Virtual Coffee Tasting

Here is our guide to virtual coffee tasting.

We put this guide together after running thousands of successful virtual team building activities and connecting remote teams in all industries for over a decade!

Virtual coffee tasting is an engaging activity where team members sample and discuss different varieties of coffee together in a virtual setting, exploring flavors, aromas, and brewing methods. By participating in virtual coffee tasting, teams can bond over a shared appreciation for coffee, fostering a sense of connection and camaraderie despite physical distance. It offers an opportunity for colleagues to break away from the routine, engage their senses, and discover new flavors together, ultimately enhancing team cohesion and morale.

Ideal group size: 

4 to 10 players

Activity duration:

45 to 60 minutes


$20 to $50 per person

(This cost accounts for coffee beans, tasting cards, brewing equipment, or hosting services.)

What you’ll need:

  • Variety of coffee beans or pre-packaged coffee samples
  • Brewing equipment (e.g., coffee maker, French press, pour-over dripper)
  • Tasting cups or mugs
  • Hot water
  • Video conferencing software (e.g., Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet)
  • Tasting cards or score sheets

How to do it:

Step 1: Select Coffee Samples

Before the session, choose a variety of coffee beans or prepackaged coffee samples for participants to taste, ensuring diversity in flavor profiles and origins.

Step 2: Distribute Materials

After picking out the coffee, send out packages containing the selected samples, any necessary brewing equipment, and tasting instructions.

Step 3: Schedule a Virtual Session

Be sure to coordinate with team members to set a date and time for the virtual coffee-tasting session that accommodates each individual’s availability.

Step 4: Prepare Brewing Equipment

Before the session begins, ensure participants have their brewing equipment set up and ready to use, whether a coffee maker, French press, or pour-over dripper.

Step 5: Introduce Coffee Samples

You can start the virtual session by introducing each coffee sample and sharing information about its origin, roast level, and flavor notes to guide participants’ tasting experience.

Step 6: Brew Coffee

During the session, demonstrate or provide instructions on how to brew each coffee sample. Be sure to emphasize the importance of following proper brewing techniques to extract optimal flavor.

Step 7: Engage Senses

Participants can engage their senses by smelling the aroma of the freshly brewed coffee, observing its appearance, and taking note of any unique characteristics.

Step 8: Taste and Discuss

Next, guide participants through a tasting of each coffee sample. You can prompt folks to describe the flavor profiles they perceive and share their tasting notes with the group.

Step 9: Facilitate Discussion

Be sure to facilitate a discussion among participants. Colleagues can compare and contrast their tasting experiences, discuss their favorite samples, and ask questions about the coffee.

Examples of games or activities:

1. Coffee Flavor Identification

Participants test their palate by identifying flavor notes in various coffee samples, enhancing their sensory awareness.

  1. Prepare Flavor Samples: Have participants brew several cups of coffee with distinct flavor profiles, such as fruity, nutty, or floral.
  2. Blind Tasting: Participants taste each coffee sample without knowing its flavor profile and guess the predominant notes they detect.
  3. Compare and Discuss: After tasting all samples, reconvene as a group to compare notes, discuss observations, and reveal the true flavor profiles.
  4. Declare a Winner: Award points to participants for correctly identifying flavor notes, and declare the participant with the most accurate guesses as the winner.

Participants should focus on their sensory experiences and trust their instincts when identifying flavor notes, as taste perception can vary widely among individuals.

2. Coffee Roast Comparison

Participants explore the nuances of different coffee roasts by tasting and comparing samples with varying degrees of roast.

  1. Select Roast Levels: Choose coffee samples representing light, medium, and dark roasts to showcase the spectrum of roast profiles.
  2. Brew Coffee Samples: Have members brew each coffee sample according to its recommended brewing method to highlight its unique flavor characteristics.
  3. Blind Tasting: Teams can identify the roast of each sample based on taste and aroma.
  4. Discuss Findings: Facilitate a discussion where participants compare their perceptions of each roast level, noting differences in flavor, acidity, and body.
  5. Share Insights: Provide insights into how roast level affects coffee flavor and offer tips on selecting the right roast for individual preferences.

Participants can focus on discerning subtle differences in flavor, aroma, and body between roast levels, which can deepen their appreciation for the complexities of coffee.

3. Coffee Origin Exploration

Participants go on a journey to discover the unique flavor profiles of coffees from different regions worldwide.

  1. Source Coffee Samples: Procure coffee samples sourced from various regions, such as Ethiopia, Colombia, Kenya, and Guatemala.
  2. Provide Background Information: Share information about each coffee’s origin, including growing conditions, processing methods, and flavor characteristics.
  3. Brew and Taste: Brew each coffee sample using the appropriate brewing method and guide participants through a tasting, encouraging them to note any distinctive flavors.
  4. Guess the Origin: Challenge participants to guess the origin of each coffee sample based on its flavor profile, aroma, and tasting notes.
  5. Discuss Regional Differences: Facilitate a discussion where participants compare their perceptions of each coffee’s origin, highlighting the diverse flavor profiles influenced by geography and climate.

Before the tasting, emphasize the importance of exploring and appreciating the unique terroir of each coffee-growing region. This variety contributes to the rich diversity of flavors in specialty coffee.


  1. Prepare Ahead: Ensure participants receive coffee samples and brewing instructions well before the tasting to allow ample time for preparation.
  2. Use Quality Ingredients: To optimize the tasting experience, source high-quality coffee beans and provide clear instructions on brewing methods.
  3. Encourage Note-Taking: Encourage participants to jot down their tasting notes and observations during the tasting to facilitate discussion and reflection afterward.
  4. Foster Discussion: Create a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere where participants feel comfortable sharing their thoughts, questions, and preferences about the coffee.
  5. Explore Varieties: Offer a variety of coffee samples with different flavor profiles, origins, and roast levels to encourage exploration and appreciation of diverse tastes.
  6. Embrace Differences: Remind participants that taste preferences are subjective, and there are no right or wrong answers when enjoying coffee.
  7. Share Tips and Insights: Provide background information on each coffee sample, including origin details and brewing recommendations, to enhance participants’ understanding and enjoyment of the tasting.

Final Thoughts

Virtual coffee tasting is a wonderful way to connect with your team, exploring the world of coffee together. Through tasting and discussing different flavors, you can bond over shared experiences and deepen your relationships, even from a distance. This exercise fosters camaraderie and creates lasting memories with your team.

Want more ideas? Check out our post on new employee welcome gift ideas.

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