Coffee Evolution (Young vs. Old Generation)

A lot has happened in the coffee world in recent years. As with many things, evolution does not stop at our favorite drink, coffee.

Not only the variety of coffee is constantly growing, but also the coffee machine manufacturers always surprise with technical innovations. But our attitude towards this beverage and its value chain has also changed. The report “Coffee in figures 2016” – a collaboration between Tchibo, brand eins Wissen and Statista – gives us a good insight into coffee evolution.

Technical Evolution

Coffee Evolution

Especially the technical evolution does not stand still. Development is being driven forward in all areas of our lives. This naturally also applies to coffee, pad and capsule machines, as they are becoming increasingly popular: from 2011 to 2014, the ownership of pad machines has increased from 35% to 40.8%.

During the same period, the number of capsule machines increased from 13% to 24.3%. The number of fully automatic espresso machines has also increased – from 13% to 19.5%. This development is of particular interest to coffee machine manufacturers.

New grinders and brewing processes for fully automatic coffee machines are leading to an ever faster, quieter and more aromatic preparation.

The new household appliances, not only the industry fully automatic coffee machines, have more and more technical refinements to offer. These not only bring the taste of coffee into the home, but also offer more and more space to individualize your favorite drink.

Many frahling lovers who have opted for a fully automatic coffee machine and not a filter coffee machine can enjoy creamy milk drinks at home. This was previously only possible in caf├ęs.

Evolution Of Taste

Coffee Evolution

With the technical evolution, the evolution of taste is also advanced – in two directions. All in all, the range of tastes and beverages is growing and individual taste and enjoyment is becoming more and more important.

The trend is towards milk specialities and at the same time there is a return to traditional methods of preparation, such as hand infusion.

This is also reflected in the report “Coffee in figures”. While the 50-64-year-olds still prefer to enjoy their filter coffee from the coffee machine (77%), milk specialities such as latte macchiato and latte coffee (52.4%) are almost as popular as filter coffee (58.3%) among the younger (18-34 years).

The preparation of chilled coffee variants (15.6%) as well as cold brew (1.4%) are much more popular with the younger generation. While only 6.8% of 50-64 year olds prefer chilled coffee variations, only about 0.4% of this group use the cold brew process.

The average age of people who like chilled coffee variations is 38.5 years. Lovers of cold brew preparation are on average 38 years old. Of course, this development does not escape the coffee machine manufacturers either.

Evolution Of Quality Awareness

Coffee Evolution

But the importance of coffee has also changed. Coffee is no longer exclusively synonymous with stimulants, but has developed into a luxury good. The same applies to the industry fully automatic coffee machines from various coffee machine manufacturers.

The willingness to take more money in your hands for higher quality coffee products and equipment is growing. The idea of quality is accompanied by increased interest in the processing of coffee.

Drum roasting is the preferred finishing method for coffee lovers. This evolution of quality awareness is also reflected in the numerous small specialty roasters that are currently conquering the backyards of many large cities.

Evolution Of The Concept Of Sustainability

Coffee Evolution

In addition to quality awareness, the concept of sustainability has also become more and more important to coffee drinkers. In addition to price and quality, the origin and possible certifications also play a role.

Customers want to know more about their coffee, which thanks to the coffee machine becomes a tasty filter coffee; where does it come from, who grows it and how do coffee farmers live?

Information about sustainable cultivation is increasingly influencing purchasing decisions – 38.1% of 18-34 year olds, 30.7% of 35-49 year olds and 34.3% of 50-64 year olds.

Likewise, more and more people are paying attention to the sustainable consumption of coffee, e.g. through the use of degradable coffee cups – 32.2% of 18-34 year-olds, 27.4% of 35-49 year-olds and 31.6% of 50-64 year-olds stated this.

When asked about changes to coffee, 18.4% of respondents said they would like to change production and environmental conditions. Only the change requests regarding taste (23.9%) and price & quality (22.4%) are greater.

Third Wave

Coffee Evolution

One effect of this coffee evolution is the “third wave of coffee”. The third coffee wave stands for high-quality coffee, which is regarded as a luxury. Its aim is to shape all components of the value-added chain in a high-quality and sustainable manner and thus to increase product and taste quality. For them, roasting is a trade and not just an unimportant step. But the working and living conditions of the local coffee farmers are also close to the heart of this movement. This eliminates as many middlemen as possible so that as much revenue as possible goes directly to the coffee farmers.

In addition, the original and alternative brewing methods are preferred to industrial fully automatic coffee machines. The focus is on an aromatic coffee preparation that has nothing to do with speed or simplicity. Here no coffee machine produces the filter coffee, but this is poured on by hand. The quality consciousness and the interest of the consumers are to be aroused. They should decide for themselves which coffee is good and not blindly trust the colourful coffee packaging.


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