More Americans reach for a daily coffee in 2017

A cup of coffee at a Starbucks coffeehouse in Austin, Texas.
A cup of coffee at a Starbucks coffeehouse in Austin, Texas.PHOTO: REUTERS

AUSTIN (REUTERS) - More Americans are drinking a daily cup of coffee in 2017, a reversal of four years of declines, as gourmet brews gain in popularity, according to an industry group's report released on Saturday (March 25).

"More of us are drinking coffee, and younger consumers appear to be leading the charge," said National Coffee Association USA (NCA) Chief Executive Officer Bill Murray.

"A steadily growing taste for gourmet varieties is also driving a wider trend toward specialty beverages," he said.

Gourmet coffee is brewed from what survey participants view to be premium beans and includes espresso-based drinks like cappuccinos.

The National Coffee Drinking Trends report showed that 62 per cent of more than 3,000 people who participated in the online survey said they had drunk coffee the previous day, which is interpreted as daily consumption.

This was up from 57 per cent in 2016, said the report, which was released at the coffee association's conference in Austin, Texas.

The increase appeared in all age groups, with 37 per cent of 13-to-18-year-olds reporting they had a coffee the day prior, up from 31 per cent in 2016.

Daily consumption spread to 64 per cent of 40-to-59-year-olds from 53 per cent last year, but this brought levels around those of 2014, according to the report.

Among types of coffee, the increase was most pronounced in gourmet varieties. About 24 per cent of survey participants said they drank an espresso-based drink the day prior. The jump from 18 per cent in 2016 was the biggest for this category.

Ownership of single-cup brewers was also on the rise, increasing to 33 per cent of respondents from 29 per cent a year ago.

The association has been conducting the survey annually since 1950. The margin of error is around 1.7 per cent.