Coffee Shop Music Genres – How to Choose the Right Music for Coffee Shop?


High-quality products, excellent customer service, fresh baked goods are key factors for a coffee shop’s success, but they are not the only ones. As part of the aesthetic element, the ambiance and music played in the background should also be considered. Having good background music helps create a relaxing mood within the coffee place. When people take a sip from their favorite coffee blend, the coffee shop soundtrack enhances their overall experience.

When you ask coffee shop owners about the secret to their success, they will probably give credit to the music they play in the background. If you are a coffee shop owner or planning to open new one, you should consider implementing brand-fitting coffee shop background music.

How to create a coffee shop playlist?

Looking to develop a better customer experience at your coffee house? Make sure to avoid the two common mistakes coffee house owners make when choosing the type of music to play:

  • following the latest trends
  • playlists are created based on the preferences and tastes of them or their staff

While both seem logical enough, they have little connection to what you want to accomplish. It’s not about creating a different sound, but rather about boosting your business. So, what are your options when it comes to coffeehouse background music?

For your cafe to have a certain mood, you’ll need to choose the right music. While your customers enjoy their coffees and snacks, they also want to read or chat with their friends, at least at most coffee shops. Choosing a chill and relaxed vibe would be a good choice. On the other hand, some coffee shops in large cities and busy areas usually have more in-and-out customers, streaming chill and mellow playlists will not work well in these types of cafes. 

Jukeboxy Music for Business caters to many coffee shops around the country. While analyzing their playlist usage, we noticed that they all use different types of genres to appeal to their target market.

“Check out some of the examples of coffee shop playlist

We’ll break down the coffee shop music genres below to help you find the right sound for your store and your customers.

Chill and Lo-Fi beats for cool coffee shop vibes

Lo-Fi stands for “low fidelity,” and research suggests that this genre is an excellent choice for focus and studying. If your coffee shop caters to people who come to study, work, or read, this would be the best choice. 

Chill beats also create cool coffeehouse vibes. If that’s the vibe you’re going for, this genre is the perfect choice for your coffee shop.

Jazz for enhancing coffee shop experience

The dynamic element of jazz makes it a popular music genre in many businesses, including coffee shops. Jazz is a mixture of musicians’ instrumental diversity, vocal melody, and the whole act of improvisation. Generally speaking, jazz creates a calming atmosphere that is ideal for relaxing settings like coffee shops.

Jazz is usually associated with a calm mood. However, since its birth, different styles of jazz music have been created, and they all cater to different moods. Depending on your coffeehouse’s atmosphere, you can create a fitting vibe with coffee house jazz music that your customers will enjoy. 

Types of jazz music that we think would go well with coffee shops:

  • Early Jazz, often called “Dixieland Jazz” is a good choice for creating a positive and happy coffee shop music vibe.
  • Bossa Nova, born in Brazil, also known as Brazilian Jazz, is an excellent choice for coffee shops with a Latin cafe vibe. 
  • Nu Jazz has been around since the early 90s, which blends jazz elements with electronic music. This genre is excellent for trendy coffee shops with Generation X customers.
  • Soul Jazz is a blend of jazz, r&b, gospel, and soul music, and it’s often instrumental. This type of jazz music allows people to have conversations and creates a relaxed atmosphere. It is an excellent choice for coffee shops with lots of seating areas for customers to enjoy their company.


Acoustic and instrumental music for a relaxing atmosphere

Acoustic or instrumental music for coffee shops is another excellent choice. It’s soft, soothing, and doesn’t distract our attention. For that reason, it’s a good match for coffee shops that provide a space for studying, reading, or having a conversation. 

This type of music may sound like a boring choice, but it doesn’t have to. There are many instrumental and acoustic versions of popular songs that your customers can enjoy while not being distracted by the background music.

Upbeat music for coffee shops in metropolitan areas

Big city coffee shops are usually bustling almost all day long. Playing relaxing, chill, or instrumental music may not be the best choice if your coffee shop is always busy with in-and-out customers. 

We recommend the following coffee shop music genres: 

  • Electronic music – we’re not suggesting techno or trance music here, but you can try electronic chill, deep house, and electronic-pop
  • Indie music – there are many types of Indie music out there; we recommend Indie Dance or Indie Pop music which can blend well with your energetic atmosphere.
  • Pop music – you can never go wrong with upbeat pop music, especially if you cater to different generations. Try mixing different decades from the 70s to the present day. 
  • Classic Rock music – another “you can’t go wrong” genre for busy coffee shops with different generation clientele. Study shows that even Millennials love the “Classic Rock” genre. You can read more here.

There are, of course, many other genres that would go well for coffee shops. When choosing the best coffee shop music for your store, you should consider the following: 

  • What type of coffee shop vibe you are trying to achieve? 
  • Who is your target market?
  • What is your table turnover goal? Do you prefer many in-and-out customers, or would you like people to spend hours at your cafe?

It may be overwhelming to find the fitting soundtrack for your coffee shop, but don’t worry! There’s a reason there are background music services for businesses that can provide the best sound for your store!

Extra Read: How to Design the Perfect Atmosphere for your Coffee Shop? 

music streaming for business

Use a business music streaming service

You might have searched for “coffee shop indie music” or “coffee shop sounds” in your browser and found all these amazing Spotify or YouTube playlists. Then, you start streaming Spotify in your business. In a perfect world, you are all set with the background music at your store.

In reality, however, you are illegally streaming music at your business!

Check out our guide: Can I use Spotify, Apple & Others? 

Music streaming services like Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, or YouTube are for personal use only. They provide a private license for a single user to enjoy music for their own entertainment. Using these services in a business environment is considered “Copyright Infringement” and has serious legal consequences. 

The other disadvantage of subscribing to a music service where you need to create playlists is; it takes time and effort to find the right tracks. Do you really have that much time to spend on music curation for a cafe playlist

We recommend subscribing to a monthly package from a commercially licensed business music streaming provider to avoid these pitfalls. Such as Jukeboxy Music for Business, which has one of the largest music libraries in the industry. There are over 350 expertly curated playlists in different genres, moods, tempos, and decades. You can find coffee house playlists specifically curated with various types of coffee shops in mind. This way, you’ll always have the kind of music your patrons love. 

You can try it all with a 14-day free trial and a monthly subscription of $24.95, thereafter. Most importantly, the music at your business will be licensed through ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, and GMR.