What Is British Coffee?


The British people are very well known for a long time being tea-drinking lovers, and they have continuously improved their personal tea-making methods through decades of learning and enjoyment. However, in the UK, coffee is undergoing a transformation-it is mainly shaped by American cafes. If you have ever ordered an espresso drink in a cafe, then you have probably already drunk English coffee.

So, are you curious about how do British people drink coffee? Do they prefer American classic coffee such as drip coffee or iced latte-or something completely different? The answer is that the British have coffee preferences similar to those of the Americans, but there are some significant differences.

When you think of English coffee, you might think of light strong coffee or watery black coffee. England has long been a tea-drinking country, so you might think that they don’t drink coffee at all. But coffee consumption has been steadily increasing. According to the British Coffee Association, the British consume 95 million cups of coffee every day!

A little look at the of past British coffee culture

Different from alcohol, coffee is regarded as a rational drink, which allows more serious thinking and discussion, and also allows business activities to be carried out in a more civilized way. But what really attracts customers is the gathering space. It is not so much the coffee itself as it is the atmosphere, which is full of artistic atmosphere and cultural dissent. 

Like the rest of Europe, the British cafes were originally the gathering place of intellectual and artistic elites in the 17th and 18th centuries. They are the birthplace of the social and political discourse that promoted the Enlightenment. The first coffee shop in England was established in Oxford in 1650 and was later called a penny university (the price of coffee is a penny). These cheap universities will continue to spring up all over the UK and become a kind of clubhouse for the intellectual elite at the time, mainly white men in the upper class.

Coffee Culture Now

Like North America, the UK market has shifted to independent artisanal shops, offering higher-quality beans and beverages, with an emphasis on sustainability and supply chain transparency. The British also have a wonderful sense of community where they can share ideas, recipes and techniques openly and enthusiastically. This allows the United Kingdom to keep up with trends and skillfully navigate the ever-changing scene, keeping the country at the forefront of the current coffee culture.

The digital age made Britain’s desire for virtual workplaces grow considerably. Bars tend to reduce productivity, and they are also declining. Many Britons choose a healthier lifestyle and reduce their alcohol consumption. Cafes have become a paradise for intellectuals and professionals who desire to rest away from cubicles or home offices. Contemporary coffee shops throughout the UK are often full of people, just like their North American coffee shops, full of young professionals drinking lattes and picking up laptops.

So, how do the British prefer coffee?

Instant coffee is at the top of preferences. A percentage of 80% of British households regularly use instant coffee-this proportion is even higher among citizens over 65. Among the younger generation, single-cup coffee pods and ground coffee are becoming popular—but still not up to the level of the United States.

It may be possible that the British are so used to the light taste of tea that they don’t like the bold dark roasts that Americans like.

In many British kitchens next to the tea cans, there can be found containers for Nescafe coffee. Those can be stirred into freshly boiled water at any time. This may not be the most delicious way to drink coffee, but instant coffee is definitely easy to prepare!

The British drink a lot of instant coffee at home, but what do they order when they go out in a cafe? Like most parts of the world, espresso coffee is more popular than any drip or dump coffee. If an English cafe does offer regular brewed coffee, it will be called “filtered coffee” on the menu.

The British are more relaxed about coffee, starting with coffee specialties, and their taste for coffee is really similar to that of Americans. They order pure white coffee, cappuccino and lattes like many Americans-and they also like flavored syrup and whipped cream.

Therefore, if you want to drink coffee like a British person, go to the cafe and order your favorite coffee drink. The chances are very high, someone in England got the same thing.

The Bottom Line

British coffee shops may not be as historical or romantic as French or Italian coffee shops, but they have their own values of transparency and sustainability, and you don’t have to sacrifice quality to find a charming coffee shop.

The British do not have a coffee culture as well defined as other parts of the world, but their openness to modern trends and the sense of community enable them to navigate the rise of the current specialty coffee culture and maintain greater success in the fast-growing industry.