Tea/coffee service

My husband and I are venturing into the Air BnB/short term rental business this summer. We have a company that will be managing our property professionally. Even though the management company provides a “starter kit” with a small package of coffee for the first morning, I think it would be nice to provide a coffee and tea service. It is a summer beach community and all rentals are a 7 night minimum.

My question is this: Is it a bad idea to just leave out canisters filled with tea bags, hot chocolate, creamer, sugar and sweetener? If it is a bad idea, how much do you recommend portioning per week? It is a 3BR that allows for a maximum of 8 guests. Most weeks are booked for 4-6 guests (a mix of adults and kids). We have a coffee maker. I thought about leaving out a pound of coffee each week. Thoughts in general? If I pre-portion things in bags, housekeeping will put it out each time they clean.

Thanks in advance.

I think many- if not most- do leave these items. Myself included.

Many hosts with vacation rentals just have a “starter” amount and then expect the families to shop during the week. I rented a very upscale place in Costa Rica and we were provided a bag of coffee (more than a pound size though), a six pack of beer, one bottle of wine and a large bowl of tropical fruits. That lasted the 8 of us less than a day. LOL.

My listing is a 4 bedroom for up to 10 guests, min 2 day, max 2 week, rates are $120-$160 per night. Average is 6 guest per reservation, 5 days per reservation, and 4 reservations/month. I’ve been hosting only 3 months, but here’s what I provide:

Coffee in a large canister
Couple dozen assorted flavored herbal/black/green tea bags
Couple dozen generic black tea bags
Sugar in a pour jar
Sugar bowl full of cubes
Box of individual packets of Splenda/Stevia
Box of individual packets of Equal/Aspartame
Jar of Coffeemate powdered creamer
24-count box of Mini Moos creamers
A box of hot chocolate packets

In 3 months, the hot chocolate, black tea, sugar cubes, and Coffeemate haven’t been used at all. The assorted tea, Splenda, and Equal have barely been used. Some guests have used the entire box of Mini Moos but most haven’t touched them. The coffee goes at a little over a pound a month.

Guests have been VERY happy so far.


If your place is really fancy and really expensive I’d say yes add the coffee/tea service as extra. Although I really don’t know what that tea/coffee service means. Will someone from the management company come every morning to the house to make coffee and tea for them and are willing to do crazy stuff like cafe cortado and macchiato fredo?

If your place will be rented by normal families just put coffee/tea out for them at no extra charge.

I have the biggest Folgers container, black teas and assorted flavored herbal teas plus hot chocolate. I offer sugar. No creamer, no milk. If they want such thing they can go buy it themselves. The supermarket is close by.

I dont have and never will have that machine with coffee pods. That stuff pollutes the planet like crazy.

1 Like

Thanks. The unit rents for $1700+ per week, so I feel sort of cheap not to at least put out coffee, tea and hot chocolate. And no, no one comes in to make coffee and tea in the morning. I also refuse to put in a Keurig machine. We have just purchased a nice refurbed Cuisinart coffee maker. I will plan to put out a pound of coffee per week and leave an assortment of teas, hot cocoa and sweeteners. Thanks so much for the advice!


Many years before I became an Airbnb host, I stayed at a mountain golf course resort, near Portland, Oregon. My hotel room had a 12-cup coffee maker, with a bean grinder and jar of coffee beans.

After staying in hundreds of hotels/motels, featuring two-cup coffee makers with pre-measured packets of weak coffee powder, I was in heaven! No other hotel/motel room I have stayed since has this generous coffee-making amenity.

So yes, being generous with your Airbnb’s coffee-maker does make an impact on your guests, who might return more often. That is why my Airbnb guestroom area has a 12-cup drip coffee maker, jar of French Roast whole coffee beans, electric bean grinder, milk pods, diet and regular sugar packets, and tea bags.

Plus, I provide large paper coffee-cups (with plastic lids) for our guests to take their brewed coffee with them at check-out.


Meanwhile others of us are attempting to be as green as possible. (Not that I think it makes a dent, it’s just so the guests and I can feel good about ourselves LOL.)

KKC: According to Starbucks, it sells papers cup to its 60 million world-wide customers each week. Have you written to Starbucks, too?

Why would I? They haven’t posted on this forum but when they do maybe I’ll comment on their post.

1 Like

Great idea on the to-go coffee/tea cups.

1 Like

I’d recommend a starter kit only. Your price is very low for somewhere that accommodates eight guests so you’d have to make sure that you raised your prices if you’re adding amenities.

But guests renting self-catering accommodation realise that they need to go grocery shopping. Bear in mind too that people can be remarkably picky about the beverages they prefer. We’ve had many guests over the years who specifically bring their own favourites. Whatever you choose won’t be right for everyone.

1 Like

Please don’t. These so-called disposable cups and lids really aren’t disposable at all. They hang around forever polluting the planet. Why pander to some imaginary thing that you think people might need? If people are in such a hurry that they can’t even spend a few minutes drinking a cup of coffee sitting down like a normal person, then they should buy themselves one of the many portable on-the-go reusable cups available.
(And probably stop thinking they’re so f*cking important and busy that the world will collapse if they have to actually stop to drink)

Maybe you don’t care about it or don’t believe it. But it’s true. We have 12 years left to get our shit together before it’s too late.


And… to add to the environmental rant (!)… I do understand the irony about caring about plastic lids when actually we are contributing to the most massive pollution of all - by encouraging people to travel and using all that fuel.

Actually I think that Airbnb are missing a huge opportunity. Instead of going for all the slick Plus and Experiences crap, they should have gone for the green way and invested in that. Plus a social aspect (like Fairbnb are doing). That is the real future.
But short-term money speaks louder, as always.


Yes I think so. 20202020202020 20

I have two airbnb listings and am just finishing my second year. I have always provided coffee, tea, half and half, butter, and a continental type of breakfast food. My listings are private apartments. I start with a pound of coffee and several tea options which I leave out for their use Sometimes they don’t even touch the food or the coffee. The food is always freshly purchased and I leave it in the fridge along with the coffee, cream, and butter. I have started asking them to put the food in the freezer if they do not plan to eat it.
I think my guests have most of the time behaved responsibly with regard to this type of hospitality. Some people may not feel comfortable with the way that I do this, and I suspect they are the people who do not touch the food. That is their choice. The butter and the food is always new and fresh for each booking. You can conveniently purchase half sticks now a days but they are not always available. If they are not, I just cut a half stick of butter and put it in a covered butter dish. When my occupancy is maxed which equals 4 or 3 persons respectively in the two apartments, more issues pop up, mostly and of course “noise” and for this reason my experience may not be relevant to your particular booking which is large compared to my experience.

1 Like

And the prize for the emptiest most pompous post of the day goes to…!

I don’t imagine that I’m in a position to “educate you kindly”. How patronising is that? I am simply expressing an opinion.


Not sure I understand.

Another tangent on this…something to consider: in our area you need to have a health department licence to provide items that are not factory sealed/individually packaged. (Small individual boxes of cereal is ok - large multi-portion boxes - no ) This is to prevent cross-contamination of food stuffs.

@colleague , I like your style. I really think butter is an item that most guest will want, but I still haven’t found a great solution. Maybe I’ll go with cutting a stick in half or just provide a whole stick after I got some feedback that my “consumable” expenses might be lower than average.