Do we really crave coffee more than sex and shopping?

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A sizeable slice of people would rather have a cup of coffee than a shopping spree, a glass of wine or a steamy session with their partners according to research released this week.

The survey, aimed at finding out more about the nation’s coffee drinking habits, confirmed that our desire for coffee is surpassed only by that for chocolate, with 13 per cent of both men and women ranking it as their top craving.

The survey – commissioned by the markets of a new espresso machine – also showed that despite the rise of designer coffee, the humble white coffee proved to be the most popular in the South East, closely followed by cappuccinos and black coffee, with people drinking on average 2.5 cups a day – although more than a third drink more than three cups and 11 per cent drink a nerve-jangling six or more cups a day.

When asked at what time they were most likely to drink coffee, just under half of all respondents said that they drink a cup every morning for a pre-work boost, whilst more than one in ten men confessed to using coffee to disguise the effects of a hangover at work, and nearly one in five women have used coffee as part of a diet to help suppress their appetite.

Both sexes admitted to the tried and tested technique of offering a cup as a way to get their date to come home with them – with over six per cent of men and women employing this seduction tactic!

Patrick Hunt, designer of the new ROK espresso maker, said: The survey results revealed what many coffee drinkers already know – that coffee is central to our day-to-day lives.

“I wanted to turn coffee making into more of a sensual experience than just pressing a button – something I hope I have achieved with the unique hand powered lever pressure system, which puts the user in full control to create their ideal coffee.”

The days of instant coffee being the only quick and easy option for at-home preparation are fast disappearing – seven per cent of survey respondents in the South East said that they would never drink instant.