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New study reveals shifts in German coffee lifestyle trends


Germany, third largest coffee market in the world

Germans love their coffee, even more so than water and beer. Germany is the third largest coffee market in the world after the USA and Brazil, according to statistics. An average of 165 litres of coffee per person were consumed in 2013, compared to 140 litres of water and 107 litres of beer.

But what kinds of coffee are Germans drinking? Notably, between 2010 and 2013, the amount of portioned coffee consumed nearly doubled to 12,700 tonnes of coffee per year. In 2013 alone, this amount rose by 27% – a sign of the growing importance of factors such as coffee quality and aroma, which are best preserved by Nespresso aluminium capsules.


Coffee culture growing in Germany, study shows

In order to examine this trend more closely, Nespresso commissioned an independent study by CN St. Gallen The Refresh Company, who surveyed a sample of 1,000 coffee drinkers in the German cities of Berlin, Hamburg and Munich.

The results of the study show a clear shift in values surrounding coffee, setting the course for the future of the coffee segment. Younger coffee drinkers in particular place high value on coffee quality and variety. Similar to wine, there is  growing awareness and appreciation of coffee aroma, origin and cultivation. A growing sense of coffee connoisseurship was most noticeable among younger generations. 24.1% of 18-29 year-olds want to try different types of coffees and coffee recipes. In contrast, the 50+ generation is more likely to remain with a single sort of coffee.

Coffee is also becoming a matter of lifestyle: 27.6% of 18-29 year-olds consider the coffee machine to be a status symbol, compared to 17.7% of the 50+ generation. The study also revealed cross-generational trends. Nearly 50% of all German coffee drinkers are willing to spend more money for quality coffee.


Meanwhile, a third of German coffee drinkers are interested in coffee specialities from other countries and cultures. 28.9% are convinced that a good coffee leads to better business.

The majority of German coffee drinkers relish drinking their coffee at home alone as a moment of respite. However, more than half of them tend to take it on the go. This trend is most prevalent among the young, with every second 18-39 year-old vs. every fourth of the 50+ generation drinking their coffee outside of the home.

Different cities, different habits

A comparison of coffee lifestyle in Germany’s main cities reveals differences as well as interesting trends. In Hamburg, for example, a third of 18-29 year-olds are rediscovering the pleasures of meeting for afternoon coffee and cake, a ritual that is seldom practiced in the 50+ generation.

In the nation’s capital city Berlin, simplicity reins. Almost a quarter of younger coffee drinkers enjoy their coffee black, placing the pure taste of coffee in the spotlight. 47.1% of younger drinkers seek out variety in coffees and aromas, which is reflected by the recent boom in new coffee drinking locations, from vintage-style coffeehouses to modern co-working spaces. There is less of a generation gap in Berlin, as both young and old enjoy meeting friends in simple neighbourhood cafés.


Munich, often called Italy’s northernmost city, celebrates Italian coffee lifestyle with a love of espresso, cappuccino and perfect foamed milk. Around a third of 30-49 year-olds in Munich see themselves as perfect hosts and coffee experts, and keep their coffee machine in a prominent spot in the kitchen. Two-thirds own a dedicated milk frother, and every third coffee drinker owns a traditional Italian macchinetta. 51.3% are willing to spend more money for good coffee, up from the national average of 46.9% – a sign that Munich is not only Germany’s beer capital, but also its number one coffee city.