Throw­ing a caf­feinated klatch to chris­ten your java sta­tion? Play the per­fect party host with these no-fail cof­fee ser­vice tips.

Do It Yourself - - MAKE IT -

CROWD PLEASER Skip the sin­gle-serve cof­feemaker so ev­ery­one can grab a brew at once. Max­i­mize min­gling time with a make-ahead cof­fee con­cen­trate that can store in the fridge un­til you’re ready to di­lute and serve.

ALL THE FIXINS Cu­rate a bev­er­age buf­fet that builds on the tra­di­tional sta­ples. Set out spe­cial mix-ins, such as maple syrup, honey, spices, cream­ers in sea­sonal fla­vors, and fla­vored syrups or liqueurs so guests can craft a cus­tom­ized cof­fee. Candy canes and cin­na­mon sticks serve as stir­rers while also adding ex­tra fla­vor.

IN HOT WA­TER Fend off luke­warm bev­er­ages by pre­heat­ing guests’ mugs so cof­fee and tea stay hot­ter for longer. Pour boil­ing wa­ter into cups and let rest for a minute be­fore emp­ty­ing and serv­ing.

FIRST IM­PRES­SION Add in­stant pol­ish to any party with stylish serv­ing ware. Pour creamer into carafes, and use oil and vine­gar dis­pensers for syrups and liqueurs. Col­lect one-off cof­fee cups from thrift stores to cre­ate an eclec­tic look that also pre­vents guests from mix­ing up mugs.

PER­FECT PAIR­INGS Cre­ate a palate-pleas­ing spread by co­or­di­nat­ing cof­fee and food fla­vors. Note any dom­i­nant fla­vors or aro­mas in your cof­fee— such as choco­late, berry, nutty, or caramel—then pair it with a food that has a sim­i­lar fla­vor or a con­trast­ing one.

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