Since at least the 15th century, coffee houses have been a place for people of all walks of life to meet and socialize. While the majority of Americans consume their first cup of coffee at home, pre-pandemic studies revealed that up to 75 percent of workers consume at least one cup of coffee at work daily.
Coffee has played a role in how we interact with others, from coffee breaks at work as an opportunity to interact with coworkers to the history of coffee houses as meeting places.
Daily, more Americans choose coffee than any other beverage, including tap water, according to a survey and data report on 2021 National Coffee Data Trends. Two-thirds of those surveyed reported having consumed coffee within the past 24 hours, and it is estimated that Americans consume 517 million cups of coffee per day.
Since January 2020, workplace coffee consumption has decreased by 55%, according to the same study.
The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally altered the coffee culture in the United States. Customers may have stopped visiting coffee shops due to COVID, but they never stopped wanting coffee, according to Drew Pond, co-owner and director of development at Stone Creek Coffee.
“I concur that coffee is a beverage that promotes community. It is also a fuel source. This fuel consumption never diminished during COVID,” he said.
Instead, consumers altered their coffee consumption habits.
Karen Gill of Wauwatosa resorted to coffee dates in the driveway with her friends during lockdown in an effort to maintain a distance and be outdoors while still interacting with others.
She stated, “All I wanted was to be with my people.”
On June 27, Charisse Kroner uses a French press to prepare her morning coffee. The French press is slower than a drip coffee maker, but the flavor is more robust, according to her.
More than forty percent of Americans purchased previously untried coffee varieties during the pandemic, and nearly one-third attempted to recreate coffee shop beverages at home, according to survey results. One-fourth of Americans purchased new coffee formats and brewing machines.
Gill, a manager of food education and chef who works in health care, did not significantly alter her schedule during the pandemic lockdown, but she did have more time to savor her coffee. She is one of the many Americans who have added new coffee-brewing equipment. Gill was a self-proclaimed traditionalist; she only owned a drip coffee maker. During lockdown, however, she added a French press and a cold brew system to her repertoire, enabling her to appreciate her daily coffee in new ways.
In the past two years, French presses have gained popularity as an inexpensive way to enhance the home coffee experience. Coffee connoisseurs vouch for this method of brewing coffee, which takes longer but allows for a great deal of customization. In addition, a French press can be used to froth milk and brew small amounts of espresso, making it a cost-effective way to make coffeehouse-style beverages at home.