Savvy snobs: Average coffee drinker refuses to pay more than $3 per cup

New survey reveals the habits of American coffee enthusiasts — including how long it takes them to finish each mug

NEW YORK — Would you be able to make it 24 hours without a caffeine boost? According to a new poll, three in four coffee drinkers say they simply couldn’t go a single day without their cup of joe. 

The OnePoll survey of 2,000 coffee-drinking Americans finds that the average enthusiast enjoys two cups per day, and needs 21 minutes to finish each cup. They’re also against overpriced boutique coffee shops. The average coffee drinker absolutely refuses pay more than $3 for a regular-sized café brew. 

Among those polled, the most popular ways to brew coffee are via drip (19%), espresso (16%), cold brew (14%) and pour-over (13%). Forty-five percent feel that coffee has become more popular across the nation over the past three years due to coffee-related trends (48%), remote working (47%) and working overtime (45%).

Results also suggest that chocolate (43%), breads (34%), cheeses (31%) and fruits (26%) are the most popular things to pair with coffeeIn fact, chocolate was found to be so closely tied to coffee, 75 percent of coffee/chocolate pairers said they felt emotionally better when they have the two together. Moreover, 84 percent can improve their day with the duo if they can sip/savor their coffee whenever and wherever they choose.

Chocolate has the power to help you slow down and savor a crispy, creamy, chocolatey moment with your coffee,” says Shalini Stansberry, vice president of marketing for Kinder Snacking, the company that commissioned the study. “We’ve all experienced the daily grind when we down a cup of coffee while feeling hurried or rushed. Chocolate and coffee make for the perfect pairing as both are meant to be enjoyed and not treated as fuel to help us get to the next task.”

Where you drink your coffee may be just as important as when

The study finds that for 67 percent of respondents, how much they enjoy their coffee depends on how much time they have to make it. If they’re not in a hurry, half of respondents said they like to experiment with different brewing methods — most notably drip (24%), Aeropress (14%), pour over (14%) and cold brew (14%). One percent was also found to drink instant coffee.

Respondents also note that they love enjoying their coffee either at home (33%), while reading (17%) or at a café (16%). More than half (54%) believe their productivity during the day depends largely on whether or not they were able to have their coffee fix earlier. The most inconvenient places to drink coffee include while commuting (17%), doing laundry (17%) and during exercise (16%). Interestingly, one in four respondents say they especially find drinking coffee in their car to be inconvenient.

Perhaps that has something to do with the rush hour grind. Six in 10 (61%) respondents say drinking coffee is less enjoyable to them if they’re stressed.

Respondents say they spend an average of three days per week feeling rushed from one thing to the next three days out of the week. Seventy-one percent agree their day feels significantly worse and inconvenient if they have to rush through things they enjoy. Some respondents even shared anecdotes about where they’ve had to rush their coffee-drinking: airplanes, at doctor appointments, in the bathroom, during a car breakdown, and even in an empty elevator.

Still, 78 percent say that getting the chance to have their coffee whenever and wherever they choose would improve their day overall. In fact, respondents would willingly give up elements of their routine for more time to relax and enjoy their coffee. That includes watching the news (32%), exercising (30%), their morning meditation (30%), hair grooming/styling (28%) and even brushing their teeth (25%).

More than a third (34%) would especially give up checking their emails to make time to relax with and enjoy their coffee. Three-quarters (74%) said they compare having coffee to having time to enjoy their own company, also known as “me time.” 

Survey Methodology

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 American coffee drinkers was commissioned by Kinder Bueno between September 2 and September 7, 2022. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

You might also be interested in:

YouTube video


  1. So French Press, my preferred method, didn’t make the list. I’ve been known to do instant (tasters’ Choice for years) or Dunkin Do(ugh)nuts. What are some of these other methods? Obviously I didn’t get consulted. Coffee is usually with breakfast which is usually mid-morning. If I’m at home it’s almost always French Press (Michael Caine–“Ipcress File” Coffee Plunger), except after the trash pickup day when I do hot instant coffee black because there’s nowhere to put the coarse grounds. If I really need coffee I will do Dunky’s Hot Black==no “milk” or sugar. Oh, no neutered/decapitated coffees! One cup a day–to keep from having caffeine withdrawal headaches which I finally figured out after twenty years. On special occasions I may do a White Chocolate Mocha at CapitalOne/Peet’s—but I studiously avoid Charbucks and its over-roasted “cute” blends. Oh, I do single-origin coffees (coffee equivalent of Single Malts). But its breakfast foods and I avoid chocolate with coffee. One important thing: my part-time work is often VERY early in the morning like a 5am start often with being away from toilets. Thus breakfast when working happens in mid-morning after I’ve been up for hours. At home I am influenced by the sun; in June and July I get up, do something for several hours, then do breakfast (oatmeal, cheeses, some meat), usually around nine or so. First meal of the day is always breakfast even if it’s 2pm! So it depends..

  2. I need to add: when I do French Press I add three teaspoons honey and some light cream. Splurge–decide whether to do Cafe do Brasil (dark roast, Costa Rica Tarrazu, or Ethiopean. Special occasions ask for Yemani coffees which are VERY expensive. (I am trying to find the Real Mocca I had in Europe age 16 in 1968.) Now I’ve been buying most of my coffees from King Harv’s Imperial Coffees which I recommend. I’m cheap on other things so I can spend money on coffees to enjoy when I want.
    Did I answer it thoroughly enough?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *