With all the brands and blends of coffee available, ordering coffee for the office can be a real challenge. Should you buy one blend to satisfy everyone? Should you order one or two flavored coffees to please those that like flavored coffee drinks? Maybe you should order at least one special blend for the gourmet coffee drinkers, and what about Fair Trade coffees? Should you make an effort to buy those products that are Fair Trade certified, organic, and shade-grown such as Kenyan, Ethiopian, Colombian or Mexican? The choices are enough to make all but the most dedicated coffee drinkers throw up their hands in despair.
It can also help to know which coffee blends are the most popular with office coffee drinkers. If you’re trying to decide which coffees you should stock in your office pantry to please co-workers, employees, clients and customers, these are the top five coffee blends enjoyed in offices around the country. When you are ordering coffee for your company, you can’t go wrong if your order contains coffee blends that fall into these five categories.
1. Medium Roast South/Central American Coffee Blend
South American coffees are particularly suited to the American palate. The flavor is brighter than most African or Pacific Rim/Indonesian coffees, and has a definite “snap” that we associate with coffee flavors. Brazilian, Mexican and Colombian coffees are at their best when the roast is fairly light. Most coffee service companies offer several varieties of “American blend” coffees from companies like Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, which partners with Keurig to supply well over 100 coffee blends in K-cups for Keurig single serve coffee systems, Starbucks and Tim Horton’s.
2. Eye Opener Blend
Many coffee roasters make a variation of an “eye opener” or “Morning Fog Cutter” blend. Generally, the Eye Opener is a blend of South American coffees with an addition of an African coffee like Ethiopian Yrgacheffe to add a darker, almost earthy flavor. The roast is usually just a little darker than the standard “American” blend, and though the coffee flavor is richer, the blend is actually a bit lower in caffeine than a lighter roast blend of South American coffees. Look for names like “Eye Opener” or “Fog Cutter” from the major coffee roasting companies.
3. Fair Trade, Organic Coffee Blend
Coffee drinkers are growing more and more aware of the wider social, environmental and economic effects that their beverage of choice has on the world. These considerations have persuaded many office coffee drinkers make a point of choosing coffees that are Fair Trade certified, certified organic or shade grown. Most major coffee companies offer a huge variety of both single origin and coffee blends that are certified Fair Trade, organic, shade grown or some combination of the three certifications. If you’re uncertain whether a coffee blend carries one of the three certifications, you can always look for Newman’s Own Organics, which is always 100% certified organic and Fair Trade.
4. French Roast Coffee
French roast coffee is not actually a “blend”; it refers to the darkness of the roast. French roast is one of the darker roasts on the coffee roasting scale. The coffee flavor is generally more intense than it is in lighter roasts, making most people think of it as “stronger” coffee. In reality, the darker the coffee roast, the lower it is likely to be in caffeine. The flavor, however, is richer and more intense, and the body is fuller.
5. Flavored Coffee
Flavored coffees have made a big dent in the coffee world, and some of your employees are bound to be flavored coffee drinkers. The question, of course, is which flavored coffees should you order regularly and keep on hand. Obviously, if you have employees with a particular favorite, that should guide your choice. If you don’t know your employees’ favorites, however, you can still make a pretty good guess by looking at the top flavors ordered through Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, one of the country’s largest suppliers to office coffee service companies. French Vanilla, Hazelnut or cinnamon? Believe it or not, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters’ single best seller is none of the three. It’s their Blueberry Morning blend coffee, which is Green Mountain’s overall best seller, not just their best-selling flavored coffee. Most office coffee service companies offer some sort of flavored coffee variety pack that includes the most popular flavored coffees sold by their company.
In addition to a variety of coffee blends, the well-stocked office break room should also offer other beverages for your workers who don’t drink coffee. Most office coffee service companies include a variety of teas, hot chocolate and even soups that can be made with hot water from the office coffee maker.
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Brian Jenkins is a freelance writer and blogger who writes about the office environment and ways to improve productivity such as utilizing an office coffee service.
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