Traditionally known as a nation of tea lovers, we’re increasingly becoming a nation of coffee lovers here in the UK. In fact, in 2023, The Statista Global Consumer Survey found that 63% of Britons now drink coffee regularly, while only 59% regularly drink tea. Coffee is also now the most popular drink worldwide, with around two billion cups consumed every day and a staggering 98 million cups in the UK. We love good quality coffee, whether that’s purchased from our local cafe or enjoyed in our office, so you may be surprised to know what type of coffee takes the lead in popularity.
Is instant coffee still a thing?
Put simply, yes. 80% of British households regularly buy instant coffee and that rate is even higher among people over 65. Approximately 24 million people across the nation consumed it, with an estimated seven million drinking 2 to 3 cups a day. By far the most popular brand of instant coffee is Nescafé, with an estimated 13.7 million users in 2020 using one of their coffee products. One reason for the popularity of instant coffee is its introduction of it by Americans during World War Two. It was brought over in US troop ration packs and caught on since.
In fact, our choice of coffee is widely influenced by American culture and we tend to take our coffee cues from America rather than Italy’s more authentic offerings. By this, we mean, that the drink types that are most popular in the US, tend to be the most popular here.
In younger generations, single-serve coffee pods and ground coffee are gaining popularity. You can now pick up really affordable at-home coffee machines for around £50 making them accessible to most homes and families. Instant coffee is mostly used in homes, made with a kettle and is quick and convenient, but out of home, instant coffee isn’t widely available. Instant is naturally inferior in taste when compared to coffee from a bean to cup coffee machine, and it’s now widely accepted that offices must provide quality coffee as a perk. Despite all of this, instant remains Britain’s most popular type of coffee.
What coffee beans are most popular?
The two main species of coffee beans are Caffea Arabica (Arabica) and Caffea Canephora (Robusta). Together, these make up 99% of the world’s coffee production with Arabica accounting for around 70% of global coffee production making it the most popular coffee. Arabica tends to have a smooth and sweet taste, with notes often including chocolate and a hint of sweet berries. Robusta, on the other hand, has a stronger and more bitter taste which can be too bold for some, however, it is important to note that robusta plays an essential role in building body and Crema into espresso drinks, and there is no one perfect solution. Arabica is more similar in flavour to tea which makes sense why it’s more popular, especially here in the UK. You can find out more about the many differences between Arabica and Robusta in our blog.
What coffee drinks are most popular?
You may be considering getting a coffee machine for your office so you’ll want to understand what your team will enjoy the best. There are lots of different types of office coffee machines with some that make just one quality espresso to machines that pour lots of different drink choices from lattes, cappuccinos, ristretto, hot chocolate and more.
The most popular coffee drink differs by country and is heavily influenced of course by local culture and traditions. Below are some renowned coffee-drinking nations and some typical values they hold dear in their coffee culture:
In Italy, the espresso takes the number one spot and reportedly they enjoy 14 billion cups of it every year. Espresso is made by forcing water under pressure through roasted coffee beans. This creates a highly concentrated coffee drink that has a strong and distinctive taste enjoyed mostly in single shots from a miniature cup.
As you’d expect Turkish coffee is enjoyed the most in, yes, you guessed it, Turkey. Turkish coffee is made with very finely ground beans, which are then left in the coffee when served. It’s brewed in a special pot called a cezve or ibrick and served in small cups, many people choose to sweeten with sugar and cardamom.
Here in the UK, our most popular coffee drinks tend to be milk-based coffees. The popularity of coffee style is split approximately 60% milk-based coffee and 40% black coffee. The three most popular milk-based coffees are the latte, cappuccino and flat white, with the most popular drink of the black coffee family being Americano.
What type of coffee machine is right for my business?
If you’re a facilities or office manager and you’re looking to introduce or upgrade your office coffee, it’s important you choose a machine that dispenses a good range of drinks that you and your team will enjoy. You’ll likely find that a bean to cup machine is the best option for your office.
What’s a bean to cup coffee machine?
Bean to cup simply describes the coffee-making process from how the coffee is ground, pressed and brewed fresh – all at the touch of a button. They have internal grinders so they grind the beans and then hot water is forced through the ground coffee at high pressure resulting in a perfect cup of coffee. Bean to cup machines are therefore an automatic form of an espresso brewer. The espresso is the base of most popular coffee drinks, and when this is mixed with the ability to find milk, it gives you a truly automatic coffee shop experience. Think about a bean to cup machine as a bit like a coffee machine and barista all in one.
Get in touch
People at work now expect barista-style coffees and a cup of instant doesn’t cut it anymore in the office! Providing your team with a quality coffee experience shows you care and can support your overall workplace culture. If you need any advice on office coffee machines, we’re here to help. Simply get in touch with us on 020 7553 7900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.