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On the surface, it seems that you can divide coffee drinkers into---very broadly---two groups.

  1. Artisan coffee drinkers. You make pour-over coffee with a gooseneck kettle, you hot-rod your espresso machine, you roast your own beans, whatever.

  2. Mass-market coffee drinkers. Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, flavored lattes, etc.

(At least, this seems true in the US, which is the environment I know best.)

My question is this: is there a group identity for people who fall between those two poles? I'm thinking of this person, who wants to use an Aeropress to make Maxwell House coffee, or someone approximating espresso in a moka pot, or someone making a Vietnamese coffee with Café du Monde, or someone who invests in good beans but brews in a decent-but-not-stellar drip machine. In all those cases you have someone who takes trouble with his or her coffee, but makes deliberate compromises based on cost/effort/time/whatever.

  • Is it like an Andy-Milonakis-fat-prince-cheap-with-fancy type of demographic that you're describing? – user4433 Sep 14 '17 at 1:02
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    low.income.artisan.coffee.drinkers.stackexchange.com is just for that! – MTSan Sep 14 '17 at 6:06
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    @uwnojpjm Not exactly. This is more like "I want good coffee (or a specific type of coffee), but I lack the time/money/space/energy/obsession to really go all out, so I'm going to get as close as I practically can." – crmdgn Sep 14 '17 at 11:08
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    @MTSan Ha ha ha. – crmdgn Sep 14 '17 at 11:09
  • @crmdgn, sounds like the group identity is "the struggling artist/musician." – user4433 Sep 14 '17 at 18:09
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Based on the wording of your question; I believe there is no current classification for this denomination in the coffee market.

When you compare this with the electronics market; there are devices developed for the "prosumer" market which are targeted at professional consumers (average Joe that can make it rain), but are not used to their full capacity. For example, I can buy the latest Macbook Pro laptop and only use it for iTunes, or buy a high powered Microsoft Surface Studio PC and only use Microsoft Paint because Photoshop is too expensive.

To start generating momentum to classify this marketing group, you could say that this group of people (without trying to be offensive) would be classified as lazy prosumers?

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    Huh. The "prosumer" analogy is really interesting. I don't think the coffee situation is necessarily about laziness, though: it's about working within constraints. Here's an example: I like coffee drinks in the cortado / flat white family, but I don't have room on my kitchen counter for an espresso machine and a high-end grinder. Nor am I about to wait fifteen minutes for the espresso machine to come up to heat, etc. My solution: a double shot of Bustelo, made in the Aeropress, with hot (not textured) milk. Tasty, affordable, and space-efficient. – crmdgn Sep 22 '17 at 20:31
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Rather than 'care but compromise' I would call them inventive, eclectic and adventurous coffee enthusiasts as contrasted with the purists or puritans who believe there is a 'correct and proper' way to do things. You will find this great divide in every serious hobby field, including coffee and hi-fi audio which I am familiar with, but also in beer & wine, automobiles, computers and fashion. Adventurous users are both confident and willing to think out of the box. As you noted in comments, it's also about finding creative personalised solutions to practical challenges:

I like coffee drinks in the cortado / flat white family, but I don't have room on my kitchen counter for an espresso machine and a high-end grinder. Nor am I about to wait fifteen minutes for the espresso machine to come up to heat, etc. My solution: a double shot of Bustelo, made in the Aeropress, with hot (not textured) milk. Tasty, affordable, and space-efficient. – crmdgn [comment] Sep 22 at 20:31

The adventurous coffee enthusiast (as Google shows, the term is already in general use; if it is not yet a group identity, it should be!) is a bold innovator, not afraid to mix and match equipment and techniques, and is not particular about getting the 'perfect' cup of coffee -- for them it is more a matter of solving an interesting challenge or doing something new with the tools and materials available, in the field they love: as in, I have tried out so many unorthodox ways of making coffee (as also unconventional audio arrangements including the use of PA speakers in the home setting) for the pure thrill of tasting the resultant mix! Whereas a purist will not like to do so.

I have learned and understood a great deal about coffee by direct, sometimes unorthodox experimentation. I don't see it necessarily as compromising on time, money or effort, but rather an assertion of creative independence, the quest for that beautiful and unusual variation, or just the sheer love of everything coffee.

  • "... the sheer love of everything coffee" :) indeed – Edoardo Dec 17 '17 at 15:59
  • So true @eddyce... My only problem is that I can drink only 1 strong coffee a day (equivalent to 2 regular coffees). Luckily my family members will give me 3 orders and drink my coffee. – English Student Dec 17 '17 at 16:45
  • I know... I am limiting my self to 3 / 4 espresso's and my next target is exploring the world of decaf ;) – Edoardo Dec 17 '17 at 17:11
  • We live in South India, right in the middle of coffee growing country and the best coffee is inexpensive at the source: that means experimentation with brew combinations is highly affordable; we also get gifted finely ground coffee powder by the makers, and I literally have more coffee powder at any time than I can finish brewing. Ironically the people in my home state prefer tea which is also a major product of this region. In fact tea is more popular than coffee all over India. I am very sensitive to caffeine and decaf absolutely didn't help me but I am sure you will find it helpful @eddyce. – English Student Dec 17 '17 at 17:49
  • what kind of coffee do you drink? I mean: espresso, filter, instant? – Edoardo Dec 17 '17 at 18:40

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