Fun Coffee Challenges for Enthusiasts

By

Ru Chen

on July 16, 2024

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Key Takeaways

  • Coffee challenges can be fun and informative at the same time
  • Improve your skills through brewing method and latte art challenges
  • Enjoy new brews through coffee-tasting challenges
  • Try out new recipes and coffee pairings 
  • Learn more by diving into the history and culture of coffee

Coffee is so much more than just a beverage. Whether you’re a casual drinker or a seasoned barista, you can enjoy coffee in exciting new ways through fun challenges.

Let’s dive into 10 fun coffee challenges that test your skills, spark creativity, and broaden your coffee experience. 

1. Weekly Brew Method Challenge

The Weekly Brew Method challenge involves trying a new brewing method each week, with the difficulty increasing over time. 

Brewing methods 

Drip coffee: The drip method for brewing coffee is simple and fast, making a fantastic starting point in a Brew Method Challenge. All you need to do is to start with a paper filter. Add coffee grounds. Pour water over them, resulting in fresh coffee dripping down from the paper filter. After it is collected in a jug, the drip coffee is ready to be enjoyed. 

Pour-over: Similar to the drip coffee method, pour-over coffee requires a few more manual steps. This is a good way to practice a new brew method in the second week of your Weekly Brew Method Challenge.

AeroPress: The AeroPress coffee maker is fast for brewing coffee. Use the plunger with an airtight seal to brew espresso-like coffee. The process can take less than two minutes, but you will need an AeroPress coffee maker. 

French press: Uses a plunger to create creamy, concentrated brews in a cylindrical pot. The French press method takes longer than other methods, but you can accentuate the richness of your coffee. Try using the French press in the third or fourth week. 

Cold brew: Now, we reach the more complex coffee brewing methods. Cold brew (AKA cold water extraction) involves steeping coffee grounds in cool water for 12-24 hours. Achieving the right coffee flavor with this infusion technique can be tricky, which is why we recommend it for a later week. 

Siphon: Siphon coffee makers look quite different from other coffee makers. The two glass flasks and stand make a siphon coffee maker look more like lab equipment than a coffee machine. However, it is an interesting way to brew coffee, which is exactly why it should be saved for last in the Weekly Brew Method Challenge. Make sure to follow safety instructions. 

How to source beans

Investing in high-quality beans can go a long way, especially if you want to make the Weekly Brew Method challenge more affordable. Consider sourcing your coffee beans from a coffee club. 

Atlas Coffee Club offers fresh, single-origin roasts from around the world. If you want to do a Monthly Brew Challenge instead, this coffee club is perfect. Every month, Atlas Coffee Club sends you a new, unique batch of freshly roasted beans, along with a gorgeous postcard and bean details. 

Bean Box offers a FREE coffee tasting package that is perfect for this coffee challenge. Plus, you can try out unique, award-winning coffee that is fresh and delicious. This coffee club membership is perfect for any coffee enthusiasts who are tackling the Weekly Brew Method challenge. 

Trade Coffee offers flexible and affordable subscription plans starting at $15.75. With a selection of 450+ ethically sourced coffee, you can add a dash of excitement to your weekly brew challenge. 

2. Blind Taste Test Challenge

Can you name that coffee? The Blind Taste Test challenge is versatile. You can choose what your challenge focuses on: brew method, coffee bean origin, flavor profile, or roast level. 

For example, you want to pick a few artisanal brews and a few generic, bland ones for a coffee origin challenge. Challenge yourself to see if you can tell the difference between premium brews and average ones. 

A roast taste test challenge would involve comparing different roasts: with light, medium, and dark being the main categories. 

The easiest way to do a Blind Taste Test is to have one person in a group be the coordinator. Prepare the brews and test to see if each participant can actually taste the difference in quality, naming the different types correctly.

With your eyes shut and in a competition, it can be harder than expected to tell the difference between the different brews. At the same time, some people are excellent at blind taste tests. 

Challenge your taste buds and coffee experience with a Blind Taste Test Coffee Challenge. 

3. Home Barista Skills Challenge

Why not challenge yourself by honing your ? The Home Barista Skills Challenge involves progressing from beginner to advanced barista skills, with each week focusing on a different skill. 

Week 1: Pulling a perfect espresso shot 

The first week involves learning how to pull an espresso shot. This means practicing coffee grinding, choosing the right dosage, tamping down the espresso, and brewing. Technique plays an essential role, so see how quickly you can improve your home espresso shot creation in a week. 

Week 2: Frothing milk

Microfoam is important in lattes, cappuccinos, macchiatos, and other coffees. Use a pitcher and steam wand to practice frothing milk. 

Week 3: Creating latte art

Latte art is a fun way to show your love for coffee while technically and creatively challenging yourself. Start with a simple design, like the heart or tulip. Practice a design every day for the week. Make sure to take photos every day to compare results and see your progression. 

Week 4 and onwards: Making more advanced latte art 

As you improve your latte art abilities, it’s time to try out more complicated designs. Try making swans and bears using latte art. Of course, it’s a perfectly good idea to slow down the pace so you can enjoy the process instead of racing through different latte art designs.

4. Coffee and Food Pairing Challenge

Coffee can be paired with different foods for new, exciting results. Remember to not overwhelm your taste buds as you try each coffee-food combination. Use a journal to jot down your taste tests as you pair different options with coffee. Try to identify complementary flavors, and don’t hesitate to try out weird pairs. What is the strangest, yet most delicious, pairing you can find?

