In recent years, the coffee industry has experienced a significant shift in consumer preferences and habits. To understand these changes better, we spoke with Dave Cutler, Head of Training at Lavazza, who provided valuable insights into the evolving coffee culture.

In this Q&A session, Dave Cutler shares his thoughts on the growing importance of sustainability, the respect for the craft of coffee making, the variety of flavours available, and the emphasis on atmosphere and ambience in coffee shops today.

How Important is Sustainability to Modern Coffee Drinkers?

The new, young, generation of coffee drinkers, who grew up going to chains on the high street, now value quality and sustainability – they are often willing to pay more for high-quality, ethically sourced beans.


How Has the Appreciation for Coffee Craftsmanship Changed?

It’s no longer about a quick caffeine fix; instead, consumers appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into making a great cup of coffee, seeking out speciality coffee shops that offer unique and artisanal blends. Social media has also played a big role, with many sharing content of their favourite coffee spots and drinks, driving interest and intrigue to certain spots and on-trend coffees.

What Trends Are Emerging in Coffee Flavours and Ingredients?

Coffee shops have responded to the demand for longer-lasting drinks by offering tall, bespoke beverages crafted with specific ingredients. Milk alternatives and flavourings are used to build taste profiles, while syrups, essences, and chocolate or cinnamon dustings enhance presentation. These visually appealing drinks can take customers up to 20-30 minutes to enjoy, savouring their coffee as part of a greater experience.

How Important is Atmosphere and Ambiance in Coffee Shops?

There is a high value put on atmosphere and ambience when it comes to choosing a place to go for a coffee. The new generation is looking for spaces that feel welcoming and comfortable, with natural light and seating areas. We have seen coffee shops respond to this trend, in major cities, by creating spaces that feel more like community hubs than traditional grab-and-go espresso bars or cafes.