Great Coffee Doesn't Just Belong in London

Last month data was released which indicates that visits to coffee shops are on the rise, with 39% of consumers stating that they visit coffee shops more frequently than they did 12 months ago. The market really is still growing and people are lapping it up.

Nowhere is this more apparent than at the London Coffee Festival which I attended towards the end of March. It’s a right of passage for all coffee lovers, and all Paddy & Scott’s employees are encouraged to attend the festival. This year, along with our usual contingent, we sent three newbies who have been with the company less than a year. It was a baptism of fire.

Arguably the Coffee Festival has long-since outgrown the Truman Brewery where it has been held for several years. With so much on show it’s a challenge to take it all in within a day and yet we try admirably every year along with thousands of others.

We want to see the latest innovations, check out the most up-to-date designs, drink coffees we haven’t tried before and see what’s new in the world of coffee. We want to geekily discuss espresso, milk, machinery and more with other coffee-nerds; to learn to assess and stay in touch. It’s understandable; it’s our business. But we’re not the only ones.

The coffee industry is booming; on an upward trajectory that seemingly must stop soon.....and yet it doesn’t. It’s not just us; people are thirsty and the love affair with coffee is showing no signs of slowing down.

The London Coffee Festival is evidence that not only are more people drinking coffee than ever before; consumers are now, more than ever switched on to the quality of their brew. The public days of The London Coffee Festival are always packed with retail buyers hoping to learn more about coffee and the provenance of their favourite drink. Now more than ever consumers are prioritising the quality and the story behind the beans.

For a while the frustration for us provincial folk has been that outside of London the coffee scene can be a bit….well, flat. The search for a decent cup of coffee in places like Suffolk has sometimes been a difficult one but happily times are changing. While London may still very much be the capital of coffee this desire for a decent brew is spreading outwards and a thriving coffee scene is growing in towns and cities across the UK with more focus on quality and provenance than ever before.

Even in Bury St Edmunds, home to our flagship café; you can find several great coffee-focused businesses firmly putting quality at the top of their list of priorities. Provincial Suffolk is now home to some world-class roasters, cafés, trainers and coffee nerds: Lots of competition for Paddy & Scotts - Bring it on we say! With a rising demand and customers getting savvier about their choices it’s great to see so many companies taking their coffee seriously and stepping up to the mark.

With sales on the up; it’s great news for us, and even better news for coffee-drinkers who are now shortening the distance between them and a truly great cup of coffee.

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