The Millennials, those born in the 80s and 90s, consume more coffee than previous generations and start drinking at an earlier age. Together with the drop in the supply of coffee beans from Brazil, the price of coffee continues to skyrocket and break records – but the young coffee enthusiasts are not giving up on their java just yet.

“I’ll give up chocolate, not coffee” Photo Credit: Reuters / Channel 2 News

According to the International Coffee Organization (ICO), the Millennials – the generation born in the 80s and 90s – are those responsible for the steep rise in the demand for coffee in recent years. In the United States, the leading consumer of coffee in the world, the demand for coffee has reached an all time high, and the phenomenon is also gaining momentum in other large consuming countries such as Brazil and even tea-loving China. The high demand, together with the decline in the supply of coffee beans from Brazil due to the drought, has lead to a substantial rise in prices.

According to researchers in Chicago, the Millennials are responsible for around 44% of coffee consumption. In the past eight years, the number of people aged 18-24 who drink coffee on a daily basis has risen from 34% to 48%. Amongst 25 to 39-year-olds, the number has increased from 51% to 60%, while a decrease in coffee consumption has been recorded amongst people aged 40 or more.

Meanwhile, the age at which Millennials start consuming coffee is also decreasing. Amongst the older generation, those born in the 80s or early 90s, the average age at which routine coffee consumption begins is 17. Amongst the younger generation, those born in the mid 90s or later, routine coffee consumption begins at as early as 14 and a half.

“Drinking coffee is like a fashion symbol and also an opportunity to socialize,” explained William Tuesca, a 21-year-old student who testified that he himself started drinking coffee at the age of 5 and today drinks at least 2-3 cups a day, with the amount increasing during exam season. Tuesca admitted that he would continue to consume coffee even if the prices skyrocket further and would rather give up other luxuries like chocolate. “Chocolate is like a paramour with whom you have good moments,” he explained. “But coffee is like the spouse or girlfriend that you want with you every day.”