How Do Coffee Preferences Differ among Age Groups?

How Do Coffee Preferences Differ among Age Groups?Coffee clearly outpaces tea as the hot beverage of choice in the United States by about 3 to 1. In fact, coffee is so common in this country that it is generally assumed one drinks it unless otherwise stated. We drink coffee just about anywhere we can find it. And of course, don’t forget the coffeehouse culture that was birthed a few decades back. Coffee is all around us.

We thought it would be interesting to look at coffee preferences by age group, just to see if there were any drastic differences worthy of noting. What we found was not too surprising given the state of the coffee industry in 2015. The numbers we are about to share with you come from a white paper commissioned by a nationally known coffee and tea wholesaler, S&D Coffee and Tea.

Beginning the Coffee Habit

Consuming coffee in the United States has long been associated with maturity and adulthood. Because of the caffeine, we do not tend to give coffee to younger children. So having that first cup as a teenager is a sign that one is entering adulthood. The numbers from the S&D white paper bear that out.

According to their research, 87% of all American coffee drinkers begin consuming coffee prior to age 21. Among younger Millennials, most started drinking coffee at age 15; the average age among older Millennials is 17. Somewhat surprising is Generation X. The average age to begin drinking coffee among this group is 19.

What is not surprising about the statistics is that most people began drinking coffee in their mid-to-late teens. This lines up perfectly with the common assumption that coffee drinking is associated with adulthood. Now let us look a little deeper at the preferences of different age groups.

What They Drink

Older coffee drinkers (age 35 to 44 among the study group) preferred regular, brewed coffee at a rate of about 65%. The remaining 35% enjoyed alternative coffee drinks such as cappuccinos, lattes, iced coffees, etc. We assume the preferences above age 44 lead much more heavily toward brewed coffee. However, that is not so with younger people.

Research shows that among 25 to 34-year-olds, just under 60% prefer brewed coffee to alternative coffee drinks. Younger people between the ages of 18 and 24 prefer alternative coffee drinks to brewed coffee at a rate of about 55%. Younger coffee drinkers are the primary supporters of the coffeehouse culture.

Perhaps the most surprising statistic of the S&D white paper is this: 47% of all Millennials report drinking more brewed coffee as they get older. The research indicates that coffee drinking habits ‘mature’ with age, with consumers drinking fewer alternative drinks in favor of more traditional coffee.

What do you prefer? Whether you drink brewed coffee or alternative coffee drinks, Galaxy has what you are looking for in an office beverage service. We are proud to provide the greater New York area with coffee, tea, and a long list of additional beverages.