Does a perfect first date even exist or is it yet another notion that works in the romcom universe? Well, guess what, it does and a coffee date is a pretty simple way to go about it. First dates can be tricky to plan given that you are yet to get to know each other’s preferences. Is your date more of a fine dining person or a stroll-in-the-garden kind? The more you think about it, the harder it can get to plan the perfect first date. That’s why the most complex plans are best left for the second date. To get things off the ground, who can say no to chatting over a relaxing cup of mocha in a cozy coffee shop?
We all hope for those first dates to go well because they’re the gateways to potential relationships. Asking someone for a coffee neither seems too bold nor too wimpy. A cute cafe with a romantic ambiance and the best coffee in town is the perfect way to lay the foundation for that special connection you’re hoping to build. Need more convincing that a coffee shop date is your best bet for that nerve-racking first meeting? Read on!
What does a coffee date mean?
A coffee date is hardly an alien concept. In fact, coffee shop dates are the most socially acceptable way of meeting someone, spending time with that person, and keeping a nice conversation going to get to know them better. These meetings don’t have to be necessarily romantic in nature. It can happen between a parent and a child, between two or a group of friends catching up, or between colleagues exchanging insights.
At the same time, it remains the preferred choice for meeting a romantic interest or a romantic partner for people across all generations. You typically choose an old-school coffee shop or a fancy cute cafe as the venue. The delicacies range from hot and cold beverages to a number of baked goods. The relaxing, informal ambiance helps people get comfortable around each other and the conversations flow spontaneously!
10 Reasons A Coffee Date Makes A Great First Date Idea
We’ll be covering everything from coffee date outfit ideas to the best possible time for it to make sure you make the most of this experience. But first, let’s talk about why a coffee date is a brilliant first date idea. The aroma of fresh coffee and a cute little dessert to go with it screams romance, doesn’t it? Besides, a quiet setting helps when you’re getting to know someone.
You wouldn’t want to spend your first date in a busy area or at a bar with such loud music that you have to scream into each other’s ear to make conversation. That’s why coffee shops make an ideal setting for a first date with just the right amount of romantic energy, not too formal or too basic. Here are some other reasons why a coffee date is the perfect idea to kick things off with a romantic interest:
1. Coffee dates are a fantastic way to break the ice
Meeting someone new is not always easy for everyone. The idea of opening up to a complete stranger can be intimidating and we understand that. While this may be irrelevant for an extrovert, a shy, introverted, or socially awkward person would love to spend the first few minutes with someone new discussing something mundane – like latte or cappuccino? – so that the spotlight is not on them.
Bonding over your shared love for coffee can be a good ice-breaker that can truly take the pressure off. If you typically find yourself a little lost on first dates, here is how meeting over coffee can help:
- Coffee dates help you with initial small talk, as you go through the menu to place your order
- It can get you talking about your preferred blend of brews, which can be an easy and comforting topic of conversation
- If you find the right moment, you can drop a coffee joke to make your date laugh like: “What do you call it when someone steals your coffee?” “Mugging!”
- If things go well, you can click a few pictures for those cute coffee dates posts on Instagram
2. Coffee dates are not expensive
If you’re unsure of the person you’re meeting on this date, grabbing a coffee and some biscotti would be kinder on your pocket than a fancy fine-dining experience. Taking someone out to a fancy dinner when you don’t even know if you’ll see them again sounds a little unrealistic and impractical. It’s good to date casually at first, at least until you see a person in your future.
There are plenty of cafes with cute and aesthetic ambiance and pocket-friendly menus, so make the most of them while you’re still just meeting people to see how things pan out. At the same time, you need to make sure that your date feels comfortable and for that, you need to choose the venues carefully. Research, research, research (but don’t use it as an excuse to procrastinate on fixing a date).
3. It helps you discover something about their personality
They say, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, but that doesn’t mean you can’t judge your date by their coffee order. Yes, what your date chooses to order can give away a lot about their personality. Curious about what your date’s coffee order tells you about them?
- Black coffee: Does your date order a black coffee? Well, those are the ones who would rather stay up for work than stay up for a party in Vegas. They’re determined and driven with a sense of responsibility. They know exactly what they want and are not afraid to go after it. A person who enjoys black coffee can make a great work colleague, but a partner? Better watch out!
- Latte: Did you hear them order a Cream and Sugar or a Chai Latte? They’re what you can call an ‘old soul’. They love the simple things in life and wish to keep it that way too. Not worldly-wise, they don’t care about the size of your wallet or the brand of your car. They’re keepers, fellas!
