How to choose the right coffee set up for your event?

Melbourne is coffee crazy. You can grab a phenomenal espresso, batch brew or cold drip from any number of cafes in the city and the outer suburbs.

But what do you do when you’re not in a cafe?

  • Nespresso pod from Aldi?

  • Hire a barista?

  • Rent a coffee cart and run it yourself?

  • Is there anything easier that’s high quality?

There are so many ways to solve the “need coffee for my event” problem. They range from very expensive such as a coffee cart where you pay a booking fee, an hourly rate for the baristas, and for each coffee. There are cheap options such as buying an Aldi Nespresso machine! However there are more considerations that price such as speed of delivery. Two baristas are very slow when you have 200 people. The average barista can make about 1 coffee every 3 minutes.

Quality is another factor. Just because you have an espresso machine doesn’t mean you know how to use it. Melbourne coffee drinkers are very conscientious.

Here is a mindmap of the different coffee options ranked according to price, quality and speed:

Hiring a Coffee Cart, Truck or Motorbike $250-$3000

These options create atmosphere. When done well as coffee cart can be sexy, engaging and appealing to your guests from an aesthetic perspective but also from an entertaining one. If you can afford the space (they will need to be outdoors, require power and water or access to a generator). These options can however be very, very slow and disruptive to your event. Note if you have a 15 minute coffee break will the cart be able to service with quality and speed all of your guests with quality? Be careful because there can be hidden fees that really accumulate.

Hiring a barista and renting the equipment yourself $250-$1200

This can also be a great choice. If your barista is helpful, fast and engaging it can be a good

Paying a Food Caterer or Venue

This will be the lowest quality and still a very expensive option. Food caterers add coffee as an extra and it’s not their speciality. Restaurants, conference centres and wedding venues are the same: coffee is expensive and not a specialty. These options will vary from $4.20 to $6.20 per person.

Batch Brew Delivery

Batch brew is specialty coffee brewed in ready-to-serve “batches” or Thermouses. Its by far the fastest coffee option,the highest quality and the most affordable. There is no wait time, no barista, no equipment and you pay around $3 per cup delivered.