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State of Coffee by Mark Prince
Survey Result Thoughts and Musings
Posted: May 31, 2002
Article rating: 8.6
feedback: (6) comments | read | write
I wonder how many of our respondents want this machine?

A few weeks back, we ran a survey / contest on this website, and we had some 453 respondents to it, providing some results that surprised us, and some results we expected. Here's a bit of a breakdown on what the results were, and some associated thoughts.

The Espresso Questions

We posed a series of questions related to espresso, and the machines that make it. For instance, 51% of our respondents have been drinking espresso for 3 or more years now, whereas 18% for six months or less. A surprising number of CoffeeGeek respondents (10% said they don't drink it at all.

And while 51% of our respondents have been drinking espresso for 3 years or longer, only 36% of them list it as their favourite coffee drink - with normal coffee coming second (24%), and cappuccino coming in third at 21%.

On the subject of espresso machines, while only 10% said they never touch espresso as a drink, 16% said they don't own a machine to brew espresso. Hey, that 6% needs a machine - paying two bucks a pop at the local Starbies can really add up, you know? As for the people who do own machines, Most owned machines in the $201 to $400 range (some 33% of our respondents) followed closely by 23% who owned machines worth less than $200. The other categories were smaller number: 15% owned machines in the $401-$800 category, 9% owned machines worth between $801 and $1300, and 4% owned machines worth more than $1300. I guess it's no real surprise that anything $400 or less is still the real sweet spot in machine purchase price, though I think the $400 to $800 category has serious room for growth.

For grinders, we had results that warmed my heart - I personally think of the grinder as the most important tool in a home coffee setup. 30% of our readers own a grinder valued between $101 and $200, and a whopping 23% owned a grinder worth over $200. That's awesome! 18% of the respondents owned a grinder in the $51 to $100 category, which ain't too shabby either. 19% owned grinders worth less than $50, and 9% didn't own a grinder (hey folks, time to upgrade - that weed whacker grinder doesn't "cut it" heh heh).

Buying Trends

I guess this is especially good news for our advertisers - a healthy number of CoffeeGeeks out there are planning purchases, or at least thinking about it. 51% of our readership that responded to this survey are either thinking about or planning on buying a new espresso machine in the next six months. That says a few things - either upgrade fever is a big trend in the CoffeeGeek membership rolls (my guess), or maybe the site itself has a lot to do with creating that upgrade fever.

A similar story over in grinders, but even better - I guess my preaching about "get a good grinder" pays off - some 62% of CoffeeGeek members who participated in this survey have indicated that they either plan to or will consider buying a new grinder in the next six months. Wowsa.

Consumer and Detailed Review Influences.

We had three questions regarding how much influence our Detailed and Consumer reviews have on you and your buying decisions. I'm a bit surprised by the numbers, and humbled by them.

Some 90% of you said that the CG Detailed Reviews are useful in helping our readers with their purchase decisions, and another 9% said that sometimes they were helpful. That's a huge deal - and a responsibility we don't take lightly - thank you for your trust. 0% (well statistically 0% - 2 voted this way) said that CG Detailed Reviews are not useful for them. Hey, those two out there who voted that way, fire off an email to me and tell me what we can do to change that.

We also asked a tougher question - are Detailed Revies the biggest influence in your machine purchase decision, and a whopping 39% of you said yes, and 47% said sometimes. Yikes... we better make them even better then, that's a lot of responsibility heaped on us. 14% said no, and I thought for sure that number would be higher.

And I've always said the consumer-submitted reviews were invaluable, and you proved that in spades - 97% of you said yes, our consumer reviews are a big help with your coffee related purchase decisions. Very cool stuff.

Changing the CoffeeGeek website.

For me and my small design team, and for our programmers, this was the most valuable part of this survey. We asked a few questions about what you liked the most and least about our website, and we even had a freeform question where you could write in your responses. I already did an article on some of them in the past, let me say this now - those freeform comments were absolutely invaluable. With the volume of surveys filled out, I don't have time to answer each one individually, but rest assured, They're all printed out and referenced as we continue to improve the website and incorporate the best suggestions you made. Thanks to everyone for the valuable input.

For the statistically rated questions, we had some cool results. Most of you picked the Detailed Reviews as your favorite part of the website (some 34%), followed by 26% of you liking the site overall. Only 1% said contests... what, you don't like the free schwag?

One number surprised me - only 8% of you picked columnists as their fave part of the site. I know (from the traffic numbers) many of you read the columnist articles, so I'm guessing it may be "second favourite"?

The same number liked the tips and tricks section most (8%) which shows me I gotta spend more time working on that section. And I got good news - three photosets are done for new Tips and Tricks, and the first one, how to clean a grouphead, will be online in a few days (cross your fingers).

A lot of people wrote in their comments they didn't have a part of the site they didn't like, so us asking "What feature do you like least about the CoffeeGeek site" was unfair, some stated. Hey, we didn't ask "what feature sucks"... we asked what you liked least. You can still like it, just less than other parts :)

News and Info was the least liked (probably because it isn't updated much), at 25%, followed by 17% for Columnists, and 15% for Tips and Tricks. I'm guessing that people don't like the frequency of those sections, and they picked them.

Actually, it isn't much of a guess. Another question we posed was "Pick one thing you would like improved at the CoffeeGeek site", and while 36% of you picked Detailed Reviews (hey homes, don't you know how hard those things are to do?????), 23% of you picked the frequency (or lack thereof) of Tips and Tricks, and an equal number picked frequency of Columnist articles.

9% picked speed of the site, and 6% picked organization. I take both those numbers to heart, and thanks to an amazing email I got recently from a usability expert, hopefully both those things will be improved in the coming months.

Home Roast Baybee!

We also had a couple of homeroasting questions. One asked a simple "do you homeroast", and 73% of you either do home roast or are thinking about it. As for the question about whether or not you own a purpose built home roaster, 40% said yes, 7% are buying one soon, and 53% said no. I think some of our home roasting advertisers could have a field day! Maybe we can organize a CoffeeGeek only sale price or something for those who want to get a home roaster appliance.


This survey was invaluable, and thanks to everyone who filled it out. It's got me itching to do a new one, just because I love reading this kind of stuff and it also helps me with a serious goal I have, and everyone involved in this website has - improving it, making it as close to perfect as possible. We're a long way away, but you folks have helped immensely. Thanks to everyone!

Article rating: 8.6
Posted: May 31, 2002
feedback: (6) comments | read | write
State of Coffee Column Archives email author
Mark PrinceColumn Description
This regular column will tackle the world of espresso and coffee, including all the theories, controversies, changes and structures that make up this world. A heavy emphasis is placed on the online coffee community, and one thing this column won't do is pull any punches. Every week we'll feature the up's and downs, a quick yet detailed rundown of things that are good and not so good in the coffee world.

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