Here are some pairings we love to get you started with your coffee pair testing journey. 

Breakfast

Coffee goes together excellently with baked goods that are delicate and sweet, such as muffins, scones, and banana bread. 

Dessert

Coffee is often served as a dessert at restaurants, and for good reason. The bittersweet, rich flavor of coffee is enhanced by desserts such as vanilla ice cream. 

Savory dishes 

Coffee goes surprisingly well with certain cooked dishes like chicken, BBQ ribs, and tofu. Try cooking with coffee using coffee glazes for a fascinating experience that wakes up your taste buds.  

5. Coffee Around the World Challenge

Coffee is enjoyed around the world by billions of people. In this challenge, you will learn about a new region’s coffee roasts and recipes. If you want to try out freshly roasted coffee from around the world, a coffee club sourcing coffee from around the world like Atlas Coffee Club is a fantastic option. 

Here are some great regions you should explore in your Coffee Around the World Challenge.

  • Ethiopia 
  • Brazil
  • Indonesia
  • Colombia
  • Vietnam

6. DIY Coffee Recipe Challenge

Why not start brewing your own unique coffees? Add some literal spice to your iced coffee by trying out various ingredients and flavorings. Create your own DIY coffee recipes in this challenge – just be sure to stick with safe, edible ingredients. 

Coffee can also be integrated into different dishes and drink recipes. are often paired together as best friends. Coffee-infused dishes are also fun to try your hand at making. 

Once you’ve created a recipe, you can share it within a local coffee-loving community or social media. You can even rate recipes that other coffee enthusiasts have lovingly crafted. This challenge is also a wonderful way to make friends and connect with coffee communities. 

7. Sustainability Challenge

Unsustainable practices within the coffee industry have hurt the environment. Take the time to educate yourself on the environmental impact of coffee production. 

Tackle this sustainability challenge by using reusable cups, supporting ethical brands, and composting your coffee grounds. Look for coffee clubs and brands that use eco-friendly practices, like sustainable packaging.  

While these steps toward individual sustainability may feel small at times, they are still meaningful, especially in one’s personal coffee experience. As our coffee production technology and understanding of the environment improve, more coffee brands have switched to adopt sustainable practices and green missions. 

8. Coffee Journal Challenge

Writing regularly in a coffee journal is a fun and useful way to document your coffee-related experiences. You can use stickers and doodles to make the coffee journal feel more personal and fun.

Here are some ideas of entries to add to your coffee journal:

  • New brews tried
  • Flavor notes
  • Favorite recipes
  • Barista skills progress

When you have time, add comments that reflect upon your experiences. Tracking your progress can help you improve your understanding of coffee and coffee-brewing skills. By engaging in thoughtful introspection as you journal, you can also get a better understanding of what you get out of coffee, be that connecting with community or enjoying delicious brews. 

9. Coffee Culture Exploration Challenge

Different cultures have their own unique ties with coffee, many of which stretch back centuries. Here are some fun coffee history and culture tidbits to get you started with the Coffee Culture Exploration Challenge. 

Traditional coffee ceremonies

Throughout history, people have enjoyed coffee in unique ways. For example, Ethiopians would practice coffee ceremonies under large trees, conversing and bonding with fellow community members over fresh brew. In many regions, coffee ceremonies are considered a well-respected art form. People will even wear special embroideries to showcase the importance of the coffee ceremony.

Historical coffee houses

It’s an interesting endeavor to read about the history of coffee and coffee houses. Coffee houses originated in the Middle East, which is one of the first places coffee was grown. The first recorded coffeehouse, Kiva Han, dates back to the 1470s in Constantinople. Challenge yourself by learning about the ancient beginnings of coffeehouses. 

Local coffee customs 

Look into the relationship with coffee in the place you live in. Many people may be surprised to find that their hometown has centuries of history in brewing and serving coffee. Visit coffeehouses near you and learn about the coffee customs people engage in within your local community. Many coffeehouses are eager to share their history with coffee enthusiasts.

10. Community Engagement Challenge

The last challenge on our list is participating in local or online coffee communities. This can feel daunting, especially to those who are not coffee connoisseurs or skilled baristas. 

Here are some example weekly tasks to engage with the community: 

1. Join an online coffee forum

2. Attend a coffee event

3. Share your experiences and recipes

4. Participate in group challenges 

5. Get a coffee club membership 

6. Post your brews on social media

Your mileage may vary when it comes to how much community engagement can benefit you. However, joining a local or online community could be great for connecting with fellow coffee lovers, amplifying your enjoyment of coffee. 

Conclusion

Coffee challenges are meant to be a blend of both fun and educational. With each challenge, you can master existing barista skills, learn new ones, and gain newfound appreciations of coffee. 

The coffee journey is never over even if the list of challenges is over! Brewing, savoring, and experimenting with coffee lets you deepen your appreciation for coffee beverages. Keep experimenting with coffee and share your experiences with others. 

Follow for more fun and fascinating updates on coffee.

About the Author

Content Writer

Ru Chen

Content Writer

Ru Chen is a content writer with several years of experience in creating engaging and well-researched articles. She mostly writes about coffee, business, digital marketing, and law. In her free time, she can be found watching horror movies and playing board games with her partner in Brooklyn.

Ru Chen is a content writer with several years of experience in creating engaging and well-researched articles. She mostly writes about coffee, business, digital marketing, and law. In her free time, she can be found watching horror movies and playing board games with her partner in Brooklyn.