Devon-based coffee roaster, Spiller & Tait, has released the results of its first annual survey of coffee drinking habits in UK households, which shows an increasing sophistication in the way people are making coffee as they strive to recreate at home the high quality coffee they experience at High Street coffee shops and cafes.
Over 300 participants took part in the first ever Spiller & Tait In-home Coffee Survey. “We’re pleased with the level of participation in this, our inaugural in-home survey, which we decided to conduct in an effort to better understand our customers’ needs, and because there is a shortage of other market research into domestic coffee making and consumption habits in the UK” said Simon Spiller, co-founder of Spiller & Tait.
Findings from this survey confirm some patterns of in-home coffee making which are well documented. For example, the humble Cafetière continues to be the most used coffee-making device in households. And, even among households which buy fresh coffee beans for their superior flavour, making Instant Coffee remains a popular choice because of its convenience.
“A Kettle with Instant Coffee” is the second most used coffee making method in the survey, highlighting the importance of convenience to the UK coffee consumer.
Despite their relatively high price tag, Bean-to-Cup machines continue their rise in popularity, and are now the 3rd most popular device at home. The results indicate that this is due to the combination of convenience and flavour which are achieved with Bean-to-Cup machines. “As the price of Bean-to-Cup machines continues to fall and they become more affordable, we expect them to rise in popularity” said David Tait, co-founder.
There are also new findings from the Spiller & Tait survey. When compared with findings from similar home coffee reports in the past, the range of coffee making devices now being regularly used in households has increased significantly.
In total, more than 15 devices are now being used in households according to the Spiller & Tait survey. “We’ve been surprised by how many participants in our survey, over 50%, regularly use as many as three coffee making devices, with some using four or five devices, at home to make their brew. It seems that many homes today have a device for every occasion. The choice between using one or another seems to be determined by speed and convenience, entertaining others and savouring coffee flavour” added Simon.
According to comments made by survey respondents, speed and convenience are essential in the mornings and this explains why a high percentage of our households are turning to Instant Coffee, or Coffee Pods, for their caffeine fix. However, while entertaining, many of the same households choose either a Cafetière or Filter Coffee, for a flavoursome brew in an appropriate quantity. Some of the same households are also reserving their favourite beans for a quiet moment at the weekends or evenings, and make a special brew with their Bean-to-Cup machine, V60 Dripper or Aeropress. “It’s a very interesting picture and much more dynamic and sophisticated than we’d expected” explained David.
Other trends observed in the Spiller & Tait survey include the types of coffee drinks being consumed at home. Unlike the High Street, where the Cappuccino is still the Nation’s favourite coffee, a simple White Coffee is favoured at home, followed by Black Coffee. White and Black Coffees are the easiest to produce and don’t require additional equipment, like milk frothers, and this probably explains their in-home popularity.
“However, as the price of more sophisticated Espresso devices, with built-in milk frothing, continues to decline, we expect to see an increase in the popularity of milk-based drinks at home. Whether milky coffees overtake the popularity of a White or Black Coffee at home will remain to be seen. These coffees are often the best drinks for tasting the subtle and nuanced flavours of the high quality, gourmet coffee beans which are increasingly available from craft roasters and online retailers these days. Which might be another reason to explain their popularity” said Simon Spiller.
Simon and David do add a word of caution to those interpreting the results of their survey. “It’s unlikely our survey results reflect typical home coffee drinking habits in the UK. Many of the participants are Spiller &Tait customers and they tend to be part of the more discerning end of the market. Nevertheless, we believe our findings do reflect a rapidly increasing sophistication among home coffee consumption, which is one of the only coffee market segments which is still growing. Recent surveys suggest coffee shop growth has now stalled in the UK. In our opinion, that trend goes hand in glove with the growing and maturing home coffee market, as reflected in our first survey” explained Simon.