12 Best Tips for Having a Great Coffee Date
Going for coffee on a first date is versatile, casual, low-cost and allows for easy conversation.
But having a great coffee date is easier said than done.
Here are 12 tips to do it right.
12 Tips for Having a Great Coffee Date
1. Choose the Right Location
Choosing the right location can make all the difference in how well your coffee date goes.
Ideally, you want to choose a coffee shop that is quiet enough for you to have a conversation, without too much background noise, but not too quiet that it feels awkward.
If it’ll be your first time at this coffee shop, arrive a little early before the scheduled date time so you can take a look around, feel out the space, and find the a good spot to sit. A cozy corner or a table by the window can be great options.
2. Dress Appropriately
A coffee date is generally a casual date, but that doesn’t mean you can show up in your pajamas.
Dress in something comfortable that still fits well, showcases your best physical qualities, and makes you feel confident. You want to make a good first impression and show that you put some thought into your appearance.
3. Arrive on Time
Arriving on time is a sign of respect, shows that you value the other person’s time, and shows conscientiousness. If you’re running late, make sure to communicate this to your date as soon as possible.
Being punctual can also help ease any nervousness you may be feeling, as you won’t have to rush and can take a moment to compose yourself before meeting your date. Greet your date with a hug if they’re comfortable, or a handshake if not.
4. Offer to Pay for Your Date’s Coffee
When it comes to paying, our coffee date tip is to always offer to pay for your date’s coffee. This shows that you’re thoughtful and helps avoid any awkwardness around who should pay for the date when that time comes.
If your date insists on paying for your coffee or just their coffee, be gracious and respectful and offer to pay for the next date.
5. Keep it Simple
While it can be helpful to have a few conversation topics in mind to bring up during the date, if you’re worried about awkward silence, you don’t want to overthink it or come across as rehearsed and stiff.
Keep the conversation light and casual, and try to find common ground with your date. See where the conversation goes naturally.
Ask open-ended questions and listen actively to what your date has to say. Avoid controversial or heavy topics such as politics or religion, as these can be divisive and may create tension.
6. Be Mindful of Your Body Language
Your body language can say a lot about how you’re feeling, how you feel about yourself, and what you’re thinking, so it’s important to be mindful of your body language when sharing coffee for a first date.
Make eye contact, smile, and maintain an open posture to show that you’re engaged, interested, and comfortable. Avoid crossing your arms or fidgeting, as these can convey discomfort or defensiveness.
7. Be Fully Present
Always be present and mindful during a coffee date, no matter how casual or low-key it seems. Your date made the effort to come out and meet you, so they deserve your full attention. Plus, without giving your full attention, you won’t be able to truly connect with your date and see if you’re compatible.
Put your phone out of sight and avoid distractions. Show your date that you’re interested in what they have to say by maintaining eye contact, listening actively, and asking questions to learn more about them.
8. Be Curious About Your Date and Let Them See You
Coffee dates are all about getting to know each other, so it’s important to be open and honest about who you are and what you’re looking for. Share your interests, hobbies, and what you’re passionate about. Be curious about your date and ask them about their life, work, and interests.
Listening is just as important as talking during a first date. Listening thoughtfully will help to create a more comfortable and enjoyable atmosphere for both of you.
You can’t possibly reveal everything about yourself on the first date—and you definitely shouldn’t try to—but it’s generally good to share some personal details about yourself, even if vulnerable. It’s a great way to build a connection and see if you have any common ground with your date.
9. Be Positive
Being positive can make a big difference in helping your coffee date to go well. Try to avoid negative or controversial topics, as these can quickly spoil a conversation and create tension and distance.
Focus on hobbies and interests you love, travel experiences that have shaped you, or the things you’re excited about. This will help to create a more relaxed atmosphere.
10. Keep the Date Short and Sweet
One of the best coffee date tips is to keep it short and sweet. Aim for a date that lasts between 30 minutes to an hour. If the conversation is really clicking, go a bit over an hour or suggest a second activity, like going for a walk or going out for a meal.
