Coffee across the generations, truth or stereotyping

Recently I heard an individual in the coffee shop line say that they didn’t think the Boomer cared like a Gen Z about quality tasting coffee. I needed to dig into the line of thinking and where it may have come from. OK, the “facts” as found across a few differently opinionated sources that I took the time to read through so you don’t have to. Of course, the usual disclaimers on things like this, you may see yourself or think the info is way off base, it is just an interesting thing to think about when having your morning coffee.

Gen Z:

  • Influential Market Presence: Gen Z’s significant spending power, especially in the U.S., makes them influential in shaping consumer trends. Their increasing numbers have started to impact the coffee market significantly, as seen in the inclusion of their preferences in the National Coffee Drinking Trends report by the National Coffee Association (NCA)​​.
  • Preference for Gourmet Coffee: Gen Z has a pronounced preference for “gourmet” coffee drinks, defined as premium, non-instant arabica or arabica blend coffee products. This generation is more than twice as likely to consume gourmet coffee compared to older age groups, indicating a shift towards higher quality coffee​​.
  • Convenience and Fast-Paced Lifestyle: The fast-paced lifestyle of Gen Z has shaped their coffee drinking habits. They favor ready-to-drink (RTD) and cold brew coffee, which align with their preference for simplicity and convenience. These choices reflect their adaptation to a world of instant gratification, where online shopping and home delivery are the norms​​.
  • Healthier Options and Perceptions: Gen Z often perceives RTD and iced coffees as healthier alternatives to carbonated soft drinks and energy drinks, while still providing a caffeine boost. This perception is in line with their overall health-conscious approach to food and beverage consumption​​.
  • Focus on Transparency and Traceability: Gen Z values transparency and traceability in the coffee supply chain. They are keen on knowing where their coffee is grown, who grew it, and ensuring the process is ethical and sustainable. This generation seeks out brands that support their values, paying more attention to how brands align with their ethical and environmental concerns​​.

These preferences and behaviors of Gen Z reflect a broader shift in the coffee sector towards quality, convenience, health consciousness, and ethical considerations. Their choices are redefining coffee consumption trends, influencing the products and services offered by coffee brands and retailers.


  • Increased Coffee Consumption: Millennials have shown a significant increase in daily coffee consumption, with 51% of 18 to 24-year-olds drinking coffee daily by 2014, up from 25% in 2000. The average number of cups consumed daily also increased from 2.3 to 3.3 in this period. Millennials, being the largest generational group in the United States, exert considerable influence on the coffee industry and its trends​​.
  • Technology and Social Media Influence: Technology, especially smartphone applications, plays a substantial role in how Millennials interact with coffee. They frequently use these apps to order coffee and rely on social media to review products and seek advice from friends. This behavior reflects their interconnected, tech-savvy lifestyle and influences their coffee-related decisions​​.
  • Trend Toward Cold Brew and RTD Coffee: Millennials have significantly driven the popularity of non-espresso-based beverages, like cold brew and RTD coffee. The sales of cold brew coffee saw an increase of nearly 600% from 2011 to 2016. RTD coffee also experienced remarkable growth, with more than two-thirds of 18 to 34-year-olds in the US consuming single-serve RTD coffee beverages. This preference is attributed to the convenience and speed of RTD beverage consumption, aligning with Millennials’ fast-paced lifestyles​​.
  • Preference for Specialty Coffee: Millennials are leading the third wave coffee movement, with a significant portion regularly consuming specialty coffee. They show a growing taste for gourmet varieties, including single-origin coffee, known for its unique flavors and high level of supply chain transparency. Millennials seek detailed information about their coffee, from origin to roast profile, driving coffee roasters to provide more information on packaging labels and tasting cards​​.
  • Commitment to Sustainability: Millennials demonstrate a strong commitment to sustainability in their coffee choices. A significant majority understand the concept of sustainable coffee and are willing to pay more for sustainably sourced and produced coffee. They also prefer to purchase from companies that support environmental and ethical causes. This preference has influenced coffee roasters to focus on sustainable certifications and environmentally friendly packaging materials to appeal to the Millennial market​​.

These insights reveal a multifaceted approach to coffee consumption among Millennials, emphasizing quality, convenience, technological integration, and a strong commitment to sustainability and ethical practices.

