Office Workers Bring Their Own Coffee to Work

Skip the coffee shop coffee, the frugal living gurus have been telling folks for close to a year now. As the financial downturn tightened, the economic pundits have been telling us that Starbucks and other coffee shop chains are going to be hit hard as people eliminate the little luxuries in their lives. When they realize how much they’re spending on their coffee, they said, they’ll stop drinking those expensive specialty coffees in order to save a few dollars here and there.

Well, they were half right. Any coffee lover will tell you that once you start drinking really good coffee, it’s hard to go back to weak, overcooked, scorched brew that passes for coffee in so many offices. Consumers aren’t about to go back to drinking office coffee – but they are cutting back on their Starbucks and coffee shop purchases. Instead, they’re turning to high-end coffee machines for use at home and investing in a good travel mug or thermal carafe to take in to work with them.

That’s had an interesting side effect on gift sales. The owner of a Boston kitchen goods store noted to the Boston Globe just before Christmas that his sales of high end coffee makers and espresso machines has taken a jump this holiday season. He puts it down to people valuing their good coffee enough to want to keep drinking it at home. More than one customer has noted that the machine will pay for itself in a matter of a couple of months savings in coffee shop coffees. He’s also seeing an increase in sales on thermal coffee cups and travel coffee mugs.


That’s not confined to Boston, or even the U.S. A UK promotional gifts site, yesgifts.co.uk, notes that their biggest sellers this holiday season have been promotional travel coffee mugs and thermal coffee sets. The owner of the company noted that their sales of specialty coffee accessories is nearly double what it was last year. He too puts the increase in sales down to the downturn in the economy.

Folks have stopped buying their coffees at coffee shops, he told MarketWatch, and started bringing in gourmet coffee from home in travel mugs and thermal coffee carafes so that they can enjoy it all day long. Employers have noticed, and when they start looking at corporate gifts and employee office gifts, they’re turning to gourmet coffee gifts. One office worker noted that another company sent over a batch of corporate coffee travel mugs emblazoned with their business logo, and those mugs have blossomed all around the office.

The lesson to take away from all this? Perhaps it’s one man’s cloud is another’s silver lining. Or maybe it’s just that once you’ve had good coffee, you’ll never be happy with anything else.