11. Pay Attention to Your Date’s Cues
If your date seems uncomfortable, disinterested, of untalkative, it may be a sign that they’re not enjoying themselves and feel that you’re not compatible.
Pay attention to your date’s body language and verbal cues and try to work with them rather than against them. If your date is leaning in, asking plenty of questions, and clearly focused on you, then that’s a great sign. Being attentive to these cues can help you know when it’s a good time to end the date or to suggest an activity to extend the date beyond coffee.
12. End the Date Gracefully
Once the coffee date is over, don’t rush off or linger awkwardly. Thank your date for their time, and if you enjoyed meeting them, then let them know that directly.
If you’re interested in seeing them again, you can let them know and then either schedule a second date on the spot or save that for a text the next day.
Is Coffee a Good First Date?
Yes, coffee is absolutely a good first date.
Here are some pros and cons to consider before deciding if coffee is the right choice for your first date.
Pros of a Coffee First Date:
Coffee dates are a low-pressure option for first dates. Unlike a fancy dinner, there’s no need to worry about dressing up or making reservations.
It’s a casual setting where you can be yourself and get to know the other person without feeling like you’re being judge. For easygoing people, getting coffee is one of the best things to do on a first date.
Easy Exit Strategy
If the date isn’t going well, it’s easy to wrap things up quickly at a coffee shop and end the date early.
You can leave without any awkwardness by finishing your drink, commenting that you’re feeling tired, or saying you have another commitment to get to. This can be a relief if you’re nervous about the date and unsure about how it will go.
Coffee date are an affordable, cheap first date idea, which can be ideal if you’re on a budget or want to keep things low-key.
Getting coffee for a first date is perfect if you’re meeting someone for the first time and aren’t sure if you’ll hit it off, like someone you met from a dating app. You don’t want to invest a lot of money in an expensive first date only to find out that you’re totally incompatible with this person.
The relaxed and casual atmosphere of a coffee shop can make it easy to start a conversation in a nonjudgmental setting.
You can talk use cues in your environment to stimulate conversation topics, like talking about your favorite drinks, the decor of the coffee shop, or even the weather outside. This can help break the ice and create a more comfortable environment for you and your date.
Cons of a Coffee First Date:
Lack of Romance
A coffee date is usually not the most romantic option for a first date. If you’re looking to create a more intimate and romantic setting, then the odds are that going to a coffee shop is not the best choice. It can be difficult to create a sense of deep intimacy in a well-lit public setting surrounded by other people.
Coffee dates are typically shorter than other types of first dates. This can be a major pro, but it can also be a downside if you’re looking to spend more time with the other person and really get to know them deeply in that first meeting.
Noise and Distractions
Coffee shops can be noisy and distracting, with a lot of people moving around you, which can make it difficult for you and your date to hear each other, focus on each other, and have a meaningful conversation. You may have to compete with other customers talking loudly or music playing in the background.
Is Coffee a Good First Date for You?
Overall, coffee can be a good first date option, but it’s not for everyone. If you’re looking for a low-pressure and affordable way to get to know someone, a coffee date could be the perfect option. However, if you’re looking for a more intimate and romantic setting, you may want to choose a different type of first date, like dinner or drinks.
The decision on whether or not to go for coffee for a first date comes down to your personal preference. Consider your own personality, interests, and goals for the date, as well as those of your date.
How Long Should a Coffee Date Last?
As a general rule of thumb, a coffee date should typically last anywhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours.
If you’re meeting someone for the first time, it’s best to keep the date short and sweet. A shorter coffee date, around 45 minutes to an hour, is a good way to get to know each other and see if there’s a connection.
If you’re meeting someone you already know and are interested in, then a longer coffee date may be more appropriate and allow for greater connection. A coffee date that lasts for 1-2 hours can allow for a more in-depth conversation and a chance to explore common interests and follow up on any previous meeting you had. This longer duration can also allow for more time to relax, settle in, and enjoy each other’s company.
What’s the Best Time for a Coffee Date?
The best time for a coffee date is the evening.