- Frappuccino: A frappuccino-lover is a wild heart! If your date indulges in a drink like that, you’ve found a mate that seeks adventures. They want to skip the whole awkwardness and get out there to do something fun. Your next date better be a little exciting, or you’ll be going home alone.
Related Reading: What To Order On A First Date? 10 Ideas You Must Check Out
4. It doesn’t build up a lot of expectation
The best part about coffee dates is the stress-free nature of these meetings. Let me explain. If you plan a highly elaborate romantic date that involves picking up and seeing your date off at home, a full-course meal, and perhaps some wine in a dreamy restaurant, it will automatically build up a lot of expectation.
Anyone would consider this as a preface to a romantic relationship and await a second date. It can be hard to step away when you’ve gone all out like that. Plus, it will raise the bar for all your future dates. On the other hand, coffee dates are a great way of starting slow and moving toward something better. Ask for a second date if you wish or don’t call back – no pressure!
5. A coffee shop date doesn’t demand a super outfit
Are you one of those people who constantly ask their best friends about the right outfit to wear on a date? Or does the whole concept of dolling up for a guy or looking absolutely prim and proper for meeting a woman in a public space seem ancient and hysterical to you? Either way, meeting your date over coffee is the simplest way to avoid the drama.
If you’re still wondering about what to wear on coffee dates, allow us to help you. The ‘right’ coffee date outfit does not exist. You read that right. The best thing about this kind of date is the minimal effort that goes into planning it. Since there is no particular theme for a coffee date outfit, just put on something that suits your personality and get creative with some light accessorizing – we’re sure you’ll look great!
Ideas for women:
- You could strap on your regular jeans and a cute top with a fancy neckline and you’re be good to go
- A cute little dress is also ideal as long as it’s something you’d be comfortable in
- Linen pant suits and heels are great if you are meeting someone on a weekday before or after work
- Try knit sweaters or long coats paired with jeans and boots for a cozy winter date
Ideas for men:
- Anyone would look dapper in a short-sleeved shirt tucked in casual trousers or jeans
- Round neck T-shirt with joggers or jeans looks just fine for a casual date
- Throw a blazer on if you want to go for something a little dressy
6. It need not be too elaborate
It’s always best to prepare for the worst that can happen on a first date. It is highly likely that your vibes don’t match and your date may keep going on and on about things you couldn’t care less about. If you’re anything like me, being on a date with someone who talks about pineapples on their pizza for a good half an hour would have you trying to suppress about 30 yawns.
If you’re on a fancy first date that entails fine dining or something equally elaborate, dating etiquette would demand that you sit through the entire meal/experience – which can be excruciating if the other person is getting on your nerves. That’s exactly why coffee dates are the best first date idea. Coffee is easy to grab, quick to get over with, and gives you a chance to cook up an excuse and run if the date is a snoozefest.
7. You can order more than one without getting drunk
If the date pans out better than you’d hoped, you can always order another cuppa and spend some more quality time with your date. Following the same logic a pub or a bar on a first date isn’t a smart decision and that’s where a coffee date beats other ideas to the punch. Here’s why:
- First of all, you wouldn’t want the date to be a blur, do you? You’d want to remember what this person’s told you about themselves so that you could make up your mind about meeting them a second time
- You also want to be sober in your interactions on a first date. It’s not wise to show your drunk alter ego to a stranger on the very first meeting! You want this to be a successful date, not a sob fest about your ex, am I right?
8. You can fit it in any time of the day
“Are you free for coffee tomorrow?” “Yes, does 12 work for you?” And that’s how easily this date can be fixed. If you get asked out on a coffee date, you don’t need any major changes to your schedule to fit it in. Getting to know someone over a quick coffee has its own benefits:
- You can drink coffee any time of the day
- You can squeeze this date in the middle of work if you are a busy bee who barely gets time for a social life
- No risk of hangovers if you have a big day ahead of you
- This date would not affect your schedule as cafe dates are usually short and cute
Related Reading: Know When To Say ‘I Love You’ And Never Get Turned Down
9. Not sure whether it is a date? Meet up for coffee
Mixed signals from the one you have feelings for can be pretty tough and also builds up a little drama in your head. You don’t want to be wasting your time and energy on a person who probably just considers you a friend. If you’re unsure about your romantic prospects with a person you’ve been crushing on, the best place to meet them would be a cafe. By the time you say your goodbyes, you will probably have a better idea about where you stand with them – that too, without the awkwardness of being on a date with someone who isn’t interested in you.
10. It might lead to something romantic!
So, this person has been pursuing you on DMs for some time and it’s your first date after meeting online. You go there a bit reluctantly not knowing what to expect and wondering, “What to do on a coffee date with a stranger?” To your utter surprise, you actually enjoy their vibe and have a great time talking to them in person.
