How Many People Drink Coffee – A Quick And Quirky Overview

by | Aug 20, 2019

What do you think is the most popular drink in the world, coffee or tea? Well, if you consider all the various types of what we call tea, it might have the edge, but only just. Technically, many of these beverages are herbal tisanes, so they shouldn’t really be called tea.

So, after water, yes, you’ve guessed it, coffee is the most popular drink everywhere in the world.

Coffee Consumption Around The World

You might think that the United States of America would come top when it comes to the amount of coffee drunk, given how social and business lives revolve around it, one way or another. To our amazement, however, America doesn’t even feature in the top ten.

Who drinks the most coffee, then? Well, it’s Finland where you’ll find the highest consumption of coffee per capita – around 12kg, or almost 27lb per person per year.


How Much Coffee Does The Average Person Drink?

After Finland’s claim to fame as the country at the top of the coffee-drinking charts, Norway is second, with Norwegians drinking about 9.9kg, or just over 21 lbs of coffee per person. Iceland, Denmark and the Netherlands are in 3rd to 5th place.

Out of the top 10 coffee drinking nations, 9 are in Northern Europe; we don’t get anywhere near North America until the 10th spot, which is held by Canada, drinking around 6.5 kg of coffee, or just over 14.5 lbs per year per capita, or just under half the amount the Finns get through.

The USA doesn’t make an appearance in the coffee-drinking charts until number 25, heading towards number 26 by some measures – which may come as something of a surprise, given how many coffee shops there are in the average American town. On average, the per capita consumption of coffee in America is just 4.2 kg, or just under 9.5 lbs.


How Many People Drink Coffee?

While Finland is a very small country in terms of population, with just over 5.5 million residents, it seems that just about everyone in the country enjoys several cups of joe a day. This even includes youngsters. The coffee brewed in Finland is, however, relatively mild – and it probably helps that they have some of the clearest, cleanest water in the world.

Domestic Coffee Consumption

Meanwhile, if you’re wondering how many people in the USA drink coffee, a recent study found that around 64% of Americans enjoy a cup or two of the fragrant brew every day. Since the current population of the USA is around 327 million souls, if you’re wondering how many Americans drink coffee, that means almost 210 million people enjoying at least one cup of coffee every day.


How Many Cups Of Coffee Are Consumed Daily In The US?

Well, while there are around 210 million people in America enjoying at least one cup of coffee each day, since around 400 million cups of coffee are served in the United States each day, on average each of those people will be drinking two cups of joe daily. Some estimates are higher.

Of course, that’s all the variants – decaffeinated, flat whites, espresso, cappuccino, latte, and every other type of coffee you can think of.


How Do Americans Like To Take Their Coffee?

Only around a quarter of Americans like their coffee black: most of us enjoy it best with a little added cream, sugar or syrup of some kind.  And some folk even enjoy it with a little grass-fed butter.

Trends in coffee drinking, as with everything else, change regularly. Preferences vary from state to state, too: you’ll not find many coffee drinkers in Alaska asking for iced beverages, for instance, though it’s a refreshing option in Florida and California.

There appears to be a definite trend towards artisan, specialty or gourmet coffee, especially with millennials. Overall, however, those in the 18 to 34 age range drink less coffee than other age groups.


Are Americans Drinking More Coffee Than Ever?

If you’re wondering whether Americans are drinking more coffee than ever before, the simple answer is yes, they are. The research we mentioned earlier, suggesting that 64% of Americans drink at least one cup of coffee a day, was part of a 2018 survey.

The percentage of coffee drinkers in America has increased by 2 percent from 2017. In 2018, coffee drinking in the United States of America was at its highest level since 2012.

Coffee is the most popular drink in America overall, way ahead of soda, tea, bottled water and alcoholic beverages. Coffee is one of those drinks that’s equally popular with both men and women.

Around 62% of American men drink at least one cup a day, while about 66% of women enjoy the beverage. Mornings are the most popular time to down a cup of coffee, which is not entirely unexpected given the fact that the drink is a stimulant.


How Many Cups Of Coffee To The Pound?

When we’re contemplating how many cups of coffee you get to the pound, we need to decide if we mean pound as in weight or pound as in currency (though we should probably say dollar).

We’re going to answer the “weight” part of that question first. How many ounces per cup do you get in a typical serving? It does depend on location, as average servings vary around the world.  An American cup of coffee is usually around 8 fl oz, while in many places, an average cup of coffee is closer to 6 fl oz.

One pound of coffee should give you around 48 6 oz servings of ordinary strength coffee. A typical mature coffee plant will yield around 5 pounds of coffee, and for every 5 pounds of beans, we get around 1 pound of roasted, finished coffee.


If we’re talking about how much coffee you get for a pound (or rather, a dollar), then we need to take into account that the price of coffee fluctuates, as with all commodities. In the summer of 2019, a pound of coffee cost around $0.92. The most expensive coffee in the world, civet coffee, however, which you might know as kopi luwak, can cost up to $600 per pound.

While we’re on the subject of costs, the average cup of coffee in America should cost you around $3.50, although that is a national average and you will pay more in some states. If you brew it at home, the average costs come down, depending on the coffee machine or method, and the coffee blends you are using.


Coffee Production Around The World

There are over 50 countries in the world which produce coffee, with Brazil leading the field. In 2017 to 2018, the country produced over 50,000 60kg bags of coffee. Vietnam was second, and Columbia third. Around 125 million people around the world depend on coffee for their livelihood.

If you prefer your coffee facts in a more visual form, there are hundreds if not thousands of colorful and informative coffee infographics to choose from.

You can see at a glance where the two varieties of coffee bean, Arabica and Robusta are cultivated; you can discover what type of drinking vessel will make your coffee taste at its best (seriously, it makes a difference); or you might see for yourself what the layers in an Irish coffee should look like.


Seven Fun Facts About Coffee

  1. Coffee was, allegedly, first discovered by Kaldi, or Khalid, an Ethiopian goat herder in the 9th century who noticed how much more lively his goats became after munching the berries of the coffee plant. In some accounts, they even danced. Kaldi tried the berries himself; the local monks then brewed them into a drink and discovered they helped them be much more alert for the services in the early hours. Coffee as we know it, more or less, was born.
  2. Coffee beans are actually seeds. We sometimes call them cherries and it’s thought we call them beans as they look a little like haricot beans in terms of their shape.
  3. Coffee plants can live up to 100 years if well cared for, although on average they last around 40 to 50 years.
  4. There are only two American states which have a climate suitable for producing coffee – Hawaii and California.
  5. It was after the little disagreement about tax and the tea in Boston Harbour in 1773 that coffee became a very popular drink in America. It was practically a patriotic duty.
  6. A cup of black coffee can contain less than one calorie. (It’s the cream, sugar and syrup that adds up.)
  7. The largest cup of coffee was created in June 2019, in Columbia. It contained 22,739.14 liters of liquid, or 6,007.04 US gallons or over 923,000 fl oz. Fifty people worked for over a month to create this huge cup of coffee – that’s what we call teamwork!

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