Whole Latte Love Blog

2020's Unprecedented Demand for Espresso

by Ed McGuire Updated: November 16, 2020 3 min read

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In 2020, it's no surprise that people are drinking more coffee at home than ever before. The morning wake-up ritual we all enjoy is seeing unprecedented attention, and big chains like Dunkin' and Starbucks are starting to feel it. More interesting than that, however, is that not only are people drinking more coffee, they're drinking more espresso, too.

Milk pouring into a latte, with an image of a frond visible in the foam

People are getting their lattes and cappuccinos at home now, and you can, too.

In the United States, coffee is the once and future king of hot drinks. Espresso, on the other hand, has always enjoyed a deeply loved but admittedly niche corner of the caffeinated community. That is to say, not very many people in the United States drink espresso compared to some other countries, like Germany or the Netherlands. That is, until now. With the uncertainty of 2020 and with more and more people working from home, that niche interest in espresso is growing at an aggressive pace.

According to the Wall Street Journal, businesses like Starbucks and Dunkin' are reporting losses at their cafes, while sales of all coffee makers, including Chemex's pour over brewers, are up 28%. This tracks with how coffee shopping habits have changed, shifting from big box stores to online shopping, which is up 57% according to the NCA (National Coffee Association). People are beginning to discover the secret truth of the industry: you can make incredible coffee and espresso in your own kitchen.

People Want to Brew Espresso at Home

We can attest to this ourselves, having seen demand skyrocket in recent months. Even our blog has seen more than double the attention it received in 2019. People want coffee, they want to learn about espresso, and they need it at home, right now. According to the NCA, based on past-week consumption, espresso based beverages bought at cafes or coffee shops have dropped considerably (down 20% for espresso, 19% for cappuccino, and 18% for latte). Based on the traffic we're seeing, our guess at explaining this change is that the interest in home espresso is on the rise. This shows in google searches, as well, with the terms "espresso machine" and "how to make espresso" having been searched nearly 30% more compared to last year.

We're here for it. If you're reading this right now, we hope you are too.

A fresh latte with rich, golden brown microfoam and frond latte art

Skip the cafe. You can make this in your own kitchen.

So, to help with that, if you're one of the many, many people with a new interest in espresso, be sure to check out all of our resources to get you started. Just to name a few:

A coffee on a wooden tray next to a couple of candles and some lavender

What Does This Mean for Coffee Lovers?

Now, and this is important, if you're interested in getting your own coffee and espresso set up at home, you'll need to be quick. 2020's level of demand has never been seen before by the industry. Ever. We fully expect this to affect supply chains as we get deeper and deeper into the holiday season, so don't be surprised if supplies run dry and that one grinder you were really hoping to get is suddenly out of stock. Even I am waiting for an espresso grinder I need, and I work here. So, take a lesson from me and be quicker on the draw. There's a really good chance you'll miss out, otherwise.
Ed McGuire
Ed McGuire

Ed joined on at Whole Latte Love in 2017 with a particular hatred for bad coffee. We keep him in a room on the other side of the office with a keyboard and an internet connection so he can write about it. He writes and edits product copy, blog posts, scripts, and wiki content in an effort to keep our customers from ever drinking bad coffee again. Ed is afraid of the sun and drinks his coffee black.