So much so that you couldn’t say no to their proposal of staying on for a little longer. You take a long romantic walk down the park and watch a gorgeous sunset! (Or perhaps you discover your shared love for old books and visit a second-hand bookstore nearby). Keep an open mind and a coffee shop date might lead to a delightful turn of events!
5 Tips To Have An Amazing Coffee Date
From overdressing for a casual date to spilling a beverage, coffee dates can go wrong too. But certainly not on our watch. Whether you’re going on a coffee date with your boyfriend/girlfriend or a Tinder crush you are meeting for the first time, we have some great tips to help you set sail smoothly.
And tip number one is, being casual on a coffee shop date is good, but don’t get so comfortable that your laid-back attitude is mistaken for a lack of interest. No one fancies a lazy lay-about! So, if you get asked out on a coffee date or you are planning to spend this Saturday afternoon grabbing coffee with a date, we want to make sure you ace it!
1. Select the right coffee shop
First things first: You have got to select a good location. It would be great if you don’t choose an ever-busy coffee shop because you’d need some quiet to get the first-date conversation flowing. Do not pick a shady cafe in a back alley or in a less-populated area either. This place has to be the perfect setting to lay the cornerstone for a romantic relationship.
If you’re meeting this person for the first time, make sure the location is safe, where you’d be surrounded by people, even if not a lot. In case your date picked the venue, reach the coffee shop before them to make sure it matches the description they have shared with you. Because safety comes first! You should not trust anyone blindly, much less a stranger you’ve connected with online.
2. The right coffee size
Whether it’s a coffee date with a boyfriend or your crush, the size of the cup signifies the time you’d be spending with them. We suggest you start with a medium cup of coffee as it gives you room to cut the date short should you feel the need. If you end up having a great time, you can always order a second! It’s the best way to avoid some classic first-date mistakes to make sure the pressure stays off and you can truly have a good time.
3. Dress accordingly
From pleated skirts and high-neck sweaters to cute sundresses in the summer, the options are plenty. But make sure you don’t over-dress to impress. A coffee shop is a great place to casually hang out with a potential romantic interest. Make sure that vibe shines through in the way you dress as well. You don’t want to look like a fool in a fancy suit standing with a bouquet in your hand when they drop by in a sweatshirt.
4. Ideal time for a coffee date
You can fit in a coffee date at any time of the day, but still, if you’re looking for the ideal time for it, we’d suggest mid-morning or evening. Coffee is best enjoyed as a light beverage and preferably on an empty or slightly-filled stomach. Post-lunch coffee is not a great idea and you might not even be able to extend the date with more than one cup. A late-night meet-up over a cup of coffee is also very romantic and sends the perfect message.
5. Don’t spend too much time deciding your order
It’s awfully tardy to spend a lot of time placing your coffee order. If you’re a coffee aficionado or the cafe you’ve chosen in your regular haunt, just go with your go-to beverage. But don’t make the mistake of ordering on your date’s behalf. On the other hand, if you’re not much of a coffee person, and the first-date nerves are making it harder for you to make up your mind, as your date for recommendations (if they’ve been to the cafe before), otherwise ask the server. Whatever you do, don’t let the ordering process eclipse your date.
- Meeting someone for the first time over coffee helps you break the ice and get to know the person better
- It is an inexpensive date idea, which can be an added benefit if you aren’t sure about seeing this person again
- No pressure of getting drunk on a first date or getting the outfit right
- You can cut short or extend the date depending on how it goes
- It might actually lead to something meaningful if you and your date totally hit it off
So, we leave you here with the 10 reasons a coffee date makes a great first date idea and 5 tips to ace it too. Hopefully, these resonated with your plan and helped you prepare for your first date as well. Be sure of yourself and confident in front – you’ll certainly have a wonderful opportunity to up the caffeinated charm while on a cozy, cafe date!
This article has been updated in May 2023.
Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. It’s only coffee. Be spontaneous and ask them directly, “Would you like to grab a coffee sometime?”, “Can I buy you a coffee? I know a nice little place down the street”. We are sure it will go in your favor!
Ideally, it should go on for around an hour. But we can’t decide on a specific duration for your date. It completely depends on how the date goes if it is in fact your first meeting. If they are super dull, you can cut it short to one coffee and leave in 20-30 minutes. If you notice some chemistry building, you may want to extend it to a post-coffee stroll around the block.
Only if you are attracted to this person and feel there is a real connection. That’s the best part about a coffee date, no pressure of following the dating rules. But for a first date, we would go so far as a light peck on the cheek or a soft kiss – don’t French it up.