Nearly Half of Americans Have Become At-Home Baristas During Quarantine

Tuesday September 29, 2020

Half of Americans have become "quaristas" during 2020, according to new research.

A survey of 2,000 coffee drinkers revealed 49% of respondents have become at-home baristas during quarantine, using their time inside to develop their coffee-making skills.

Two-thirds (66%) of those have so much faith in their newfound talent, they plan to continue using their barista knowledge to make coffee in their own kitchen — even once the pandemic is over.

Conducted by OnePoll and commissioned by the Mr. Coffee brand ahead of International Coffee Day (September 29), the survey revealed the dedication it takes to get a perfect cup and the skills needed to make your favorite brew — cold or hot.

Seventy-six percent of respondents spent time perfecting their coffee drink of choice during quarantine — and, of those, the average respondent spent two hours and 10 minutes on the endeavor.

What were they working on? Results revealed 57% of respondents picked up a new coffee-related skill, and of those, 18% learned how to make iced coffee.

And in the process, many found iced coffee was harder to make at home than hot coffee (38% vs. 19%).

The top concern while making iced coffee at home was that it wouldn't taste right (39%) — followed by it being too watered down (38%).

Twenty-eight percent thought it would end up too warm, and 21% believe it's too much of a process to make iced coffee at home.

Still, some respondents love their iced caffeine, and 63% believe the iced coffee season is year-round.

"While iced coffee seems simple, it's not as easy to perfect at-home as you might think," said Justin Crout, director of marketing and brand lead for Mr. Coffee. "It can be tricky to get the proportions right and to the right temperature without it tasting watered down — a problem most at-home baristas run into. It's important to get a machine that takes all of that into account so you can step up your iced coffee-making skills at home."

Other respondents focused on a hot cup adding new skills to their barista abilities.

Of those who picked up a new coffee-related skill (57%) — 25% learned how to use an espresso machine and another 20% learned how to use a traditional drip coffee machine.

And results found 42% of respondents would now consider themselves a "coffee connoisseur," a slight increase from before quarantine began.

In addition to exploring the increase in at-home coffee making, the survey looked at what had been holding respondents back from making their own coffee prior to the pandemic.

Results found 38% of respondents said they had been ill-equipped to make coffee at home. Part of that is not having the right tools — results found 24% didn't have the right equipment, while others worried it wouldn't taste good (22%) or that they would mess it up (21%).