The weird trend effect quarantine had on Americans and coffee

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Baristas, beware: At-home coffee brewers are on the rise in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

As cafes and coffee shops start to welcome back customers in recent months after shutting down due to the ongoing pandemic, Americans working from home had to turn to their homes to get their caffeine fix — and half of Americans have become at-home baristas during quarantine, according to a new study.

Coffee company Mr. Coffee commissioned a poll with OnePoll finding that 49% of Americans have used their time at home to master the art of making coffee, branding themselves as “quaristas.”

Quarantine has enabled Americans to try out different skills at-home, especially in the kitchen. While the days of sourdough starter kits may be in the past, coffee drinkers said they don’t plan on slowing down their concoction production any time soon. Two-thirds of respondents (66%) said they felt so confident in their ability to make the perfect coffee that they plan to continue to make their own coffee even after the pandemic ends.

The study, which interviewed 2,000 coffee drinkers in the US, found that coffee drinkers are using a ton of the downtime in order to perfect their coffees. The average respondent said they spent two hours and 10 minutes perfecting their coffee drink during the quarantine.

While coffee can come in many different forms and can be experimented with, respondents said they struggled to perfect the art of iced coffee. Thirty-eight percent of respondents said they found ice coffee was harder to replicate at home compared to hot coffee, which 19% sided with.

The trickiness with iced coffee is it’s more than just adding an iced cube or two. Respondents feared their creations wouldn’t taste right (39%) and also was worried that it would taste too watered down.

“While iced coffee seems simple, it’s not as easy to perfect at-home as you might think,” Justin Crout, director of marketing and brand lead for Mr. Coffee, said in a press release. “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.”

In terms of coffee-related skills, more than half said they picked up new ones, including learning how to use an espresso machine (25%) and using a traditional drip coffee machine.

The biggest hurdle for these new coffee makers in the past was that they felt they weren’t up for the challenge in pre-pandemic times. Thirty-eight percent of respondents said they felt they had been ill-equipped to make coffee at home, which was due to not having the right equipment or being worried about how the coffee would taste.

What respondents learned about coffee in quarantine

1. How to use an espresso machine: 25%
2. How to make cold-brew coffee: 20%
3. How to use a traditional drip coffee machine: 20%
4. How to use a stovetop espresso machine: 18%
5. How to make iced coffee: 18%
6. How to use a grinder: 17%
7. How to make pour-over coffee: 17%
8. How to make whipped coffee: 16%
9. How to use a French press: 15%
10. How to properly store coffee beans: 11%