Want to Host a Coffee Event? Try a Trivia Night!

Trying to spice up your local community coffee gathering? Try a trivia night—here are four tips to get started.


I love trivia. I know that might not be the thing everyone imagines making for a raucous Saturday night, but my weekly trivia night with my team is what I look forward to all week.

I also love coffee events, but I know they can feel sort of repetitive. How many latte art competitions can you go to? Or perhaps you don’t want to get together with your best coffee friends late at night just to taste more coffee, right?

So what about a coffee trivia night? Just like your favorite pub quiz or whatever game show you fancy, you can gather groups of folks together to answer questions about, inspired by, and related to coffee.

The format can be structured to fit your group size. Maybe you want to have teams work together to figure out questions, or use a Jeopardy-style buzz-in situation. Regardless of what you choose, here are some potential areas from which you can cull your questions and different ways you can format responses.

Pictures of people holding coffee/coffee in popular culture

A visual round is always fun. And everyone drinks coffee. Therefore, a round where famous folks are drinking coffee is sure to be a hit. It’s an easy way to create a round that has increasingly difficult questions—you can throw a few gimmes in there to get folks going, and then find some stumpers to get the crowd guessing. (Old movies are a good treasure trove of folks drinking coffee that could get your group scratching their heads.)

The news

If you have a Google alert set for “coffee,” then you know there’s about a dozen new articles about coffee per day. Articles come out either blasting or promoting the health benefits of coffee pretty much every hour, and if you scour some of the more obscure coffee stories, you might be able to mine a clever question or two. Like, “What flavor will Dunkin’ Donuts be resurrecting for St. Patrick’s Day?”

Your questions don’t have to be specifically tied to coffee, either. For example, we heard about a coffee shop in Indiana serving up Rami Malek macchiatos in honor of his recent Oscar win. Rami was a student at the University of Evansville, where the café is based—so perhaps a question you could ask is, “What role did Rami play that won him the Oscar?”

Coffee competitions

This arena is rich with potential trivia questions because there are many ways you can go. First—the rules. How many espressos do you have to serve? What’s the time limit? You don’t have to get super technical to create meaningful and fun questions.

You can also jump into the competitors themselves. There are two competitors who won the United States Barista Championship twice in non-consecutive years—who are they? And for bonus points, name the years they won.

Coffee history and economics

This might sound like a dry category, but it’s the one in which most folks might actually pick up useful knowledge. You can also have fun with the way the questions are asked. For example, you could ask a simple, “What two countries lead the world in coffee production?”

Or, you could say, “Of the top 10 coffee-producing countries, two of the countries start with the letter ‘I.’ Name the two countries.” Or for history lovers, “What two countries claim to be the birthplace of coffee?” You could also give folks a random assortment of the 10 biggest coffee-producing countries and ask people to rank them on a list—really, the options are limitless.

Also the answers to all the questions posted are below.


The celebrities from left to right: Nina Simone, George Clooney, and Mick Jagger.
Dunkin’ Donuts brought back an Irish Creme flavor
for St. Patrick’s Day.
Rami Malek won an Oscar for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury, and yes, that café is real and there’s a video.
You have to serve four espressos, and the time limit is 15 minutes.
Heather Perry won in 2003 and 2007. Pete Licata won in 2011 and 2013.
India and Indonesia are among the top 10 coffee-producing countries.
Both Ethiopia and Yemen claim to be the birthplace of coffee.

About Ashley Rodriguez 413 Articles
Ashley is the Online Editor for Barista Magazine. She's based in Chicago. If you want to share a story or have a comment, you can reach her at ashley@baristamagazine.com.