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How You Like This One Drink Reveals Your Age, Survey Shows

Your signature beverage style says more about you than you think.

Hands down, coffee is the most popular beverage in the world: Americans alone reportedly consume more than 400 billion cups of the stuff each year. But just because it's universally loved doesn't mean everyone likes their daily cup of joe the same way—and the particulars of your coffee order can reveal more about you than you'd think. According to recent research conducted by One Poll on behalf of Califia Farms, whether you prefer your coffee hot or cold may be a generational difference: Boomers like it hot, while Gen Z is more likely than other age groups to opt for it iced. Read on for more insights about your own coffee order, and for more on habits that show your age, How You Use This One Smartphone Feature Reveals Your Age, Study Shows.

In a study of 2,000 regular coffee-drinking Americans, the researchers identified the key demographic and lifestyle differences between hot and cold coffee drinkers. Age quickly emerged as a defining factor, with 94 percent of people over the age of 56 preferring hot coffee over cold brew. Conversely, those who preferred their cup of coffee in the form of cold brew skewed younger on average. Forty percent of the cold brew cohort identified as part of Gen Z (aged roughly 25 and under).

This would help to explain a recent surge in cold brew's popularity over the last several years. Research from market analyst group Mintel Reports noted a 339 percent growth in cold brew sales between 2010 and 2015, and an estimated 115 percent growth between 2016-2017, when they concluded their research.

They found that Millennials, then aged 21-38, were most likely to prefer cold coffee over hot. Now that Gen Z has matured to a more common coffee-drinking age range, they appear to have become the torch bearers for cold brew. Also corroborating the One Poll findings, Mintel noted that 65 percent of Boomers were generally disinterested in trying the product, and less open to preparing their coffee in new ways. Younger generations, on the other hand, are more flexible and curious when it comes to their caffeinated pick-me-ups.

So, the next time you find yourself opposite a barista, it may be time to try something new. Sure, you may find that your tried and true staple is best after all, but you'll never know until you step outside your coffee comfort zone and give it a whirl. Read on for more surprising things the study revealed about your coffee order, and for more on your morning cup of joe, check out these 30 Incredible Health Benefits Coming From Your Cup of Coffee.

Your preference may be (loosely) aligned with your Zodiac sign.

Close up from above of friends clinking coffee cups together

On top of the generational differences the survey discovered between hot and cold coffee drinkers, it also found that coffee preference tended to align loosely with certain astrological signs. Those with fire and earth Zodiac signs more frequently reported preferring hot coffee, while water and air signs were more likely to prefer their java iced. And for the latest food and drink news delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

…Not to mention your go-to social media platform.

Person logging into Facebook on laptop at coffeeshop

In keeping with the age-based findings of the study, the researchers also noted that cold coffee drinkers and hot coffee drinkers tended to gravitate toward different social media platforms. "Cold coffee drinkers are more inclined to spend their time browsing Instagram (27 percent), while hot coffee drinkers are more active on Facebook (35 percent)," the study says. And if you're trying to cut back on your coffee habit, check out these 25 Ways to Boost Your Energy Level Without Coffee.

Your coffee preference is linked to your weather preference.

Young woman drinking iced coffee sunny day

Those who reported preferring iced coffee were more likely to note a preference for sunny weather. Meanwhile, those who preferred hot coffee tended to like their days overcast. It makes sense: coffee is wrapped up in ritual, and has everything to do with how you'd envision your ideal day.

…But these things bridged the generational gap.


Of course, not all of the subjects' preferences were unique to their age group—the survey reveled that certain pop culture trends transcend age and coffee order alike. Bridging the gap was a mutual love of the show Friends, an affinity for Taylor Swift, and a near equal interest in the documentary Planet Earth. Go figure! And to get the most out of your cup of coffee, check out The Genius Second Use of Your Coffee Cup Lid You Never Knew About.

Lauren Gray
Lauren Gray is a New York-based writer, editor, and consultant. Read more
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