It’s Official: The UK Is Turning Into A Nation Of Coffee Snobs

New figures show the number of people who would turn their nose up at instant coffee.

Cup of coffee
Your coffee preferences Can say a hell of a lot about you Image (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

More and more millennials are turning their nose up at instant coffee in favour of heading out to a nearby coffee shop.

Where once the UK was a country built on the foundations of multiple cups of freeze-dried Nescafe, people are now heading out to Starbucks, Café Nero or Pret A Manger for a caffeine fix.

Research has revealed that almost a third of all 18-34 year olds would refuse to drink a cup of instant coffee if it was offered to them.

They want their coffee to come via capsule, bag or, ideally, using fresh beans. In fact, 39% of that same age bracket confessed to drinking three or more fresh cups of coffee a day.

It all adds up. A coffee purchased on the average high street will set you back £2.40 and, based on average consumption of 2.3 fresh coffees per day, that amounts to spending of £2,015 a year on coffee.

Despite that sort of spending, 54% of people surveyed in the research conducted by Lyons felt it was worth the extra expense due to its superior quality.

But while a third of those surveyed said they preferred fresh coffee for its superior taste, depressingly around 10 per cent claimed it was simply an image thing.

Men are seemingly the driving force behind the change, with 15% stating they would never buy instant coffee compared to 10% of women polled.

Two thirds of men polled also admitted to drinking more than two cups of free coffee a day, with just 50% of the women polled admitting to drinking that much.


The focus on quality is a strange one. In many instances, young people just out of University are paying over the odds for the coffee they consume in their new jobs.

This is despite that fact they probably spent the last three years consuming cheap non-Heinz baked beans and beer that probably didn’t come from a microbrewery.

Coffee, like alcohol, is there to serve a purpose. So why does it matter what you drink, provided you get the necessary caffeine jolt? Sure, instant coffee isn’t all that pleasant but it does a job and, in the majority of workplaces, it’s free.

Here’s a test: go a week without buying a coffee – see if you can spot the difference.

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