Coffee – All The Stats And Facts

Coffee is an incredibly popular beverage in today’s world, and people are serious about it. It seems like the coffee industry is growing and growing among younger generations.

This got us thinking, who drinks the most coffee around the world? Where does it all come from? What other interesting facts and stats are there about coffee?

We’ve investigated just these questions…

freshly brewed cup of coffee with split coffee beans

Coffee Stats

Coffee is the second most consumed drink in the world. It’s only beaten to the top by water. So there’s no surprise then that billions of people wake up each morning and perform that ritual of brewing a coffee. Whether that be instant or freshly ground coffee, it’s certainly the peoples favourite drink.

How much coffee is consumed in the US?

64% of Americans that are 18 or older drink a cup of coffee everyday. With the average drinker consuming a few cups a day, Americans drink 400 million cups of coffee a day.

This makes America the leading consumer of coffee in the worldwhen measured on volume. That’s 140 billion cups of coffee every year, which is staggering.

How much coffee is consumed around the world?

While the majority of producers of coffee are developing nations, it’s the most industrialized countries that consume the most coffee.

  1. Finland – 12kg per person per year (pppy)
  2. Norway – 9.9 kg
  3. Iceland – 9 kg
  4. Denmark – 8.7 kg
  5. Netherlands – 8.4 kg
  6. Sweden – 8.2 kg
  7. Switzerland – 7.9 kg
  8. Belgium – 6.8 kg
  9. Luxembourg – 6.5 kg
  10. Canada – 6.2 kg

Being the birthplace of coffee’s second revolution, you’d think that America would be the top country when it comes to drinking coffee. That might be true if you measure pure quantity, but which people drink the most?

Surprisingly, when looking at how much coffee is consumed per capita America doesn’t score high at all. It actually ranks at 25 with 4.2 kg of coffee consumed per person each year. Nearly three times less than what the Finnish drink.

The UK ranks even lower at about 3.5 kg pppy.

How many cups of coffee are drunk a day?

It is estimated a whopping 2.25bn cups of coffee are consumed around the world everyday!

The coffee industry has been booming for a long time now, centuries even. It’s reported that the first brewed cup of coffee happened in Yemen, and since then coffee has taken over the globe. It’s reached every continent apart from Antarctica.

The split between men and women is about the same, 66% of women drink coffee compared to 62% of men. Women also score higher on the amount of cups consumed per day, at 2.9. While men consume 2.6 cups.

Which brings us on to the next question of…

How much coffee does the average person drink?

The average coffee drinker throughout the world drinks 2 or 3 cups a day, with an average cup size being 9 ounces.

Regarding the time of the day, unsurprisingly the majority of coffee is consumed with or around breakfast, at 65%. Another 30% of coffee is consumed between meals and the remaining 5% with other meals throughout the day.

Adding milk and/or sugar to a coffee seems to be the most popular way to consume it, with 65% having coffee this way. Although, the coffee connoisseurs of the world will no doubt argue that black coffee is the way to go. However only 35% of us drink coffee black.

Why do people drink coffee?

That’s a good question and one that I often think about. Why is coffee so popular around the world? Why not tea, or any other beverage you can think of?

From what I can see, there are 3 reasons.

Drinking coffee has several health benefits. For example it is packed with antioxidants that help remove free radicals, it can increase energy levels, improve productivity and brain function – including memory, reaction times, mood and general mental function.

Drinking coffee can be a comforting routine. I understand this completely, and so would anyone that drinks coffee on the regular. Waking up, walking downstairs, and starting your coffee “ritual” is a very relatable thing. It becomes a fluid motion, almost a second nature. If you’re ever stressed out, performing that routine and enjoying a hot cuppa can be a very comforting thing to do.

Coffee promotes social interaction. Coffee houses have been the centre of conversations for hundreds of years. It’s a place where people go to talk about politics, share stories or just have a good gossip. Social interaction is super important for us humans, and what’s a better way to do it than with a cup of coffee?

A Few Interesting Facts

Of all the ways there are to consume caffeine, from chocolate to tea, cereals to energy bars, coffee is the way over 75% of Americans consume their caffeine.

About 29% of coffee consumers around the world drink coffee to relax.

Nearly half of all millennial coffee drinkers consume specialty coffee. That includes drinks like lattes, cappuccinos, flat whites ect.

people around a table enjoying a coffee

The Worlds Importers and Exporters

So we’ve covered consumption, but where does all this coffee come from? And where does it all go?

The World’s 10 Biggest Coffee Producing Exporters (per annum)

  1. Brazil – 5.7bn pounds
  2. Vietnam – 3.6bn
  3. Colombia – 1.8bn
  4. Indonesia – 1.5bn
  5. Ethiopia – 847m
  6. Honduras – 767m
  7. India – 767m
  8. Uganda – 635m
  9. Mexico – 516m
  10. Guatemala – 450m

Brazil trumps the rest of the countries on the list by a long shot, producing more coffee than most of the other countries combined.

This is also not a recent development. Brazil has held the top spot for coffee production for over 150 years! With coffee plantations covering about 27,000 sq km, mostly in the southeastern states where the climate and temperature is ideal for growing coffee.

