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Curating Songs for Your Coffee Shop Playlist

Whether you are a barista or you’re someone who frequents coffee shops every day, you would probably agree that music is the finishing touch after designing your dream cafe. The genre of music playing over the loudspeakers ties the entire coffee shop together. It amplifies the vibe of the cafe, and the atmosphere is never the same without music softly in the background. 


Music adds character, and the perfect playlist will charm your customers. Although it might be more of an after-thought than a top priority, your coffee shop playlist should be intentional, personable, and aesthetic. Now, the aesthetic of your coffee house song list depends entirely on the interior and overall design of your coffee shop. 


Let’s say you are the owner of a coffee shop inside of a record store. With a location like that, you have the freedom to play an array of music, especially since you are bound to attract customers with such a diverse taste in music. 


Consider compiling a weekly theme and putting on a different playlist everyday. For example, Mondays could become Motown Mondays, and Sundays could be known as Smooth Jazz Sundays. Let your creativity run wild with this idea for a coffee house song list. 


Other coffee shops in more niche locations might not have the same amount of freedom when it comes to the music being played in the space. A third-wave coffee house is more likely to consistently play alternative songs and indie titles. 


On the other hand, a chain coffee company, like Starbucks or Peet’s Coffee, will likely have a coffee house song list full of pop songs and mainstream music. The key is to identify your audience, and then cater coffee shop movie songs that match your customer base. 


Coffee shop interior Barista Underground


Finding the Perfect Coffee House Song List

If you are unsure about the genre of music you want to play in your coffee house, it might be easier to start out with a pre-made coffee house playlist. Bloggers are an excellent resource to turn to when you are curating songs for your coffee shop playlist. Take a look at online blogs and scope the internet for wisdom from fellow coffee aficionados. 


Use the playlists of other shops as inspiration, too. If there is a local coffee shop in your neck of the woods that has a similar vibe to your coffee house, spend some time in that cafe and listen to the music being played. Scoping out the music tastes of other coffee shops can help you experience playlists in real life, too. Imagining how the music will sound is one thing, but actually hearing it flow through a coffee shop paints a more vivid picture. 


If you aren’t finding a lot of inspirational blog posts, or if you don’t have time to visit other coffee shops, then your best option is to choose from playlists that already exist. There are three main streaming platforms for coffee shop movie songs…


  • Spotify
  • YouTube
  • Apple Music


All three of these streaming platforms are perfect for any coffee shop, whether beautifully designed or your average run-of-the-mill joint. 



In the past few years, Spotify has become one of the most-used music streaming apps. Artists upload their music to the platform in hopes of people streaming their songs. Spotify makes it incredibly easy for you to curate your own coffee shop playlist, so that is a major plus for cafe owners and baristas. The one caveat is that you will need to pay a monthly membership to stream your playlists without ads. 



YouTube is an amazing platform for all things music. You can stream just about any type of musical genre on YouTube, so the platform gives you a lot of creative freedom. YouTube is also an excellent option if you are still unsure about the types of music you want to play in your coffee house. There are endless coffee shop playlists created by YouTubers, and you are free to use any that pique your interest. 


The one major detail to keep in mind when considering a YouTube playlist for your coffee house songs list is that YouTube playlists typically run ads between songs. While this may not bother you, it could be an annoyance for your customers. You can certainly download an ad blocker, but if you would prefer to not install anything on your device, then Apple music is the most ideal music streaming site for you. 


Apple Music

Apple Music is likely the best option for curating songs for a coffee shop playlist. There are no ads whatsoever, which makes for a very cohesive coffee house songs list. You can add music to your Apple account with ease and the platform is compatible with any device, no matter if it is an Apple product or not. 


The Best Coffee Shop Movie Songs

What better coffee shop movie songs to start with than songs from the movie, “Coffee Shop”?! There are two main songs from the movie that we recommend including in your coffee house song list. The movie premiered in 2014, and it depicts the experiences of a young coffee shop owner. These songs are…


  • “Dance with Me” by Mandi Mapes 
  • “In Your Arms” by Mandi Mapes


Aside from Mandi Mapes, there are numerous other artists whose music is perfect for a coffee house setting. If your coffee shop has an aesthetic vibe to it, then selecting songs that match the ambiance of your cafe is very important. 


But this detail matters less for coffee shops that have a more eclectic feel to them. Either way, let’s explore various genres of music to help you curate songs for your coffee shop playlist!


You are what you listen to Barista Underground


Must-Have Music for Your Coffee House Song List

There are about ten different genres of music out there, but some of them are not very suitable for coffee shops, such as metal, dubstep, electronic dance music, and techno. Even so, there are still many options for you to choose from, including…


  • Alternative
  • Country 
  • Indie
  • Jazz 
  • Pop
  • Rhythm and Blues 
  • Rock


Here are five songs from each genre to give you some inspiration for your coffee house songs list! 


Alternative Songs List

  • “Mr. Brightside” by The Killers 
  • “Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon 
  • “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons
  • “Float On” by Modest Mouse
  • “What You Know” by Two Door Cinema 


Country Songs List

  • “I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack
  • “Jolene” by Dolly Parton 
  • “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash
  • “Need You Now” by Lady Antebellum
  • “Raised on Country” by Chris Young


Indie Songs List

  • “Electric Feel” by MGMT
  • “First Day of My Life” by Bright Eyes
  • “Breezeblocks” by alt-J
  • “I Will Follow You Into The Dark” by Death Cab for Cutie 
  • “Such Great Heights” by The Postal Service


Jazz Songs List

  • “Strange Fruit” by Billie Holiday
  • “Cantaloupe Island” by Herbie Hancock
  • “Sing Sing Sing” by Benny Goodman
  • “Fly Me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra
  • “Feeling Good” by Nina Simone


Pop Songs List

  • “Bad Guy” by Billie Eilish
  • “Beautiful People” by Ed Sheeran
  • “I Like Me Better” by Lauv
  • “Talk” by Khalid
  • “Side to Side” by Ariana Grande


Rhythm and Blues Songs List

  • “Reach Out I’ll Be There” by Four Tops
  • “A Change is Gonna Come” by Sam Cookie
  • “My Girl” by the Temptations
  • “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman” by Aretha Franklin
  • “At Last” by Etta James 


Rock Songs List

  • “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin
  • “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen
  • “Another Brick in the Wall” by Pink Lloyd
  • “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison 
  • “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi 

Final Thoughts 

Creating a playlist is all about enhancing the experience your customers have within your shop. Creating an amazing recipe with high quality ingredients will bring people in, but your music and atmosphere will make people want to stay. 

So brew up a delicious caramel latte, bump the jams, and create a cafe people no one can forget!


September 19, 2019 by Staff @ BaristaUnderground