While we may have a reputation for being a nation of tea lovers, the latte is at top of the leaderboard when it comes to our favourite hot beverages. That’s according to Square UK’s first Coffee Shop Report.

The report, which analysed millions on anonymised transactions from coffee shops and cafes across the UK to uncover the latest trends in hot drink choices, revealed that the most popular coffee shop drinks and their average prices are as follows:

  1. Latte - £2.50
  2. Tea - £2.02
  3. Americano - £2.18
  4. Flat White - £2.50
  5. Cappuccino - £2.53
  6. Filter Coffee - £2.53

The 2018 Square UK Coffee Shop Report also discovered that the average price for a drink in a coffee shop or café is £2.44 and the busiest time of day for coffee shops sales is between 10am and 11am. The report also illustrated a 4x year-on-year growth in the popularity of milk alternatives such as almond milk.


Plant-based milks have been increasing in popularity over the past year or two and our Brew Boffins think it will be one of the biggest coffee trends in 2019. In the past, drinking alternative milk was largely driven by dietary intolerances but as consumers become more health conscious, there has been a significant growth of plant-based products in coffee shops.

The Speciality Coffee Association (SCA) also noted that the flat white has become a firm favourite in the UK much faster than in the US and Canada, where it is still somewhat of an emerging trend. Chief Research Officer, Peter Guiliano, said “What’s most remarkable here is the popularity of tea – it’s a quintessentially British choice that shows no signs of abating in popularity.”


But what does all this mean for coffee shops?

It’s clear that speciality coffee and tea are hugely popular with customers and our café culture is showing no signs of slowing down. Operators should be looking for ways to add value to their business by improving their tea and coffee offering.

Customers also want to see their favourite coffee shops and restaurants supporting smaller artisan brands – so who better to work with than the award winning Change Beverages? Yes, that was some shameless self promo!

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