Not so many years ago, the UK widely saw coffee as a wake up beverage for some ‘get up and go’ before facing what the world. Traditionally the UK was a nation of instant coffee drinkers – but oh how we have changed in recent years! The popularity of speciality coffees and a general love for great coffee has grown and grown. The shared love for the new age of coffee has evolved and adapted the way we socialise.
Embarking on a new era of coffee…
We are reportedly entering ‘The 5th Wave’ of coffee in the UK, the latest wave being a mixture of the previous four:
Wave 1: Traditional Coffee Culture – twentieth century
Wave 2: Branded Chains – mid 1990’s
Wave 3: Artisan – mid 2000’s
Wave 4: The Science of Coffee – mid 2010’s
These four eras have really formed the culture of coffee in the UK today. Knowing the journey of coffee, brands we can trust and how it is made. However, an important factor which has been developing in the background is how coffee is affecting the social culture within the UK.
What does this mean?
Coffee brings people together and encourages socialisation. Whatever this means to you, it could be to build a friendly atmosphere in the hotel café, or perhaps as an introduction before a conference, coffee is a discussion point that never fails.
Although the days of a pub lunch from work, or a bottle with a friend after the day is done, are not going away, coffee is much more diverse and fits in with most social situations. Coffee is a contributing factor in giving people opportunities to socialise. Today it is accompanying catching up with friends, first dates, business meetings, creative workshops and networking events. Coffee is even being used as a catalyst for groups to meet new people and build friendships – it is known to some as the hot-ice-breaker.
Due to the vast knowledge of coffee drinkers across the UK, speciality coffee machines are becoming more of an expectation than an added value perk now, as Wi-Fi has been in recent years (I would vote for good coffee over Wi-Fi any day!). Because of this many workplaces, restaurants and hoteliers are installing machines to their break/catering areas to ensure they can keep up with demand. A sachet of instant next to a kettle is a big no-no!
Check out the WMF range of coffee machines here – no baristas needed.