Colombian coffee is famously high quality. It used to be the second largest exporter of coffee in the world, but a changing climate has had a negative impact on coffee production over the last 30 years or so. The temperature has been slowly rising, and so has rainfall. This factor, combined with Vietnam’s rapidly expanding production has knocked Colombia off its second spot.

Ethiopia is the geographical home of the Arabica plant, which is the most popular coffee bean in the world. For over a thousand years, farmers and shepherds have noticed the stimulating effect of these berries. Coffee is deep in their culture and it’s estimated that 15 million citizens rely on coffee production as a source of income.

The World’s 10 Biggest Coffee Importers (per annum)

  1. United States – US$5.8 billion
  2. Germany – $3.2bn
  3. France – $2.7bn
  4. Italy – $1.6bn
  5. Japan – $1.2bn
  6. Canada – $1.2bn
  7. Netherlands – $1.2bn
  8. Belgium – $1.1bn
  9. United Kingdom – $1.1bn
  10. Spain – $969.6bn

Even though Finland consumes more coffee per capita, it’s the US that tops the list on pure quantity, and by a lot. It’s fair to say that the US love their coffee.

In 2019 global purchases of imported coffee totaled an estimated $30 billion. Overall, the amount of coffee that was traded dropped by 3% compared to 2015 when coffee purchases were valued at $31.1bn.

Almost 60% of all coffee produced in the world gets sent to Europe, with 23.6% being shipped to the US.

farmer harvesting ripe coffee beans

Who Are The Coffee Drinkers

It seems like coffee drinkers are a diverse bunch, but there are definitely some trends. We know that the majority of American adults drink coffee every day, but what about the different demographics? And which groups are drinking coffee more than others?

When it comes to who spends the most on coffee, It turns out that women spend slightly more than men. A recent study found that women spend $2,326 per year, whereas men spend $1,934 per year.

If you look by age, then the majority of people that spend their earnings on coffee are 25-34 year olds. I think this has a lot to do with the social side of drinking coffee. On a lunch hour, saturday afternoons and on a day off, it’s nice to go grab a quick coffee with a friend.

The average annual spend at coffee shops by industry is interesting. At the top of the list is the finance and insurance industry, spending $709 per year, with wholesale and retail coming in second at $592 a year. The industry that spends the least amount of money per year on coffee is transportation and warehouse, at $107

Amazing Coffee Facts

We’ve covered all of the numbers and statistics of coffee, so now i’ll show off some of my knowledge. Maybe you can remember a few for the next pub quiz you’re at, or to show off to your mates.

Coffee was discovered by a goat herder in Ethiopia

So the legend goes anyway. A goat herder by the name of Kaldi realised one day that every time his goats ate berries from a particular bush, they became super energetic and wouldn’t sleep.

He took the berries to a local monastery, but the berries were chucked into the fire by the residents claiming nonsense. However, they were greeted by the smell of roasting coffee that we’re all so familiar with. Anything that smells that good must be worth a try, and so the rest is history.

Coffee was originally chewed, not sipped

Coffee beans haven’t always been used to make that beloved beverage we all know about. Back in the old days, as in thousands of years ago, the first african tribes to consume coffee would grind the berries up, mix in some animal fat and roll the mix into edible balls.

The tribe’s hunters would take these edibles out on a day’s hunt to keep them energised and alert. It wasn’t until after the year 1000 that the beans were made into a beverage.

Coffee was the work of the devil

When coffee was first brought over to Europe, not everyone welcomed the drink with open arms. In fact, some people declared coffee the work of the devil due to the fact it changed your state of mind.

In the 18th century, governments were trying to get rid of coffee. In 1746 Sweden went to the extremes and banned not only coffee, but also anything to do with the beverage, like cups and saucers.

Coffee or beer for breakfast

Coffee seems like a normal choice of beverage to have with your breakfast, at least in today’s world. Before coffee came to Europe, a lot of people would drink beer with their first meal of the day. Not only did they choose to, but it was encouraged.

When coffee came along and people started to switch, it was found that they were (unsurprisingly) more productive at work.

Coffee as fuel?

Yes, you read that right. Scientists have successfully turned ground coffee into biodiesel, so one day coffee may actually be fuelling your car.

Coffee contains a lot of natural oils that can be concentrated and refined to make a bio-oil. By using existing waste products from large coffee chains and offices, we can recycle waste and reduce our consumption of fossil fuels.

A coffee plant can live up to 100 years

Although they can live this long, they are generally more productive between the ages of 7 and 20. However, with careful maintenance and good fertilisation you can extend the plants lifespan.

The most expensive coffee in the world is made with cat poo

Kopi Luwak is the world’s most expensive coffee, but it has a rather unconventional production process. Only coffee beans that have been digested by a certain Southeast Asian cat-like animal called a Civet.

The feces of this cat are collected, and the berries removed, cleaned and sold as Kopi Luwak. It’s a high demand coffee that the supply doesn’t meet, due to the fact it can be especially difficult to source.

If you want to see the process and a taste test of Kopi Luwak, here’s just that:

Final Words

Whether you’re a coffee fan or not. Whether you enjoy your coffee black or full of milk and sugar. It’s something that can bring two friends closer together, an excuse to meet up and chat about what’s been going on.

I have no doubt that our coffee cultures around the world are here to stay. It seems the majority of people around the world cannot go a day without it. Is it time to put a brew on?

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Tom Bolland

Tom Bolland

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