Small beer as coffee culture takes over our drinking habits

YORKSHIRE'S emerging coffee house culture is threatening to overturn its traditional fondness for the pint pot, according to a survey.

Make mine a pint of cappuccino...

Leeds emerges as the region’s coffee capital, with a third of the city’s drinking establishments now serving hot beverages instead of beer.

There are 236 coffee shops in the city against 459 pubs, according to data compiled by the commercial coffee machine supplier, Honest Coffees.

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But the figures reveal a stark east-west divide in the county, with the number of caffeine stops drying up the closer you get to the coast.

In Hull, nearly 80 per cent of drinking establishments are still pubs.

Sheffield boasts 196 coffee shops - 30 per cent of all drinking establishments - and in Bradford and Wakefield, coffee houses account for a quarter of all drinking venues.

Yorkshire still has some way to go before catching Cardiff, where nearly half of all hostelries are now said to be coffee shops.

The researchers said that despite the increase in the number of venues, Britons are drinking no more coffee than in the past, but are consuming it in public instead of at home.

The emergence of coffee shops is not a new phenomenon. In Regency-era London, coffee shops, not pubs, were often the preferred haunts of artists, poets and socialites.

Wyatt Cavalier, founder of Honest Coffees, said drinking coffee had again become a social event for many.

“Pubs by their very name are public meeting places and have always been a great venue to meet in a social setting,” he said. “The coffee shop offers a new place for socialising that fills a hole in British society.”

Coffee shop drinkers were more likely to be female and to have children with them, he added.

“While alcohol is classified as a downer, coffee is an upper,” Mr Cavalier said.

Despite the persisting dominance of barmen over baristas, the survey claims that nearly three-quarters of Britons, if forced to give up either coffee or alcohol, would choose to go on the wagon.

Yet nearly two in three people could not correctly say that a Macchiato was an espresso with a dash of frothy steamed milk.