Coffee is the world’s most popular beverage, and its second-most traded commodity—behind only crude oil. Figures from 2011 put the amount of global consumption at a whopping 400 billion cups per year.
It probably comes as no surprise that the United States leads the national pack—over 146 billion of those cups (about 400 million per day) are consumed in America—far outpacing any other nation in terms of consumption. However, this is strictly in terms of quantity. America is far from the most caffeinated country on earth. In terms of coffee consumption per capita, the U.S. barely cracks the top fifteen!
How The World Drinks Coffee
The Dutch drink more coffee per person than any other nation—at least twice as much as any non-Scandinavian nation and nearly three times as much as the United States. The Netherlands certainly knows how to take the chill off, and Scandinavia isn’t far behind.
Here are the hard numbers for the top ten nations’ daily coffee consumption per capita (in cups):
- The Netherlands: 2.41
- Finland: 1.33
- Sweden: 1.22
- Denmark: 1.21
- Germany: 1.2
- Slovakia: 1.19
- Serbia: 1.17
- Czech Republic: 1.14
- Poland: 1.13
- Norway: 1.1
As an interesting side note, Brazil, the world’s leading producer of coffee beans with exports of 3 million metric tons of green coffee beans, ranks 31st in consumption. So while Brazil is the leading coffee grower and exporter, as a nation they are not big coffee drinkers.
By The Numbers: America and Coffee
In the United States, coffee is ubiquitous—quantitatively, we drink more of it than anyone. So who drinks the most? A 2015 GALLUP poll determined that nearly two-thirds of Americans drink coffee every day—an average of 2.7 cups. Of those who consume at least one cup daily, American women edge out men by 4 percent, and they also consume about a third of a cup more on average.
In terms of financial demographics, a greater percentage of higher-income Americans drink coffee than lower-income (66 vs. 58 percent), but interestingly, those lower-income coffee drinkers tend to consume more on average than their higher-income counterparts (3.8 vs. 2.5 cups).
Ethnicity also plays a role in consumption, particularly of gourmet coffee (defined by the National Coffee Association as “espresso-based beverages and regular coffee made with gourmet coffee beans.”) A 2014 study by the NCA found that daily gourmet consumption was by far the highest among Hispanic-Americans (48 percent), followed by Asian-Americans (42 percent), Caucasian-Americans (32 percent), and African-Americans (23 percent).