Coffee Taste Challenge

Jun 15, 2014

At the Cumberland County Show this year our stand included a coffee tasting challenge. We brewed four flasks of filter coffee and challenged visitors to match each flask to a flavour descriptor.  We offered a selection of prizes to anyone who correctly identified all four coffees, including a coffee brewing kit and lunch for two at Coffee Genius in Carlisle.  Thank you to everyone who took time out from their day to have a go.  Here are the results and one or two statistics:


The four coffees were:

Coffee A: Fazenda Cruzeiro from Brazil

Coffee B: Finca El Triangulo Decaf from Guatemala

Coffee C: Finca El Recuerdo from Colombia

Coffee D: Santa Barbara La Joyeria from Colombia

6% of entrants correctly matched all four coffees to their flavour descriptors.

43% of entrants correctly matched two coffees

13% of entrants correctly matched one coffee

38% of entrants failed to match any of the coffees

The rest of this post is pretty much more statistics which I find interesting but may not be for everyone!  The sample is probably too small to read anything meaningful into them (47 entrants), but I offer them anyway.

Had this exercise been left to chance, in other words had the entrants guessed, the probablity of identifying all four coffees correctly would be 1 in 24.  We would therefore expect 4% of entrants to be correct.  Those who guessed would have had just as much chance of winning as those who tasted each coffee!

Although I felt the Fazenda Cruzeiro was most likely the easiest coffee to identify as it was the most different of the four, this was not the case in practice.  No coffee stood out in terms of being identified most often:

Coffee-Tasting-ResultsThe set up on the day meant Fazenda Cruzeiro was often the last coffee tasted of the four.  This might suggest why it wasn’t identified more often.

The aim of this exercise was to offer visitors more of an interactive experience on our stand, and from a business perspective we were interested in gaining newsletter sign-ups.  Often those who took on our challenge spent between 5 and 10 minutes on our stand, allowing us to engage with them during this time, and 86% of participants agreed to be signed up to our newsletter.

All too often at these events many stall holders come with a philosophy of selling without perhaps giving some thought to customer engagement.  We view these events as a marketing opportunity and are putting systems in place to monitor longer term engagement.