Baby Boomers:

  • Early Coffee Experiences: Iconic brands like Tim Hortons played a significant role in shaping the coffee habits of Baby Boomers. Visits to such coffee shops were more than just about coffee; they were social experiences, a place for community, friendship, and storytelling​​.
  • Coffee Shops as Social Hubs: In their younger years, Baby Boomers frequented coffee shops that served gourmet coffee. These establishments were more than just places to drink coffee; they were hubs for intellectual discussions, artistic exchanges, and political debates, fostering a strong sense of community​​.
  • Instant Coffee and Convenience: During the 1970s and 1980s, as Baby Boomers became working professionals and parents, instant coffee gained popularity for its convenience. The need for quick and easy coffee solutions was paramount in the daily hustle and bustle of their lives​​.
  • Shift to Health and Wellness: As they aged, Baby Boomers’ concern for health and wellness grew, leading to an increased focus on organic and specialty coffees. They transitioned from mass-produced coffees to more ethically sourced and environmentally friendly options, driven by a growing consciousness of sustainability and fair trade practices​​.
  • Embracing Artisanal Coffee: The emergence of specialty coffee shops marked a new era in coffee consumption for Baby Boomers. They started seeking unique flavors and handcrafted beverages, exploring diverse coffee bean origins and roasting techniques, appreciating the art of coffee-making​​.
  • Digital Transformation in Coffee Consumption: The advent of the internet and digital technology transformed their coffee-drinking habits. Online subscriptions and e-commerce platforms enabled them to discover global coffee blends from the comfort of their homes​​.
  • Coffee in Retirement: As Baby Boomers approached retirement, their coffee habits shifted. Coffee became a vital part of their morning routines and a medium for continued social interaction. Retirement provided more time to explore new coffee recipes and experiment with brewing methods, such as pour-over, French press, and espresso machines. Coffee gatherings remained a centerpiece for social interactions​​.

These trends reflect Baby Boomers’ evolving relationship with coffee, characterized by a balance of traditional preferences, health consciousness, and an openness to new experiences and technologies in their coffee consumption.

Please note that if you purchase from clicking on the link, some will result in my getting a tiny bit of that sale to help keep this site going. If you enjoy my work, perhaps you would consider donating to my daily cup of coffee, thank you.


Exquisite Luxury Coffee Beans: The Art of Luxury Coffee

The world of luxury designer coffee beans is deeply rooted in the concept of sourcing and single-origin significance, where the journey of every bean tells a story of its origin. These premium beans are often sourced from exotic locations around the globe, renowned for their ideal coffee-growing conditions. 

These conditions include factors like rich volcanic soil, specific altitudes, and favorable climates, all of which contribute to the unique flavor profiles of the beans. For instance, the Blue Mountains of Jamaica, known for their mist-covered peaks, offer an environment that yields coffee beans with a distinct mild flavor and a lack of bitterness. Similarly, the highlands of Ethiopia, often regarded as the birthplace of coffee, provide beans with rich, complex flavors, reflecting the diverse ecosystem of the region. Meanwhile, the slopes of the Andes in Colombia are celebrated for producing beans with a perfect balance of acidity and sweetness, a testament to the lush, mountainous terrain.

Single-origin coffee beans elevate this concept further by focusing on a specific region or even a single farm. This level of specificity ensures that each cup of coffee reflects the distinct taste of its origin. The soil composition, climate, and cultivation methods unique to each area leave an indelible mark on the beans, offering a flavor that is not just unique but also tells a story of its journey from a particular corner of the world. This focus on single-origin beans allows connoisseurs to experience and appreciate the diverse flavors that different regions and even different farms can produce. It’s a celebration of the local environment and the careful, often traditional, farming practices that go into producing each bean. In essence, every sip offers an intimate connection to the place and people behind the coffee, creating a rich, sensory experience that extends beyond the mere taste.

In the realm of luxury coffee, the artisanal processing and roasting of beans play a pivotal role in defining their quality and flavor. The process starts with the meticulous selection of beans, often hand-picked at peak ripeness to ensure the highest quality. The chosen processing method, whether it be washed, natural, or honey, further influences the flavor profile of the beans, adding layers of complexity to the final product. This attention to detail in the processing stage sets the foundation for the unique characteristics of each bean.

