From single-serve machines to traditional drip methods and espresso, over 130 million Americans are consuming coffee in a variety of ways on a daily basis from home. Brewing and drinking coffee at home is a daily ritual for 80% of US consumers. So, to find out just how we are all preparing coffee at home – and the best machines to do that – we turned to a few experts to get some answers.
As specialty coffee shops continue to reach new US consumers, people are becoming more familiar with espresso and espresso-based drinks, realizing that with the right machine, they can create a genuine cafe experience at home.
Drip, single serve or espresso — however we like our cup, we are seeking convenient and cost effective ways to brew coffee and espresso at home. As we demand a quality product, “consumers are setting the bar for new products and machines to be as uncomplicated as they are innovative and intuitive,” explains Enrico Maso, senior product manager at De’Longhi.
Scott Montgomery, vice president, business to consumer sales Nespresso USA concurs, “Overwhelmingly, U.S. consumers are looking for higher quality coffee experiences at home. And, with consumers paying more for their machines, they expect quality and a machine that will last for years while consistently delivering an amazing cup of coffee.”
And, as consumers are embracing the convenience and the consistency in the quality, they are increasingly turning to single-serve machines. “With traditional coffee and espresso makers there is room for error, but the single-serve system provides pre-measured amounts, with consistent extraction parameters, so you get the same result time after time,” Montgomery adds.
“We live in an age where consumers are driven by the latest technology, and those who still have drip coffeemakers are realizing that there’s a simpler, faster and more technologically advanced way to have a quality coffee experience at home,” explains Dwight Brown, senior vice president, Marketing Center of Excellence, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.
In fact, while the NPD Group shows that in calendar 2010, only 28% of all coffee and espresso makers sold were single serve, the monthly data from 2013 continues to show that the home coffee brewer category is driven by single serve – with the unit and dollar share of home single serve brewers and espresso makers continuing to grow rapidly in comparison to drip coffee makers.
As consumers move from just drip coffee to espresso at home, the popularity that sprouted from Keurig drip coffee machines is now prevalent in espresso pod systems like the Nescafe Dolce Gusto, followed by the ultimate one-touch machines that offer one touch simplicity and a completely fresh brew, like the PrimaDonna S from De’Longhi. And, many other leading brands are also capitalizing on the trend, points out Maso from De’Longhi.
“Within the past two years, we have seen a growing trend towards single serve and super-automatic machines that simplify consumers’ daily routines,” he says. “For those who lead busy lifestyles, these machines provide a way to relax and share a comforting pause alone or with loved ones without requiring too long to prepare espresso.”
For instance, De’Longhi’s recently released bean-to-cup super-automatic machine, the PrimaDonna S, has all the features of a fully automatic in a compact shape, reducing the “labor” required of the consumer. Super automatic machines like the PrimaDonna S grind fresh beans in a conical burr grinder and brew espresso, often in roughly one minute, to your specific preferences, at the touch of a button.
However, with all the excitement surrounding easy, one-touch interface, not everyone would count out drip coffee makers. Recently, the introduction of the BraZen brewer has stepped up the quality. “Since the days of Mr. Coffee, drip machines have stagnated. Because their cartridge boiler brewing systems use technology over 40 years old, these drip machines lack controls for brewing coffee of different origins at different temperatures and water flows,” says Joe Behmor, inventor of the Behmor BraZen Coffee Brewer.
He further explains, “The Behmor BraZen uses modern electronics and controls and a new water delivery system to give users, for the first time, the ability to brew a cup of coffee that has the superior taste of a manual pour over. Users can maximize the character of the bean to maximize their coffee pleasure.”
Behmor adds, “Those who brew at home are understanding the importance of a quality brewer, and with that, they are aware of “the correlation between great coffee, water temperature and delivery and proper dispersion and how those factors allow customers to savor the best of what their coffee has to offer.”
Further, “It is this constantly expanding knowledge of what makes a great cup of coffee, brewing equipment and the different flavor profiles of coffee beans that is driving the demand for drip brewers that truly perform.”
When it comes to brewing at home, consumers now have a variety of high-quality, convenient choices that offer consistency time and again. So, how do you brew?