Updated: August 01, 2022

14 Virtual Coffee Tasting Class & Event Ideas In 2023

You found our list of fun virtual coffee tasting classes.

Virtual coffee tasting classes are online experiences where an expert guides attendees through sampling of different types and flavors of coffee. For example, Joe Coffee’s virtual brew alongs or Blue Bottle Coffee’s online coffee tasting kits. These events are social and educational, and are a way to foster team building in remote environments.

These experiences are examples of virtual team building activities and online social events for groups. These activities are similar to virtual tea tasting, virtual beer tasting, online chocolate tastings and online coffee breaks.

This article includes:

  • low-cost virtual coffee classes
  • Zoom coffee tasting experiences for teams
  • online coffee tasting kits
  • virtual coffee tasting ideas

Here we go!

List of virtual coffee tasting classes

Here is a list of providers of online coffee tasting experiences to book for team events.

Three hands toasting with coffee, two lates and one cold brew

1. Joe Coffee

Ideal for: Teams in manufacturing, retail, and hospitality industries, project  teams

Joe Coffee offers one of the most popular Zoom coffee tasting experiences for teams. Class options include a virtual coffee tasting experience, virtual brew alongs featuring pour over or French press techniques, or a complimentary lesson on the history of coffee industry supply chains. Joe Coffee hosts public Zoom events on an ongoing basis, and also allows the option to schedule private and corporate classes. These classes have a heavy emphasis on the coffee production process and help participants understand how coffee beans travel from the farm to shop shelves, and how those beans become the best possible cup of coffee.

Learn more about Joe Coffee.

2. Birch Coffee

Ideal for: Hobbyists, tinkerers, artists, hands-on teams

Birch Coffee is a NYC-based independent chain that offers a weekly Zoom home brewing class. Cost of the class is $25, but can be waived off with an accompanying purchase of coffee. The class teaches the nuances of brewing in different styles such as chemex and cold brew. For visual learners who want to keep experimenting on their own time, the site also hosts helpful diagram-heavy tutorials that demonstrate proper technique.

Learn more about Birch Coffee.

3. World’s Top Coffee Masterclass

Ideal for: Travelers and adventurers, high-achievers and motivators, bilingual groups

World’s Top Coffee Masterclass is an online Airbnb experience hosted by a judge of a national coffee competition/owner of a craft cafe. The session explores neuroscience principles behind coffee preferences and examines different approaches to brewing the ideal cup of coffee. The host also touches on the personal and cultural significance of coffee and the way the drink fuels ambition and inspires connection.

Learn more about World’s Top Coffee Masterclass.

4. Bean & Bean

Ideal for: Remote teams, doers and makers, hot and cold coffee fans

Bean & Bean offers virtual coffee classes specifically designed for teams. Each session is led by a certified coffee cupper and has interactive opportunities for team bonding built-in. Orders include an all-inclusive kit that contains organic coffee, equipment and supplies, and colorable instructions. This approach ensures that team members have all the materials needed to fully participate in class as well as the necessary equipment and know-how to up their at-home coffee-brewing game for months to come.

Learn more about Bean & Bean.

5. Pacific Coffee Research

Ideal for: Researchers, scientists, coffee connoisseurs, teammates craving a taste of the tropics

Pacific Coffee Research’s virtual offerings explore the science behind coffee and celebrate the Hawaiian coffee scene. Sessions include the more over-arching and scientific Sensory Training and How Coffee is Made as well as the more casual and practical Hawai’i Coffee Tasting and Manual Brewing. The classes couple theory with hands-on experimentation and practice, and reveal the academics behind the art of brewing the optimal cup of coffee. For teams lucky enough to live in paradise, the organization also offers several interesting on-site workshops.

Learn more about Pacific Coffee Research.

6. Greater Goods Coffee Co

Ideal for: Designers and fans of good design, small teams

Greater Goods Coffee Co offers online coffee classes for small teams, couples, and individuals. The accompanying online coffee making kit includes three 4oz samples, a flavor wheel, instructions, a tasting spoon, and an invitation to an online Zoom lesson. During the event, a facilitator gives instructions and tips, guides discussion, and teaches attendees how to brew a cup and take notes on flavors. The classes have attendee caps, making for an intimate experience. If booking for a team, be sure to schedule well in advance to snag spots. This event also makes a fun Zoom date night idea.

Learn more about Greater Goods Coffee Co.

7. Driftaway Coffee

Ideal for: Type-A folks and bullet journalers, seekers of custom-tailored experiences

Driftaway Coffee provides private virtual coffee tasting sessions for groups. Organizers can pick topics such as coffee processing, or tasting fundamentals to focus on within the classes, which are led by a world championship coffee brewer. Each virtual tasting kit comes with four samples and corresponding cups, a flavor wheel and tasting note card, and 4oz blends to enjoy post-event. The guide will coach participants through the tasting with education and tips and allow attendees opportunities to interact and connect with each other.

Learn more about Driftaway Coffee.

8. Columbia Street Roastery

Ideal for: Budget-conscious groups, minimalists

Columbia Street Roastery offers one of the best low-cost virtual coffee classes. Ten dollars per person gets you a kit with five pre-measured coffee envelopes with blends from each of the major coffee-brewing regions. Once purchased, the roastery will send a schedule of upcoming online cupping classes led by an expert, or you can set up a private cupping session for an additional fee. The class can be done with the most basic of equipment (hot water, spoons, and mugs) and has mass appeal.

Learn more about Columbia Street Roastery.

