These are the five steps to follow if you want the perfect coffee date

man and woman on a coffee date

Think about your ideal first date with someone you’ve met online. Are you picturing yourself getting to know them over coffee (and maybe a bit of brownie or a wedge of cake?). You’re not alone: in survey after survey,¹ our members have nominated the humble coffee date as the ideal pick for a casually romantic first meeting.

In fact, in our recent Coffee & Dating survey of 500 singles, 83% said that the perfect first date involves getting coffee together.2 In other words, for 4/5 people, flirting over flat whites is the perfect way to start something special.

We’ve taken them at their word and determined the five steps that will make your next coffee date the crema the crop.

5 Steps to the perfect coffee date

1. Trust that the coffee date is indeed great

Sure, the coffee date may not be the most innovative date idea out there. But, for a first meeting (especially with someone you’ve connected with online), innovative is often the last thing you want. In fact, when you’ve got first date nerves to deal with, the cosy comfort of a cafe can be the perfect tonic. Perhaps that’s why 83% of the people in our Coffee Day survey (78% of men and 86% of women) picked coffee as their ideal first date.

Further insight: other date ideas didn’t even come close to coffee: just 10% of singles would opt for a dinner date and only 7% would choose to meet for a drink.

2. Focus on what you’d like to drink

When you’re first seeing someone it can be tempting to agree on just about everything – after all, having things in common is a quick way to build a bond, right? Yet, when it comes to coffee, most singles prefer that their dates know their own minds. Just 2% of men and 1% of women want to hear ‘’I’ll have whatever you’re having’’ while on a coffee date.

Further insight: That said, do think twice about ordering that triple-shot, toffee-and-white-chocolate soy matcha latte from the ‘secret menu’: 15% of people would be put off by someone whose drink order was too fussy

The facts about coffee and dating

3. Flirt over a couple of flat whites

Of course, you may find yourself on a first coffee date where you both do want the same drink and, chances are, that drink is a flat white. According to the survey, nearly one-in-three singles (32%) would go for a flat white on a date, meaning that the new(ish) drink on the block is a more popular choice than a cappuccino (the coffee of choice for 17%), a latte (16%), or a black coffee (10%).

Further insight: While 83% want a coffee date above all others, that doesn’t mean that they always want coffee! Around 15% of singles said they preferred to drink alternative to coffee, with the most popular options being hot chocolate or an orange juice.

4. Choose a sweet treat on the side

In the 1930s, Gregory Ratzan first introduced the now-famous ‘Luncheon Technique.’ His theory is simple: people who are eating during a meeting are more amenable to any proposals that come their way than people who aren’t being fed.3 How does this apply to coffee dates? It means that you should go ahead and split that bear claw with your date – you’ll both feel extra positive towards each other as a result!

Further insight: What should you order? For 44% of singles the answer is something small and sweet like a slice of cake. Just 4% would want a full meal with their coffee, while 52% don’t want food at all – at least until they know that the date is going well!

5. Avoid chain cafes

So you’ve asked someone out online, and they’ve agreed to a coffee date. Now comes the hardest part: deciding where you’re going to go. Canadians are lucky in this regard: there are coffee shops to suit every taste all over the country. Of course, that can make the deciding harder. One thing is for sure though – try and avoid suggesting a date in an identikit coffee chain: just 7% of singles think they make for a great date. Sorry, Timmy’s lovers!

Further insight: For 44% of people, the best type of cafe for a date is anywhere that is known for its delicious food. 24% would choose somewhere cosy with lots of sofas, while 22% would opt for any cafe that is proudly independent.

Where to go on a coffee date

Know a fantastic Canadian cafe that serves up the ideal blend of ambience and delicious coffee? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter. Alternatively, if you’re dating in Toronto or Vancouver, check out the ideas below:

The 9 best Vancouver coffee shops for a first date

Toronto’s 9 best coffee shops for a first date

EliteSingles editorial October 2016

If you have any coffee date ideas that we should know about, let us know by emailing us at [email protected]


1 EliteSingles surveys where meeting for coffee has been chosen as the ideal first date include our First Date study (2013), our Dating Dealbreakers study (2016) and our Coffee Day study (2016)

2 These and all statistics in this article from the EliteSingles Coffee & Dating study, 2016. Sample size: 500 singles surveyed by EliteSingles.

3 Dr. Marshall Soules, 2007. Influence: the Psychology of Persuasion. Found at

About the author: Sophie Watson

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