The research revealed that 80% of respondents to the UK survey drink coffee out of home – in a pub, coffee shop or other venues – at least once a week and 16% of those do so on a daily basis.
More than half of those asked (58%) wanted a space to drink coffee and 'people watch', and the majority said they wanted somewhere in the future where they could meet with friends and wind down with coffee.
About 20% of consumers admitted to having a crush on their barista and would choose where to drink coffee based on the attractiveness of their server.
Three types of coffee customer
The report also outlined three types of customers outlets need to cater for if they are to have a successful coffee offer. They included: the 'shopper', the 'take-a-breaker' and the 'socialiser'.
Shoppers look for quiet and comfortable experiences, and are less inclined to build relationships with staff, according to the report, which was produced especially for London Coffee Festival this week (7–10 April).
Take-a-breakers, though, look for a place where they can wind down and take a break from their daily routine. They're also looking for a friendly interaction.
While socialisers want to meet other people, including friends and family, and value friendly staff.
Although, the most important factor to all three types of customers is a good cup of coffee, the report said.
Lead researcher, ethnographer and interaction analyst at the University of Edinburgh, Eric Laurier, said: "Understanding your customers and how to serve them is at the heart of any successful coffee business."
He added: "For each group, it's the little things that make the offering feel tailored to them personally. It makes a concept feel like the right place for them and somewhere to return to.
"It also reminds us that bad coffee is a sure-fire way of ensuring your customers never return, and provides advice on finding the right balance between service, intimacy and atmosphere."
Biggest consumer turn-offs include bad-tasting coffee, poor service, lack of cleanliness, poor-quality coffee, high prices, insufficient seating, too much noise and queues.
Miles Dawson, sales director at Brita, said: "Consumer loyalty is wavering, with even the most established chains at risk of brand fatigue. More than ever, operators must differentiate their coffee and their customer experience if they're to succeed."