• Consider creating a theme for your break by serving local snacks: New York-style bagels in Manhattan, salsa in the Southwest, pretzels in Pittsburgh, or (my personal favorite) Malley’s chocolates in Cleveland.


  • Popcorn is an inexpensive snack alternative that almost everyone loves.


  • Always think, "How can I make my coffee breaks different?" Banish skirted tables, coffee urns and fake flowers for more stimulating decorative fair.


  • Just because it’s called a coffee break, doesn’t mean you should only serve coffee. Think "outside the break" and offer alternatives—and not just tea and soda. How about spring water, punch, smoothies, lemonade, orange juice? Consider yourself a coffeehouse, too. Whip up mochas, iced coffee or specialty blends. Some hotels will even set up a cappuccino machine for you.
  • 1 beverage station = 75 guests.


  • Eliminate bottlenecks by placing beverage stations far from the meeting room—and then open those first.


  • Quick service, beginning at the closest table to entrance: coffee cups, regular coffee, decaf, tea bags, hot water. Everything else—cream, sugar, spoons—is exiled to another table nearby.


  • Minimum break = 30 minutes.


  • Have a heart. Include healthy snacks amidst the danish and donuts.


  • Morning: 65% hot / 35% cold beverages. Afternoon: 35% hot / 65% cold beverages.


  • Coffee: 20 cups per gallon; 60% regular /40% decaf. Beverages: 75% diet soft drinks, 25% regular.


  • Make sure you know your audience. Since the coffee cups and glasses are washed in a "common" dishwasher, attendees who keep kosher won't drink coffee or water from hotel dishes. Make sure there is an alternative (disposable or brand new mugs) for them.


  • Mugs may pose a math problem. They may hold more fluid ounces than standard coffee break ware. Make sure you know—or you may by jumping for more java.


  • The first "coffee break" on the moon took place at 7:27pm, July 20, 1969. Four hours before taking his historic moonwalk, an Eagle astronaut radioed Houston to say, "If you’ll excuse me a minute, I’m going to have a cup of coffee."


  • Coffee cherries are picked. Each cherry produces two coffee beans.


  • It takes a year for a coffee tree to produce one pound of coffee.


  • A good coffee picker can pick 10 baskets of coffee cherries a day—which makes about 2,400 cups.


  • Blame it all on King George. Coffee replaced tea as the national drink in 1773, when colonists, angered by England’s tea tax, allied with the stronger brew.


  • Coffee is the second largest commodity in dollar volume in international trade. It is second only to oil.


  • Coffee has been in use since about 900 A.D.


  • Which has more caffeine, tea or coffee? It’s a toss up. Tea, per pound, sports twice as much caffeine as coffee. But a single cup of Joe wins hands down, yielding about 75% more caffeine than tepid tea. Why? A pound of tea yields about 160 cups, while a pound of coffee makes only about 40.


  • Caffeine content is slightly less in a dark roast.


  • Caffeine content is directly related to the altitude at which it is grown. Higher altitude = Less caffeine.


  • Themes are a good idea, but don’t make your brew the way the cowboys did. Popular legend says a cowboy would make coffee by dumping the grounds in clean sock and then soaking it in boiling water.


  • Dorothy Jones of Boston was the first American coffee trader. She was granted a license to sell coffee in 1670.


  • Who drinks the most? Americans, French, and Germans combined consume about 65% of the world's coffee.


  • The word "tip" dates back to London coffeehouses. Brass boxes inscribed with "To Insure Promptness" encouraged customers to leave something for good service.


Sources: Jim Fausel, CMP, CMM; Cris Canning, CMP; PCMA.org, Conefron, cafebritt.com, and koffeekorner.com