Teachers love their coffee. Moms live for their coffee. Oh to drink a steaming mug of freshly brewed coffee. Unless it’s a long weekend, or maybe a snow day, a hot cup of coffee is rarely what teachers or moms get to drink. This is the number one reason why every teacher should have a coffee bar in their classroom.
But enjoying a nice hot mug of java is not the only reason to supply your classroom with a coffee bar. There are other benefits as well. Consider how coffee brings people together. How often do you hear someone say, “Let’s make plans to have coffee.” or “Meet me for coffee?” Even if both parties don’t actually drink coffee we all refer to sitting down with someone for a conversation as “having coffee.” This opportunity to be intentionally relational can be a focal point for your classroom.
The wafting aroma of flavorful coffee coming from your classroom each morning provides a welcome invitation. Or maybe in the afternoon when all the students have gone to their Encore and teachers are needing a chance to take a breath. Your classroom coffee bar could be a place of refuge for colleagues needing to take a moment and relax. You might be the one needing to take a moment and relax. What better way than with a hot cup of coffee?
Grading papers is not usually a fun task, but a hot cup of freshly brewed coffee can give you the pep you need to power through. There is something about a hot beverage that warms the body and relaxes the muscles to make us feel ready to tackle a daunting task. As a language arts teacher, I much prefer reading a stack of essays while sipping on a good cup of coffee.
Whether needing a moment alone or willing to welcome others, a coffee bar for your classroom is a great idea. Want a way to let others know they are welcome to join you try one of my printables. Drop your email below and I’ll send you the password to my free resource library where you can find four different coffee-related posters that you can download and use to decorate above your coffee bar.
Build Student Relationships
Another great use for a classroom coffee bar is to attract students. This was the motivation for starting my Black Coffee Fridays. For the thirty minutes before students needed to be in homeroom classrooms, I invited any student or staff member to come and talk about books. During our conversations, I offered a hot beverage and sometimes even a doughnut. I loaded up on the fancy cappuccino K-cups and hot chocolate for the kids. The last thing most middle schoolers need is caffeine!
Inviting students to come chat gave me an open door to establishing a solid relationship. We mostly talked about books, but the conversations would often also veer to a more personal nature for the students. Our conversations established trust and they felt comfortable in my classroom. Most of the kids who showed up regularly were friends with each other and there were times that they would be fighting with each other. Those moments gave me an opportunity to teach conflict resolution. So many teachable moments on lessons that don’t need to take place in a scheduled class.
Are you a club advisor without a budget? Have a charity you’d like your class or school to support? Using a coffee bar can be one way to generate small funds. My husband, a computer science high school teacher, needed a way to generate a small budget for their robotics team. Starting a coffee bar he calls The Wired Cafe in his classroom has helped his team make the extra funds for robot building.
His cafe has grown so popular that they started selling donuts on Wednesdays as well. The robotic students run the register so it’s not one more thing he has to do each morning. It’s grown into a major operation. He started with a few Kuerig machines and a hot water pot.
The basic set up allows students to come in and make their own drink. He provides creamers and other accessories like marshmallows and whipped cream. (There is a small fridge in the room as well.) Each item has a cost so he created a page with barcodes to make it quick and easy. The barcodes are also tracked in a spreadsheet. (This is why he teaches computer science!) He’s able to print the spreadsheet and give a copy to the treasurer making sure it’s all legit.
Building Your Coffee Bar
Hearing about my husband enjoying delicious hot coffee each morning made me want to have my own coffee bar. My first problem was where to put it. I had maxed out my countertop and the last thing I wanted was to add any clutter. My classroom did have a spot that would fit my no longer needed changing table! Repurposing my changing table was perfect for setting up a coffee bar and providing me with more storage.
My husband found a great deal on a used Kuerig that came with a few cups. I brought in a few flavored syrups, creamers, a variety of other K-cups, mugs and some to-go cups with lids. The bar continually grows and evolves with flavors and users.
One of those coffee flavors is made by the Ladies Coffee Company. Their coffee has a great flavor that you can enjoy hot or cold. There are a ton of great blends to try and with teacher appreciation around the corner, you might want to check out Teacher Fuel. You can even use my TeacherMomcoffee discount code to receive 10% off your total purchase.
Share in the comments all the coffee accessories you’d want on your classroom coffee bar.