How COVID-19 has changed our coffee culture

The perfect cup of joe is being brewed by your average Joe.

Still cooped up, home is grounds zero for our coffee fix. More of us are experimenting with DIY caffeinated concoctions, and totally upping our coffee game with splurges on quality fresh coffee beans, coffee subscription boxes and shiny coffee machines.

Pre-pandemic, 91% of Canadians regularly consumed coffee purchased outside of the home – that’s fallen to 46% amid social distancing requirements, reports a survey by Field Agent Canada.

No more making latte runs. Savings from making coffees at home are noticeable.
That first cup in the morning has turned into a highlight.


Quality craft coffee is a jolt of joy for many quarantining, like a fine wine or beer. 

COVID-related coffee shop disruptions have seen freshly-roasted beans go into the direct-to-consumer market. Dispatch Coffee sales online are booming and so too, it appears, a growing interest in coffee as a craft.

 “For example,coffee sold in a shop as a latte would be roughly $4.75, if you brew it at home, it’s about $1 or less than $1.”

Along with beans, coffee machine buys are steaming ahead. “With many coffee shops closed, consumers are showing unprecedented interests in espresso machines for home consumption and are leveraging access to information online and finding inspiration from coffee enthusiasts via social media from all around the world,” says Doug Parkinson, coffee category manager at DeLonghi at delonghi.com.

“We have seen a very significant increase in espresso machines being purchased in both the automatic and manual categories in Canada since the beginning of the pandemic,” says Parkinson, adding that innovative and convenient products bring comfort and help consumers navigate the new normal.

The fact is COVID has greatly shifted our coffee habits and, according to van Dam, more people are unplugging from the ooze of stale coffee. “Before the pandemic, for whatever reason, over 70% were buying stale coffee through the grocery store.”

Hopefully people will continue buying from independent coffee roasters because great coffee requires fresh beans, says van Dam, of canadianbaristainsitute.com. “It’s really no different then making a great meal, which often just starts with quality fresh ingredients.”

Support your Canadian coffee companies too. Buying fresh from a local artisan coffee roaster will likely be the “same cost as the stale coffee you are currently buying,” he adds. Buy whole beans and grind them using a burr grinder for a more consistent coffee particle size.

Pour a cup of happiness with a little help: