Sweatpants ✔ check
Date from Plenty of Fish ✔ check
A steaming cup of home brewed coffee = need
It’s no surprise that the COVID-19 pandemic has made singles more anxious than usual, in fact, research from Plenty of Fish reveals 7/10 singles report feeling more anxious than usual these days. Despite feeling more anxious lately, singles still remain optimistic about finding love with 72% of online daters believing it is still possible to start a romantic relationship while social distancing. In order to stay connected while keeping their distance, singles are leveraging technology more than ever before and turning to virtual dates! Being a first experience for many, singles identified “The Coffee Date” as the number one best first date option to alleviate first date pressures.
It’s casual, sweet and as short or long as you’d like it to be! The Coffee Date is the perfect “get to know one another date” without feeling too intimate. We’ve put together a guide with the help of Vancouver-based coffee company, Ethical Bean, on how to have the best at home virtual coffee date.
Set the Scene
Find a corner or nook in your home that feels comfortable and relaxing. Setting up your “coffee shop” by a window will not only make it feel more authentic, but will also add some great natural lighting which we all know now helps you look your best via video call. Grab anything you may need to keep you comfortable, whether that’s a blanket, climbing into a pair of sweatpants, or a soft sweater.
Set the Mood
No coffee shop is complete without some smooth jazzy beats. Set the mood and turn on the Spotify playlist “Coffee House” for a little background noise. Just be sure to keep the volume low so you and your date can still hear one another over the sounds of Coltrane.
Brewing the Perfect Cup
There’s enough to think about on a first date, so there’s no need to overcomplicate how you brew your coffee. At the end of the day, if you’re making coffee every morning and enjoying it, you’re winning.
With that being said, here are a few tips to help you channel your inner barista and make a finer, more flavourful cup. Plus, how you brew your coffee is a great (albeit nerdy) talking point for a first date.
1) Bad eggs = bad omelette
Like any recipe, ingredients are key. Remember, coffee is a fruit, so treat it like produce. Buy it fresh and consume it quickly.
Not sure if you should go with a lighter or darker roast?
- lighter roasts = more acidic, fruity, and floral. Good example: our classic.
- medium roasts = less acidic, a touch sweeter. Good example: our lush.
- darker roasts = more smoky and earthy. Good example: our bold.
Another thing you can look for when picking a roast: logos.
- 100% fairtrade: coffee farmers were paid a fair price for their beans
- 100% organic: coffee was grown without harmful pesticides or chemicals
2) Grind it out
If you’re grinding your own beans (nice to have, not a need to have), use a coarser grind for longer brewing times and a finer grind for faster brewing times.
- french press, 4 minutes, coarse grind (like large sea salt crystals)
- pourover, 2-3 minutes, medium grind (like kosher salt crystals)
- espresso, 20-30 seconds, fine grind (like powder)
3) Avoid winging it
It’s not what you want to hear when you’re late for a date, but when it comes to coffee, precision pays off. As you can imagine, a digital kitchen scale comes in very handy.
Coffee to water ratio is everything.
To make things simple, follow this golden rule*:
- 50-60g of coffee for every 1 L of water
- or 2 tbsp of coffee for every 6oz or 177 ml of water
*Note: This ratio likely calls for more coffee than you’re currently using. Treat it as a starting point, and adjust it to suit your preferred strength.
The right temperature to shelter you from the storm 🎵
If you have a digital kettle, shoot for a water temperature of 93°C or 200°F. If you don’t, wait approximately 30 seconds off the boil.
4) Pour, pause, repeat.
A layered application of water does things—good things. Try applying your water to the coffee with at least 2-3 pauses.
Pour, pause, 30 seconds. Pour, pause, 30 seconds. Pour to the end.
5) Mugnificent choice
If you’re going on a first virtual coffee date, a mug can say a lot about your personality and even break the ice.
Save this step for the end and use this time to practice mindfulness so you tune in to your date feeling cool, calm, and caffeinated.
This blog post was written in collaboration with Emily Oborne, Marketing Specialist at Ethical Bean Coffee, a leading Canadian roaster of fairtrade organic coffee. With a background in linguistics and sustainability, Emily wakes up every day excited to find new ways to tell coffee drinkers that their morning cup is more powerful than they think. When she’s not scrolling through IG to find the next best meme, you can find her out hiking on BC’s beautiful trails. Connect with Emily at [email protected]