We British have a worldwide reputation as a nation of tea drinkers. It’s not the only stereotype about the UK that doesn’t quite match up with reality, but it does have its origins in truth. But the past two decades have seen café culture thriving nationwide, boosted by a rapid increase in artisan and independent coffee shops where coffee is so much more than just a drink.
We’ve brought together 9 fascinating facts about the UK’s new love affair with coffee.
- The first coffee house opened in England in 1651, six years after Italy opened its first 1
- There are 6,129 different coffee shop chains, independent coffee shops and cafés in the UK 2
- There were almost 19,000 cafés in the UK in 2016, up from 7,000 in 2010 3
- 114,724 people are employed in serving coffee to the British public 2
- British people drink 2.1 billion cups of coffee away from their homes 4
- Overall, we still drink more tea than coffee, at 60.2 billion cups a year 5
- Cappuccinos are the most popular, with 486 million sold in 2015 4
- The combined annual revenue from coffee sales in coffee shops is expected to reach £5.8bn in 2017 2
- The number of independent coffee shops in Britain is forecast to reach 2,800 by 2020 3
1 The British Coffee Association
2 IBISWorld’s Cafes & Coffee Shops market research report 2016
3 Pragma Consulting
4 NPD report, 2016
5 UK Tea & Infusions Association