Leveraging Insights from "The Great American Coffee Taste Test"

Tools used in this project
Leveraging Insights from "The Great American Coffee Taste Test"

About this project

Leveraging insights from "The Great American Coffee Taste Test"

Survey Analysis

Project by: K. Kanaby

Date: 03/16/2024


For this project I took on an analytics consultant role for a group of investors looking to break into the US coffee market. The investors are interested in opening a new coffee shop but need some advice to move forward with confidence. My job was to extract insights from survey results provided by "The Great American Coffee Taste Test".


With the data from the survey, I was asked to share an explanatory report providing a data-driven strategy for opening their first coffee shop with a focus on three main areas.

  • Target audience: What type of customer should we target, and what are their preferences?
  • Product offering: What types of coffee beans and drinks should we offer?
  • Pricing strategy: How can we align prices with customer value perception?


Great American Coffee Taste Test

Survey responses from ~4,000 Americans after a blind coffee taste test.

File type: CSV Source: James Hoffmann & Cometeer License: Public Domain Date Added: 02/21/2024 Data structure: Single table

of records: 4,043

of fields: 111

File downloaded contains two CSV files:


This file includes the survey results.

  • Answers to each question in TRUE/FRALSE Boolean format
  • Answers in String format
  • Rating answers in general numerical format


This file includes all possible answer choices for each question.

undefinedCleaning & Manipulating Data


To begin, I copied and re-named the file to make sure I did not overwrite the original CSV file. Then I examined the table and got familiar with the data using the QUESTION_KEY file as reference.

I imported the data into Excel Power Query and transformed it accordingly.

  • Created Pivot Tables
  • Indexing the submissions
  • Created and moved columns
  • Changed text to/from numbers
  • Hid null values
  • Converted Boolean (TRUE/FALSE) values into whole numbers (0=FALSE, 1=TRUE)
  • Split and Extract columns with delimiter
  • Trimmed columns
  • Used Power Pivot to create Pivot Tables from the data model
  • Created explicit DAX measures
  • Utilized Conditional Formatting and Sparklines to find trends
  • Created Pivot Charts

Visualizing Data

For this analysis our stakeholders wanted to look at demographics, and coffee drinking & spending habits, by focusing on three subjects: target audience, product offering and pricing strategy. I approached these one at a time in separate reports and designed them to match for a cohesive look.


Target Audience


The Ideal Coffee Drinker

For best return on investment, I recommend targeting the middle-upper working class in mainly White/Caucasian Democratic neighborhoods. I suggest targeting single men with no kids in their mid-20s to 30s who mainly work full-time from the comfort of home and make a decent, disposable income.

Bias in The Sample?

Because this survey was done through an online stream, we must be cautious of the sample that was collected and any bias results in demographics that would influence our decisions. In this sample, there are significant number of White/Caucasian males with college degrees, full-time jobs, and democratic political affiliation. I feel this survey was targeted towards specific group of people, especially those who are doing financially well, working at home and live in middle-upper class areas. I recommend conducting another survey with a more diverse sample to gain a better understanding of the everyday American.

Comfort of Home

We can see from the results that most people drink coffee at home, which makes sense because almost half of them work from home. Those who drink at home have more than one cup and those at the office also drink 2-3 cups. Drinkers on the go drink more than 4. I would suggest targeting drinkers at home and on the go. Taste is most important for these customers and tend to drink coffee for caffeine and ritual.

The Coffee Expert

Almost half of drinkers rate themselves a 6-7 out of 10 in coffee expertise and the majority know where their coffee comes from. Those who rate themselves low tend to add milk/creamer, flavors, and sugars to their coffee. Drinkers who rate themselves 5-10 like the taste of coffee and enjoy their coffee black with nothing added.

Product Offering


The Perfect Coffee

To reach most coffee consumers, I suggest focusing on pour overs and lattes. They enjoy medium to somewhat strong coffee with lots of caffeine and a light to medium roast level.

Sweeten the Deal

Having fruity and chocolatey flavoring options can get customers in the door quick. Most drinkers enjoy their coffee black, with nothing added. When we look at only those who add to their coffee, dairy products steal the show with sugars following behind. I suggest offering whole milk, oat milk granulated and raw sugars as those are the most used additions.

Keep it Light

Overall results from the coffee taste test show that coffee A, B and C were equally liked, with A leading the board in preference. However, coffee D stood out as the most favorite overall and most preferred over coffee A, reinforcing the favorite light roast coffee. To create a winning coffee, I suggest focusing the taste on coffee D, having moderate acidity and low bitterness, lights roast with a natural or washed process.

Pricing Strategy


Keep it Simple

Specialty coffee shops and local cafes lead the charts for on the go purchases. National chains follow behind as another popular choice. Drinkers spend the least amount of money in drive-thrus, and even less in delis or supermarkets. To achieve the most coffee revenue, I would open a local specialty cafe and by not adding a drive-thru, money can be spent on creating that perfect coffee taste to increase value for their money.

Sell to Home Brewers

Drinkers are spending more money on fancy coffee brewing methods at home, like pour overs and espressos. The market for coffee equipment is pretty good, with almost half of the group spending more than $500 in the last 5 years. Almost everyone said they get value for their money with their equipment. I suggest using those home brewing methods, like pour over and espressos. Show drinkers that they can purchase their favorite home brew coffee for less money with on-the-go convenience and they will be a customer for life.

Price Range

Drinkers typically spend about $20-80 a month on coffee with the highest price on a single cup being under $10. Fancy drinks cost more. Cortados, espressos, pour overs tend to land in the upper range of prices $15 and up, and cheaper coffees under $6 include mostly blended Drinks (Frappuccino), mochas and regular drip coffees.

Overall, I suggest keeping the prices between $6 and $10 for all regular coffee drinks and feature fancy or seasonal drinks in the $10-15 range. Drinkers are willing to spend more money for their coffee if it tastes good, so focusing on taste and flavors is very important to drive sales and business.

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