If you prefer freshly brewing your morning coffee at home, discussing bean origins with your local barista and would never suffer through a cup of instant, then new research shows you’re a “coffee connoisseur.”
A survey of 2,000 coffee-drinking Americans pinpointed the signs of a coffee connoisseur and found that 43 percent proudly identified with the label.
Additionally, respondents believe a connoisseur prefers coffees from specific coffee-growing regions and orders beverages not listed on the menu when at their local café.
Commissioned by Peet’s Coffee, Inc. and conducted by OnePoll, the survey examined the differences in taste between people who consider themselves coffee connoisseurs (43 percent) and those who do not (41 percent).
Interestingly enough, men were more likely than women to identify as a connoisseur (47 percent vs. 36 percent) — and Gen X was the generation with the most self-proclaimed connoisseurs (51 percent).
Results found that 7:35 a.m. was the perfect time for that first sip of coffee and the average respondent has at least two cups a day. Surprisingly, 42 percent of respondents claim they wake up chipper and alert without the help of a caffeine boost.
Medium is the roast of choice for both connoisseurs and non-connoisseurs — at 48 percent.
Those who identified as connoisseurs were much more likely to judge others for pronouncing espresso with an “x” (45 percent vs. 10 percent) — but they should be careful, as connoisseurs reported mispronouncing the word at a higher rate (37 percent vs. 17 percent).
They were also more likely to feel embarrassed by their coffee order (48 percent vs. 14 percent). This could be related to the 31 percent of coffee connoisseurs who admitted to ordering an indulgent, blended or frothy beverage often.
But it might also be because they’re more specific with their orders, as three in 10 connoisseurs report ordering a beverage not listed on the menu.
Popular additives for coffee include milk or cream (33 percent), though 13 percent of women reach for oat milk (versus 6 percent of men).
That isn’t the most unique flavor addition though, as 17 percent of respondents reported adding CBD oil to their morning brew, of which the majority were Gen X, Gen Z and millennials — demonstrating that younger generations are redefining coffee consumption.
Connoisseurs and non-connoisseurs had the same priorities when it came to purchasing coffee: freshness first (52 percent), followed by caffeine (41 percent) and the taste profile (40 percent).
“Whether pouring the perfect cup at home or picking one up on the go, we know customers want freshly roasted coffee,” said Doug Welsh, Roastmaster, Peet’s Coffee. “Peet’s goes to great lengths to not only roast our beans by hand but also deliver to the grocery shelf by hand for the ultimate freshness. We proudly list roast dates on bags, which means customers are guaranteed the freshness that carries the rich, complex coffee flavors we love.”
When not brewing at home, Gen Z respondents were willing to go an average of two miles out of their way for the best cup of coffee, while millennial respondents were willing to go a bit farther, traveling an average of three miles.
Baby boomers, on the other hand, were the least willing to go out of their way — with 36 percent saying they were willing to travel zero miles for coffee.
But that might be explained by the 59 percent of boomers surveyed who prefer making their coffee at home, so it tastes exactly how they want it to.
Millennials were also the demographic most likely to research a city’s coffee reputation before traveling — at 43 percent. That is, if they aren’t already traveling with their own beans and/or brewing equipment (14 percent each).
Connoisseurs were more likely to have been introduced to coffee by a parent (43 percent vs. 26 percent), while those who aren’t connoisseurs reported trying coffee on their own (10 percent vs. 19 percent).
Regardless, the average respondent was first introduced to coffee at age 16.
Interestingly enough, connoisseurs were also more likely to spend time researching their coffee. Eighty-three percent have looked into whether or not their coffee beans are grown and sourced in a responsible way (compared to 22 percent of non-connoisseurs).
This is compared to 78 percent of baby boomers surveyed who reported they do not research whether or not their coffee beans are grown and sourced responsibly.
Coffee connoisseurs were also more likely to research whether or not their coffee meets environmental and sustainability standards — at a reported 86 percent compared to 31 percent of non-connoisseurs.
“Peet’s Coffee invests in an in-depth verification process to know with certainty that we are sourcing coffee produced in a socially responsible way,” said Doug Welsh, Roastmaster, Peet’s Coffee. “Then we target farmer training to improve agronomy and business skills necessary to sustainably grow high-quality coffee and earn a better livelihood.”
TOP 20 SIGNS OF A “COFFEE CONNOISSEUR”
- Prefer to make coffee at home, so it’s to their own taste
- Can intimately discuss coffee and bean origin with the local barista
- Would rather skip a morning coffee than have a cup of instant
- Prefer coffees from specific coffee-growing regions
- Order something that’s not on the menu
- Hand-brew coffee using a method other than a traditional drip coffee maker
- Can immediately identify a coffee that isn’t freshly roasted or brewed
- Local barista knows their order on sight, before they place it
- Know the taste profiles of different roasts
- Have multiple blends of coffee in their home
- Create their own blends by mixing coffee beans
- Attend coffee tastings (“coffee cuppings”) and/or conventions
- Buy coffee beans from a specialty coffee shop (not the grocery store)
- Time of day affects coffee order
- Travel with their own brewing equipment
- Travel with their own coffee beans
- Roast their own coffee beans at home
- Have a coffee subscription
- Organic coffee is important to them
- They only buy whole-bean coffee and grind it at home before brewing
PRIORITIES WHEN PURCHASING COFFEE
- Freshness 52 percent
- Caffeine 41 percent
- Taste profile 40 percent
- Origins 35 percent
- Price 32 percent
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