Specialty coffee, comprising a tenth of the global coffee trade, is distinguished by its strict quality requirements and traceable origins. The diverse flavor profiles of specialty coffee raise demands on providers to serve individual taste preferences. Prior research has not sufficiently explored how to predict customer preferences for specific flavor profiles or how these preferences influence behavioral intentions such as revisiting or recommending a café. This study hypothesized that customer involvement, the extrinsic factors of coffee experience, and culinary risk-taking would predict flavor preference, which would in turn affect behavioral intentions. In an experiment involving 47 participants, individuals tasted and evaluated two espresso flavor profiles in a counterbalanced order. Results showed that taking pleasure in buying coffee, an aspect of involvement, significantly predicted preference for a distinctly acidic single-origin flavor profile over a more conventional blend. However, factors such as interest in involvement, sensory and service quality aspects of the café experience, and culinary risk-taking in coffee consumption were not significant predictors of coffee preference. Furthermore, there was no significant relationship between coffee preference and the intention to revisit or recommend the establishment, though individual evaluations of each coffee were predictive of these behavioral intentions. These results refine the existing theory linking specialty coffee consumption and consumer behavior, particularly highlighting the role of acidity in flavor preferences. They also confirm the link between the sensory experience of tasting specialty coffee and subsequent behavioral intentions, applicable across diverse flavor profiles.


specialty coffee, taste preference, involvement, customer experience, behavioral intentions



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