espresso just before the order is served. Fast service should be taken into account when building the café itself. Create work areas and place the coffee machine on the bar so that the barista gets the brewed coffee to the waiter as quickly as possible, who in turn gets it to the customer.

It is advantageous toplace the coffee machine at the front of the bar so that the barista not only has a view of the café, but also creates the order at this point, which the waiter immediately receives and takes to the guests from the other side of the bar. The temperature of the coffee - especially for espresso - affects its taste. Use good quality, preferably thick-walled porcelain to promote heat stability. Keep it on the coffee machine to keep it warm. Heated porcelain will not cause thermal shock to the coffee and keeps it warm.

Do not turn the cups upside down or cover them in any way. If you turn them over you risk the top touching the top of the machine getting too hot and burning the guest's lips. Covering the cups on the machine increases the heating temperature, so you also risk burning the guest and making it harder to work with hot cups.

Serving coffee is about quality coffee and pleasant service, but it's also about speed of service so that properly prepared coffee doesn't lose any of its qualities. Image source: Mirka Vnenková, Lazenskakava.cz

4. Complete coffee service

Serving coffee should be based on established standards. That is why we servethe guest acup of coffee with a saucer and a spoon at the same time. We recommend that this coffee service is always followed. Even if you yourself like to sip coffee that is perhaps only in the cup itself, guests should be given a complete service. Moreover, the cup and saucer simply belong together. So does the coffee spoon, even if the guest doesn't sweeten their coffee but wants to stir the crema on the espresso machine before drinking.

5. A small glass of water with the coffee

A small glass of water served with coffee is a long-standing café tradition. It'snot quite about some sort of complementary drinking regimen as much as it is a way to cleanse the taste buds so the customer can fully enjoy your great coffee. It must always be pure, unsweetened and still water. Soda or mineral water, on the contrary, could affect the taste perception when drinking coffee.

6. Serving coffee from the right

Always prepare the complete coffee service "right-handed". The majority of the Earth's inhabitants are right-handed. That is why we serve thecoffee cup so that it lands in front of the guest with the right hand. Also, the coffee spoon should be on the right side of the saucer, or behind or in front of the cup, but always pointing to the right with the part it is holding. Even when creating latte art, the barista should think about the serving cup. Thus, his image should be correctly facing the customer in the final shot.

7. Service of coffee with a smile and helpfulness of the café staff

Serving coffee involves not only proper preparation using quality roasted beans and following the above rules, but also thepro-customer attitude of the staff. The café staff must be friendly, responsive and helpful from the very first sight. The customer has come to the café also for this service, for the care. He wants to feel that the café is interested in him, that they appreciate his visit.

In addition to a friendly greeting as soon as the guest arrives and help with the choice of a drink or dessert, the customer care continues with the right order brought on time, preferably served with a smile. Asmall sweet served with the coffeewill also help to delight the customer .

But the customer's care doesn't end when we bring his order. We must remain sensitive to their needs until they leave the café. The café staff is always ready to give the customer a sweet, extra milk, wipe up (if a guest spills something), take away used dishes and respond to his signals when he wants to pay or needs something else.

8. Original coffee and espresso cups

Traditional plain white coffee cups still hold up in larger foodservice establishments and hotels. Modern coffee shops strive for originality not only in the interior design of the coffee shop, but also in the coffee service. Instead of white cups, they serve coffee in multi-coloured cups in combination with saucers, perhaps in a completely different colour.

You can serve coffee not only on a traditional metal tray, but also on a tray made of slate or wood, which is now common in cafés. The crockery and style of serving should be in keeping with the location and design of your café. It should support the concept. Theoriginality of the service will impress your guests, who will remember your café better.

The right coffee cup is the right size for the specific drink, made of high quality material, thanks to thick-walled porcelain the coffee does not lose temperature and with the printing of your café logo it will support your brand in an original and stylish way. Image source: Mirka Vnenková, Lazenskakava.cz

Recommended products8