Here are the pros and cons of having coffee date in the morning vs afternoon vs evening:
Morning coffee dates can be a great way to start your day on a weekend or before work on a weekday. They’re ideal for a pair of early birds who enjoy getting up early and feel most alive in the morning hours. A weekend morning coffee date that goes well can also allow you and your date to spend some time together and extend the date easily beyond coffee.
Afternoon coffee dates are ideal if you’re looking for a casual and relaxed atmosphere, especially on a weekend to avoid any rush-hour traffic. Afternoon coffee dates are often less rushed than morning coffee dates and can be a good way to unwind after work or enjoy a lazy weekend day together.
Evening coffee dates can be a great way to end your day and create a sense of anticipation for the date leading up to it throughout the day. Evening dates are the best time for a coffee date if you want the date to feel more romantic. Evening coffee dates are also a good choice if you’re looking for something more intimate, low-key, and quiet.
Coffee Date Tips & Creative Ideas
If you’re wondering what to do on a coffee date, then try one of these activities that include more than just talking:
Play a board game or card game
Some coffee shops have board games or card games that you can play while you sit at a table and drink your coffee. This can be a fun way to break the ice, share an activity together, and get to know each other better with less pressure.
Go for a walk
Don’t want to just sit around at a café? If the weather is nice, you can take your coffee to go and head out for a walk with your date. Walking can be a great way to explore the area and get some fresh air. Ideally, choose a coffee shop that is near a park.
Still wondering what to do on a coffee date? People watch! Coffee shops are often great places for people watching. You can observe the people around you and have some fun guessing their stories, jobs, lifestyles, and relationships.
Benefits of Coffee vs Dinner for a First Date
There are several benefits to choosing coffee over dinner for a first date. Here are a few:
Coffee dates are generally more casual and low-key than dinner dates. There’s less pressure to dress up or act sophisticated, which can make you and your date both feel more relaxed and comfortable.
Coffee is less expensive than dinner, which makes it a great cheap first date idea. It also makes the question of who will pay for the date a bit easier and lower stakes.
A coffee date is typically shorter than a dinner date, which can be good if you’re not sure how much time you want to spend with your date or if you’re tight on time. If the date isn’t going well, you can finish your coffee and leave without having to sit through a full meal.
More options for location
Coffee shops are typically more abundant than restaurants, so you have more options to choose from in selecting a convenient and comfortable date spot. Plus, if the weather is nice, you can take your coffee to go and walk around a nearby park or outdoor space.
Benefits of Coffee vs Drinks for a First Date
There are also several benefits to choosing coffee over drinks for a first date. Here are a few:
Less risk of overindulging
When drinking alcohol, there is always the potential for you or your date to overindulge and become drunk. This can lead to something embarrassing or regrettable happening or can make the date uncomfortable or even unsafe. With coffee, there is no risk of overindulging, which can make the date more enjoyable, safe, and memorable.
Coffee shops are typically quieter than bars, making it easier to have a conversation without having to shout over the noise. This can allow you to get to know your date better and build a connection.
Coffee tends to be a healthier option than alcohol and won’t leave you feeling hungover the next day.
It’s more inclusive
Not everyone drinks alcohol, so a drinks date isn’t everyone’s vibe. Cafés have more options than bars, so someone can get coffee, tea, water, or something else on a coffee date.
How to use dating apps to land more first dates
Hopefully these tips give some insights into how to have a great coffee date.
When planning a coffee date with someone you met on a dating app like Hinge, Tinder, or Bumble, it’s important to plan ahead and do what you can to make it go well.
If you’re on dating apps and want to improve your dating profile so you land more first dates, we have you covered.
We at The Match Lab offer professional services to create dating profiles that attract high-quality matches.
If you’d like to find out which are your most attractive photos to use in your dating profile, give our dating photo analyzer a try. Just upload some photos of yourself, and our algorithm will reveal which photos you should be using in your profile and the ideal order they should go in.
If you’re looking for help with writing your dating profile, then check out our professional dating profile writing service.