There are always going to be customers who only want a regular cup 'o joe, but more and more consumers are interested in the gourmet product. A flavor preference speaks to identity as much as style or a form of expression. "I'm the kind of person who drinks this type of beverage." These people do not want to be just plain coffee drinkers.

As far as coffee goes, gourmet is broadly defined as coffee made with gourmet coffee beans, espresso - based beverages, and Arabica coffee products. Recent studies show that regular coffee sales are down, and gourmet coffee sales are increasing, evidently due to espresso consumption. Gourmet coffee drinkers in their mid to late twenties consume more coffee on a daily basis than any other group.  They are followed by the late teens to mid-twenties, forty to sixty, and sixty and above groups, respectively.

The study also revealed that Hispanic - Americans consume a significant amount more gourmet coffee than any other group. They represent almost half the overall consumption of gourmet coffee. They are followed by Asian - Americans, Caucasian - Americans, and African - Americans, respectively.

The competition for gourmet coffee sales goes beyond the retail competitors. Single - cup home brewing systems are also on the rise. More people are brewing in their home, have a single - cup brewer in their homes, or are considering purchasing one.

The power of suggestion may be instrumental in swaying these customers to at least come in a few times a week to grab a signature cup of coffee. You might appeal to new flavors they can't get anywhere else, or a better tasting coffee of the same flavor as somewhere else. Something other than the taste can also appeal to customers. Your coffee can be organically grown, of premium quality, or processed in an eco-friendly environment. This also speaks to the kind of person your patron wants to project.

In a nutshell, your gourmet coffee drinkers identify with what they drink and why they drink it. You can use this to your advantage by giving them who they want to be in attractive organizer and dispenser for decorative cups and condiments.