9. Blue Bottle Coffee

Ideal for: Teams on contrasting schedules, aspiring master brewers

Blue Bottle Coffee offers one of the most straightforward online coffee tasting kits. Event coordinators can order blend boxes containing three different blends for teammates. The kits arrive with a card giving recipients access to a pre-recorded video course led by a brewmaster. The videos explore the finer points of the brewing craft and pour over technique and teach viewers how to best prepare a cup of joe. Since the video lessons are on-demand, teammates can either watch the presentation altogether as a group, or complete the courses on their own schedules and post about their results in a Slack channel.

Learn more about Blue Bottle Coffee.

10. Triple Coffee Co

Ideal for: Foodies, people people, marketing teams

Triple Coffee Co offers guided online coffee tastings for big groups and small groups alike. Each session includes kits with three samples of boutique coffee, step-by-step realtime instructions on coffee preparation, as well as a virtual tour of the growing grounds and the chance to chat with the Hondouran coffee producer. This experience gives attendees a crash course in all the factors involved in a good blend and an understanding of how these elements work together to create the perfect cup of coffee.

Learn more about Triple Coffee Co.

List of virtual coffee tasting ideas

Here is a list of creative ideas for running a DIY online coffee sampling event for teams.

1. Roaster Roulette

Roaster Roulette is a coffee version of online Secret Santa. Participants order a bag of beans or grounds from a local roaster and send it to a randomly-assigned coworker. Then, teammates meet up on a Zoom call, brew a cup of the blend, and enjoy the drinks together while commenting on the coffee. This activity not only encourages team bonding, but also supports local businesses. Team members get to travel to different cities via their taste buds, and gain a connection to a colleague’s home city.

2 .Coffee-off

Coffee-offs are online coffee activities for competitive teams. In this activity, participants show off their barista skills and compete to make the most delicious looking or sounding drink. There are several ways to structure the event. For instance, attendees can square off to make the most entertaining or elaborate latte art, or race to create a social media coffee trend like dalgona coffee. You could also challenge participants to create a delicious-sounding drink from materials on hand, or announce a mystery ingredient brewers must incorporate.

At the end of the activity, would-be-baristas take turns showing off their drinks, and then the group votes for the member who responded to the challenge best, or a judge chooses a winner.

3. Mug or Cup Decorating

Cup decorating turns virtual tasting experiences into an online art class. To prepare the activity, send each attendee a plain white ceramic mug or paper cup and colored Sharpie markers. At the start of the online tasting, give participants time to decorate their cups and show off the results. Teammates can vote on the best cup by using the polling feature, or you could decorate just for fun. Be sure to snap a group screenshot of the team and their masterpiece mugs.

4. Cuppa the Month

Cuppa the Month is an ongoing virtual coffee event that helps foster continual team bonding. Each month, teammates will meet up to share a cup of coffee via video call. First, set a recurring Zoom meeting, and ask teammates to opt in for the event. Then, sign up participants for a coffee subscription service, or select a different kind of coffee to try each month, for instance, a Kenyan blend or a pumpkin spice blend. Teammates will brew the cup before the call and then meet up with coworkers to enjoy and discuss. This exercise expands employees’ coffee-tasting palettes while also helping teammates get to know each other better.

Final Thoughts

Since a cup of coffee or two is already a standard part of most folks’ workday, virtual coffee classes are a seamless way to do team building remotely. These events are hands-on experiences that give teammates the opportunity to learn something new and practice a craft with the payoff of enjoying a caffeine boost along the way. Bonding over coffee is one of the most common ways to make connections and these classes offer face to face time to faraway colleagues. These events offer a shared experience that can be the basis of deeper working relationships, and teammates can use the newfound knowledge and skills to keep brewing and commiserating with colleagues long after the event ends.

Next, check out this guide to virtual happy hours, this one with virtual alcohol tasting services, and this guide to gifts for remote workers.

We also have a guide to office coffee stations.

FAQ: Virtual coffee tasting classes

Here are answers to common questions about virtual coffee tasting classes.

What are virtual coffee tasting classes?

Virtual coffee tasting classes are online experiences where attendees meet up on virtual conference software like Zoom to try different kinds of coffee under the supervision of an expert guide. These events educate attendees about coffee industry practices and brewing techniques and give teammates socializing time as well as a shared experience to bond over in the future.

How do you do a virtual coffee tasting?

The easiest way to do a virtual coffee tasting is to book with a professional provider. These coffee companies will send out kits to attendees and links to the Zoom meeting and will lead the tasting and answer any questions. These purveyors have hassle-free, streamlined systems and offer competitive pricing that often works out to less than the cost of DIY-ing a tasting.

However, if you would like to design and host your own coffee tasting, then first create a Zoom link and invite guests, and then collect RSVPs and addresses. At least two weeks prior to the event, order or assemble and send kits to guests or send shopping lists of ingredients to gather. If doing this event in a corporate setting, then it is best practice to cover or reimburse the cost of materials. Finally, meet up with the team via video call, brew up a few cups, and taste and comment on the coffee together.

What are the best virtual coffee tasting classes for team building?

The best virtual coffee tasting classes for team building include Joe Coffee, World’s Top Coffee Masterclass, Triple Coffee Co and Bean & Bean.

What are some good virtual coffee tasting ideas?

Some good virtual coffee tasting ideas include cup decorating, coffee-offs, roaster roulettes, and cuppa the month.

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Marketing Coordinator at teambuilding.com.
Team building content expert. Angela has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and worked as a community manager with Yelp to plan events for businesses.

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