The way people perceive, drink and prepare coffee around the world is extremely different. If you want to have your Cup of Joe in Italy, for example, be ready to spend several minutes to order it. You will be facing a unique experience to find the coffee that you want in an endless list of coffee preparations. Just to be clear, the majority of the coffee shops have English menus, so language is not the problem.
I would like to draw attention to consumption patterns in producing and importing nations. Being born in a coffee-producing country, and have lived in non-coffee producing countries, I observed dramatic differences. In the first group, consumers are exposed to their single origin (i.e. In Brazil, people drink only Brazilian coffee). Their palates can recognize a mild cup of Arabica while others will be only exposed to strong Robustas. Therefore their taste experiences are defined by the type of coffee they drink. Coffee is a product of national pride for producing-countries and it represents the source of income for many families, thus the option of having coffees from other parts of the world is not even considered.
Another interesting fact in producing nations is that, even though coffee culture exists and having a cafe is the best way to socialize, consumption is not as matured or sophisticated as the one I perceive in countries where the coffee is imported. The main reason is that infrastructure established around coffee is to export the best qualities to the international markets. Thus, for the local demand, it is not surprising to find lower and cheaper qualities. Fortunately everything evolves, and this paradigm is changing, especially in some Latin American and Asian countries. Better economic conditions, a growing Barista community and a change of mentality, are key aspects. Now consumers are demanding better options and paying more for their premium coffees, 100% locally grown and roasted.
Industry in coffee-producing countries has to be prepared and ready to think out of the box. The “better-for-you” beverages segment, where coffee is not excluded, is growing. People are paying more attention to their lifestyle and the health aspects of what they eat and drink. High quality coffees, and reduced caffeine coffees combined with a premium decaffeination process are gaining popularity.
Next time, I would like to share some thoughts about consumption patterns in different parts of the world. Stay tuned.
Category: Coffee Drinker