Ireland has a new favourite brew - the Irish now prefer coffee over tea!

Circle K, Ireland’s leading forecourt and convenience retailer, has today revealed the findings of new research1 which suggests that tea’s long-standing reign as the nation’s favourite hot drink2 has ground to a halt. According to the Circle K study, 63% prefer coffee over tea, just weeks after Dublin was voted as the second most 'coffee obsessed' city in the world3.

The study of more than 1,000 Irish adults was carried out to celebrate the new look for Circle K’s in-store coffee range. Circle K Coffee is now available in all stores nationwide, excluding Circle K Express. Specially developed to cater for the increasingly discerning Irish coffee drinker, Circle K Coffee is a delicious tasting coffee blend, completed with sweet and smooth undertones, created by the retailer’s team of award-winning experts. Alongside the new look and feel, Circle K Coffee machines have been updated to give a barista-style pour, giving an extra richness to the same great tasting products that the public know and love.

Cappuccino Cravings

The research revealed that coffee preferences have changed for 65% in the last five years, with the somewhat continental cappuccino now topping our favourites list at 26% first preference and replacing the humble instant coffee (23%) which was historically the cuppa of choice. The americano ranks next at 21%, followed by the latte at 20%.

I’ll get that to-go!

Perhaps it’s unsurprising that preferences have changed for many, considering that 55% now buying between 1-5 takeaway coffees per week and almost a quarter (23%) buying more takeaway/forecourt coffee over a home brew since Covid-19. Almost half (45%) buy a takeaway coffee as a treat, and considering 55% purchase between 1-5 coffees weekly, it appears many people like to treat themselves very regularly! Takeaway/forecourt coffee is so popular in Ireland these days, that at breakfast, the nation’s favourite time for a coffee, 24% said they have prioritised grabbing their morning brew over making it to work, school or college on time!

While on the road, 40% are most likely to stop and purchase a takeaway/forecourt coffee during a long journey, with 23% stopping on the way to work at the office. From a classic Americano, a frothy Latte to a textured Flat White, Circle K Coffee ensures people seeking a caffeine fix on the road are spoilt for choice.

When it comes to the important decision of where to purchase coffee on the road, for 49%, it’s all about taste, with quality rated as important too (32%). With a focus on taste, Circle K Coffee is developed by Circle K experts using special recipes with the perfect blend of a dark roast espresso with a full body and intense notes of cocoa, fruit, and candied nuts.

Provincial Preferences

Munster residents like their coffee strongest in Ireland, with 84% preferring their coffee on the stronger side. Up north however, the population in Ulster like their coffee weakest (28%). Connacht folk have the sweetest tooth, and as for 61%, no cup is complete without at least a spoonful of sugar.

While recent reports suggest that plant-based milk is growing in popularity amongst all age groups4, dairy milk is still king for all regions of Ireland, particularly for Munster respondents (65%). For those that have switched to non-dairy alternatives, a trend that is more popular amongst 18–24-year-olds (54%), oat (10%) narrowly beats almond (9%) as the alternative milk of choice.

Joanne D’Arcy, Director of Market Development at Circle K Ireland said: “Research shows that Ireland is a nation of coffee lovers. At Circle K, we strive to make our customers lives easier and understand the importance for them to access a deliciously tasting coffee anywhere on the road. From holidaymakers to work commuters, there has been lots more motorists on the roads in recent weeks. Commuters can feel assured that from morning to night, they can easily grab a high-quality coffee at any one of our stores across our network, and that even with a new look, our coffee is the same great product that the Irish public have come to love.”

For more information on Circle K Coffee, visit