Following this, the beans undergo specialized roasting, a critical step where skilled artisans apply their expertise to bring out the best in each bean. This is not a one-size-fits-all approach; instead, roasters adjust roasting time and temperature to enhance the inherent qualities of the beans. The goal is to highlight specific flavor notes, whether it’s to bring out a bright acidity, a rich body, or a delicate aroma, tailoring the roasting process to each batch of beans.

The result of this processing and roasting is a range of unique and complex flavor profiles in luxury coffee beans. These beans can exhibit an array of flavors, from bright and fruity to deep and earthy tones. The specific flavor of each bean is a reflection of its origin, variety, and the meticulous methods used in its processing. Many of these luxury beans are graded as ‘specialty’ by organizations like the Specialty Coffee Association, a testament to their exceptional quality. This specialty grading is based on a rigorous evaluation process, with beans needing to score above 80 out of 100 on various quality factors to earn this designation.

Complementing the quality of the beans is their packaging and presentation. Luxury coffee beans are often presented in sophisticated packaging, which serves a dual purpose. Not only does it preserve the quality and freshness of the beans, but it also enhances their appeal as a premium product. The branding of these coffees often tells a story, creating a connection between the consumer and the bean’s journey. This narrative encompasses the origin of the beans, the dedication of the farmers, and the unique path the beans have taken from crop to cup, adding an emotional and experiential dimension to the enjoyment of the coffee.

A few examples:

  • Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee: Known for its mild flavor and lack of bitterness.
  • Hawaiian Kona Coffee: Grown on the slopes of Mauna Loa in Hawaii, renowned for its rich flavor.
  • Stumptown Coffee Roasters: Offers a range of high-quality single-origin coffees and unique blends.
  • La Colombe: Known for their distinct and high-quality coffee offerings.

Please note that if you purchase from clicking on the link, some will result in my getting a tiny bit of that sale to help keep this site going. If you enjoy my work, perhaps you would consider donating to my daily cup of coffee, thank you.


Coffee Creations Pairing With Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

Ah, Thanksgiving lunch is done, and now it is dinner time! A time when your fridge is brimming with an abundance of leftovers, each container promising a replay of the earlier time of eating a touch too much. But wait, what’s missing in this delicious picture of leftover delight? The perfect cup of coffee, of course. The right coffee can elevate your leftover turkey sandwich into a gourmet experience, transform a simple slice of pie into a café-worthy dessert, and turn a quiet evening of indulging in leftovers into a cozy, culinary adventure. Here are some coffee drink thoughts that would pair nicely with the leftovers of your choice:

First, the usual staples of the Americano, Mocha, Cappuccino, Espresso, Vanilla Latte shouldn’t just be forgotten, they are all easy and quick to make. The more specialized seasonal drinks that will kick up the plate of leftovers are fun as well, Pumpkin Spice Latte, Gingerbread Latte, Caramel Macchiato, and Vanilla Latte too.

For taking it to the next level, here are a group of coffee treats that are sure to step outside of the normal list:

Spiced Orange Mocha: Add a twist to the classic mocha by infusing it with orange zest and a pinch of holiday spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. This coffee drink can complement the richness of turkey and stuffing beautifully.

Cardamom Latte: Infuse your latte with cardamom, a spice that adds a unique, aromatic flavor. Check, you may be surprised you have Cardamon amongst your spices. It’s a delightful match for the spiced and herby flavors in Thanksgiving dishes.

Hazelnut Cappuccino: The nutty flavor of hazelnut in a frothy cappuccino can provide a delightful contrast to the rich and savory flavors of traditional Thanksgiving meals.

Salted Caramel Affogato: If your waiting to drink coffee with dessert, try an affogato with salted caramel ice cream. Pour a shot of hot espresso over the ice cream for a sweet and slightly salty treat.

Apple Pie Latte: Infuse your latte with apple pie spices and a hint of apple or caramel syrup. This drink would be a perfect match for the warm, comforting flavors of Thanksgiving desserts. Yes, I have used a dab of the apple pie filling, but the ratio can be get right on the first try since different pies can have very different taste intensities.

Maple Bourbon Coffee: I needed to get at least one alcohol coffee on the list. Combine hot coffee with a splash of bourbon and maple syrup for a warming and slightly sweet drink. This pairs exceptionally well with the savory and hearty flavors of Thanksgiving dishes.

