Flat whites reign supreme in Irish coffee culture, new research shows

May 15, 2024
  • Flat whites most in demand in Irish coffee shops, followed by americanos and cappuccinos
  • The average cost of a flat white in Ireland is €3.60
  • Coffee with alternative milks on the rise, with oat and coconut milks the most popular

Dublin, Ireland - New research from Square, the technology company that makes commerce and financial services easy and accessible, shows that flat whites are the most popular type of coffee among consumers in Ireland*, closely followed by americanos and cappuccinos.

This comes as coffee consumption in Ireland continues to rise with almost two thirds (62%) of the population now coffee drinkers.**

Flat whites take top spot

Despite only being introduced across Ireland in 2019, flat whites have quickly risen to take top spot as the most popular type of coffee among Irish consumers, accounting for more than a quarter (25.4%) of all coffee sales in Ireland, according to Square data.

This was closely followed by americanos, accounting for 22.1% of all coffee sales and cappuccinos (22%).

Surprisingly, despite their widespread popularity in several countries across the world, lattes were only the fourth most popular type of coffee among Irish consumers, accounting for less than a fifth (19.4%) of all coffee sales in the country.

Cold brew coffees were the least popular type of coffee in Ireland, responsible for only 0.1% of all sales, followed by espressos at 1.7% and macchiatos at just 0.3%.

Square’s research also shows the average price of a flat white in Ireland currently stands at €3.60, compared to €3.30 for an americano and €3.70 for either a cappuccino or a latte.

Cold brew coffees are the most expensive type of coffee in Ireland, with an average price of €4.35, followed by mochas at €4.10, while espressos were typically the cheapest at around €2.90.

Alternative milks on the rise

While dairy milk is still by far the most popular among Irish consumers when choosing their coffee, Square’s study shows alternative milks are gaining popularity.

Oat milk is well ahead of other alternative milks, with more than three quarters (77%) of Irish coffee drinkers that prefer alternative milks opting for oat milk.

This is followed by coconut milk (14%) and almond milk at 6%.

Mealla Tarrant, founder and owner of Hatch Coffee says: “A flat white is what we’d describe in Hatch as a ‘punchy yet smooth’ coffee option - it’s that perfect ratio of a perfectly pulled double espresso shot and smooth creamy milk which hits the spot but isn’t overpowering.

“We’ve also noticed the rise of oat milk among our coffee drinkers. It’s neutral flavour and creamy mouthfeel pair pretty perfectly with coffee, so I’d imagine we are going to see that trend continue to rise.”

Ara Kharazian, Research and Data Lead at Square, says: “We can talk about the data, which shows year-over-year increases in coffee sales nationwide, and what that means for the coffee culture in Ireland, but it’s frankly unsurprising to me that the country that gave us Guinness would have a special affinity for another dark, creamy, and slightly bitter drink.”


*Source: Transaction data from 646 Square sellers based in Ireland in the 24 months to 31 December 2023.
**Source: DID Electrical, ‘The Great Irish Coffee Survey’’, February 2023.