The Internet Is Searching for Coffee Now More Than At Any Other Point In History—Why?

Nearly three in four Americans consume coffee daily, making it one of the most widely consumed beverages globally. The demand for coffee-related information on the internet is strong, with Google Trends revealing that the term “coffee” is being searched more now than at any other point in history. The growing obsession with coffee can be attributed to cultural significance, social norms, and the belief that we are creatures of habit. James Hoffmann, a former World Barista Champion and co-founder of East London’s Square Mile Coffee Roasters, explains that the growing internet craze is driven by the gradual rise in specialty coffee and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The specialty coffee market is projected to reach $152.69 billion by 2030, driven by a growing appreciation for quality and craftsmanship. These beans undergo rigorous quality control measures and are often roasted in small batches to accentuate unique flavors and characteristics. The rise of specialty coffee is also fueled by an increasing awareness of sustainability and ethical sourcing practices within the industry. The number of cafes serving great, interesting coffee has spiked an interest in demand, as the demand for coffee-related information on the internet is more fervent than ever before.

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the coffee industry, leading to a surge in interest and content about coffee. People have become more open to learning more about coffee and taking the chance to click on thumbnails to learn new topics. Morgan Eckroth, a U.S. Barista Champion and World Barista runner-up, has cultivated a following for her soothing specialty drink how-tos, from miso caramel cold brew to fanciful cocktail-inspired concoctions.

The pandemic has also led to an increase in interest from new brewers and coffee consumers. The point of entry for brewing good coffee at home has been significantly lowered, and general interest has increased. Even those unwilling to make their coffee into art have upped their expectations. The instant coffee market has seen a boom in craft brands like Blue Bottle, Partners, and La Colombe releasing instant options in new formats like sachets and espressos.

Social media has become a goldmine of coffee-centric content, with TikTok revealing 75.5 billion views and 9.6 million posts. From seasonal drink how-tos to mesmerizing latte art videos, Starbucks drink hacks, and coffee memes, social media has become a goldmine of coffee-centric content. This aligns with the growth and interest in specialty coffee in the real world, with the increase of independent roasters and cafes opening globally.

The coffee market generates about $11.4 billion in the U.S. alone and is projected to grow annually by 3.01% between 2024 and 2028. Celebrities have also jumped on the coffee train, launching their own brands and generating considerable buzz online. Mega-influencer Emma Chamberlain announced the launch of Chamberlain Coffee in 2020, captivating a dedicated audience of Gen Z’ers.

Hollywood has also seen its fair share of Joe-targeted ventures, with notable launches including Hugh Jackman’s Laughing Man Coffee, Leonardo DiCaprio’s Lyon in partnership with La Colombe, Machine Gun Kelly’s 27 Club Coffee, and Jadakiss’ Kiss Café. Robert Downey Jr. recently joined the fray with his new coffee line, Happy, reportedly giving coffee quite the endorsement when he said: “I credit coffee, in part, for my sanity.”

The growing interest in specialty coffee and growing cafes has led to a top Google search for “coffee shops near me.” About 8% of drinkers in the U.S. are purchasing coffee daily, while 26.9% report buying it a few times a week. Starbucks, with over 38,000 stores worldwide and a net revenue of $20.46 billion in 2023, remains a cornerstone of consumption, fueled by social media hype and stellar marketing.

Google search also reveals an interest in coffee health, with recent studies adding to the buzz. Studies have been conducted in the last 20 to 30 years that have been widely covered in mainstream media outlets and social media platforms. These reports have significantly heightened the public’s curiosity and fascination about coffee, as well as the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which recommend moderate coffee consumption due to its health benefits.

There is consistent evidence that coffee consumption is linked to reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, liver disease, some forms of cancer, and neurological diseases such as dementia and Parkinson’s Disease. However, for some individuals, too much caffeine can lead to anxiety and nervousness, and adding sugar, cream, or other additives can increase caloric and sugar intake, which can offset coffee’s health benefits. As people become more health conscious, there is a growing demand for healthier options in food and beverages, including coffee.

The landscape of coffee has undergone significant transformation in recent years, with the rise of celebrity-backed brands and the proliferation of influencers on social media platforms like TikTok. As the bev continues to dominate online discourse, it is clear that it has become a cultural phenomenon in its own right. The growing interest in coffee health also shows a broader societal shift towards wellness and conscious consumption. With ongoing research uncovering the potential health benefits of coffee, coupled with its enduring popularity, the future of coffee culture looks bright and caffeinated.

Read More @ GQ

Suggested Reading