You can find one that you make with the same ingredients every time if they are regular spices, but you may find you need to tune each year if you use things from the leftovers to find the right taste and sweetness.

Please note that if you purchase from clicking on the link, some will result in my getting a tiny bit of that sale to help keep this site going. If you enjoy my work, perhaps you would consider donating to my daily cup of coffee, thank you.


Finding the Perfect Coffee to Pair with Your Meal

When it comes to pairing coffee drinks with various meal dishes, the goal is to create harmonious flavor combinations that enhance the overall dining experience. The right coffee can complement the flavors, textures, and aromas of the food, creating a delightful balance or contrast. Just like pairing wine with food, coffee pairing involves considering factors such as intensity, acidity, sweetness, and aroma.

For example, if you’re enjoying a light breakfast or indulging in pastries, a cup of black coffee or espresso can provide a pleasant contrast to the sweetness or butteriness of the baked goods. The bold and robust flavors of the coffee can awaken the senses and provide a satisfying counterpoint to the delicate pastries.

When it comes to brunch dishes or eggs, a cappuccino or latte can be an excellent choice. The creamy texture of these coffee drinks can complement the richness of egg-based dishes like omelets or eggs Benedict. The milk in the coffee can create a harmonious balance, softening the flavors and adding a touch of sweetness.

For those who relish chocolate desserts, an espresso or a mocha can be a match made in heaven. The deep, robust flavors of espresso can intensify the richness of chocolate, while the mocha, with its combination of espresso and chocolate, can create a decadent and indulgent pairing.

When dealing with spicy or savory dishes, a cup of cold brew coffee can be a refreshing choice. The smooth and less acidic nature of cold brew can help cool down the palate and provide respite from the heat or intense flavors of dishes like spicy curries or barbecued meats. The refreshing qualities of cold brew can cleanse the palate between bites, allowing you to fully appreciate the complexities of the meal.

Pairing coffee with cheese or nut-based dishes opens up another realm of possibilities. A medium-bodied coffee like a pour-over or a French press can be an excellent accompaniment. These brewing methods bring out the nuanced flavors of the coffee, which can complement the intricate profiles of cheeses or nuts. The balance of flavors can create a memorable sensory experience, with each element enhancing the other.

Some more specific examples I found to share:

Grilled meats: A bold and dark roast coffee, such as an Italian roast or French roast, can complement the rich and smoky flavors of grilled steaks, burgers, or barbecued meats. The robustness of the coffee can stand up to the strong flavors of the grilled meats.

Seafood: Lighter seafood dishes like grilled fish or shrimp can be accompanied by a cup of light to medium roast coffee. The brightness and acidity of the coffee can provide a refreshing contrast to the delicate flavors of the seafood.

Salads: For fresh and vibrant salads, a cup of iced coffee or cold brew can be an excellent choice. The chilled coffee can enhance the crispness of the vegetables and offer a refreshing and energizing element to the meal.

Asian cuisine: If you’re enjoying Asian dishes like sushi, stir-fries, or noodles, a cup of green tea can be a great alternative to coffee. Green tea has a clean and grassy flavor that can complement the light and delicate flavors of many Asian dishes.

Dessert with fruit: If you have a dessert featuring fruits like berries or citrus, consider pairing it with a cup of Ethiopian coffee. Ethiopian coffees often have fruity and floral notes that can harmonize with the natural sweetness and acidity of the fruits.

Spicy Mexican or Latin American dishes: A cup of Mexican-style coffee, like Café de Olla, can be an ideal match for spicy dishes such as enchiladas, tacos, or mole. Café de Olla is typically brewed with cinnamon and brown sugar, which can add a hint of sweetness and complement the bold flavors of the cuisine.

Cheese-based dishes: Strong and aged cheeses like blue cheese or Gouda can be balanced by a cup of espresso. The intensity of the espresso can cut through the richness of the cheese and create a pleasant contrast on the palate.

The art of coffee pairing lies in understanding the flavor profiles of both the coffee and the dish and finding the right balance and complementarity. By experimenting with different coffee styles, brewing methods, and food combinations, you can discover a myriad of delightful pairings that will elevate your dining experience to new heights.

Please note that if you purchase from clicking on the link, some will result in my getting a tiny bit of that sale to help keep this site going.