The Surprising Coffee-Drinking Habit This Study Just Revealed

Move over, apple pie. We're proclaiming a new all-American catchphrase. "As American as coffee" is admittedly not as catchy as "as American as apple pie," but have you ever heard of anybody changing their apple pie-eating habits to show off? According to a September 2020 survey of 2,000 coffee drinkers (as commissioned by Mr. Coffee), nearly one and three of us have changed our coffee habits to impress somebody (via Mr. Coffee). In addition, there's a reason that Tom Hanks keeps buying the White House press corps new coffee machines instead of weekly supplies of apple pies (via The Hill). Statista reports that 29 percent of us drink about 2 cups of coffee a day. In 2015, HuffPost calculated that Americans' coffee habits resulted in 146 billion cups of coffee per year. 

While none of that is particularly astonishing, you may be surprised to know this. According to Mr. Coffee's survey, Gen Zs are quietly shifting the country's coffee consumption habits. The TikTok-obsessed generation might enjoy a hot cappuccino or two, but an impressive 43 percent of them are also fans of ... (drum roll, please) ... iced coffee. Just 34 percent of millennials are. Not only this but, if Mr. Coffee's survey is to be believed, the time of year that we drink the stuff has radically changed.  

This time of year is iced coffee time

Back in 2012 (when the oldest Gen Zs would have been about 16 years old), GrubStreet profiled iced coffee. "Each year, there is one day when the world changes," coffee business owner, Jonathan Rubinstein, told the magazine, "It's the day when the entire population it seems switches from hot coffee to cold, served from plastic pitchers into cups full of ice." In 2012, iced coffee season, during which cafes frantically rent out $12.00-a-day ice machines to quench America's thirst for the drink, ran from May to October. 

This is no longer necessarily true. Between 2013 and 2017, Beverage Business World reports that the chilled coffee market grew by 10 percent annually. These days, according to Mr. Coffee's new survey data, 63 percent of us no longer believe that iced coffee has a specific time of year. We'll drink the stuff all year round. (It's not only Gen Z's, of course, as a Daily Mail article about the 70-year-old Caitlyn Jenner, grabbing an iced coffee after a spout of golf, proves). 

That's actually good news for cafes. Because, according to Mr. Coffee, out of those of us who make iced coffee ourselves, about twice as many of us think that making iced coffee at home is harder than making hot coffee. So, Tom Hanks, if you're reading this, maybe next time you're giving the White House press corps a coffee machine upgrade, maybe think about buying one that'll make a decent iced brew.