Have You Ever Wondered What Countries Drink the Most Coffee?
You might think your own consumption is single-handedly skewing the national average, but the numbers don’t lie and we are here to face the facts. Full transparency, I was a little surprised by what I found and I think you may be too. Here’s a look at the top countries by annual per capita coffee consumption and the local coffee preference for each, including espresso, specialty coffee and drip coffee.
Top 5 Countries Who Drink the Most Coffee
Finland (26.5 lbs)
Coffee is an integral part of Finnish culture. With average coffee consumption more than 20% higher than the next country on this list, they are claiming the top spot with ease. Coffee is so important that days are literally defined by the coffee breaks they will take.
Preference: Light roast drip or filter coffee is king. Espresso is a rather new trend and dark roast coffees only make up a very small piece of the pie. With a preference for light roasts, not only are Finns drinking more coffee than anyone, but they are also drinking coffee with more caffeine.
Norway (21.8 lbs)
There is no debating the love Norway has for its coffee. Coffee is a major part of a Norwegians’ daily life and with coffee shops lining the streets of their most populous cities, it’s very easy to keep this habit going strong. Some attribute the insanely high coffee consumption to alcohol prohibition in the early 1900s since it was during this time that coffee consumption started to skyrocket.
Preference: Simple stovetop kettle or percolate, usually drank black. Nothing fancy here.
Iceland (19.8 lbs)
I have a funny suspicion that the coffee consumption here can be linked to long periods of almost total darkness and a climate that is notoriously cold. Either way, Iceland has developed a great reputation across the specialty coffee world. If you’re in any major city, you will see a bunch of cozy, locally-owned coffee shops that are a far cry from the sterile chain shops you might find in other countries.
Preference: A lot of Italian influence here with a strong preference for espresso bar favorites like lattes, cappuccinos, and macchiatos.
Denmark (19.2 lbs)
Coffee is the companion to every meal and special event in this country. Similar to other Scandinavian friends on this list, you will be hard pressed to find an office without a coffee machine and several coffee breaks throughout the day are a guarantee. The country has also seen a recent boom in the specialty coffee industry, specifically in Copenhagen which has made big waves on the world stage. Denmark happens to be the happiest country in the world so I’d like to think that there is a strong correlation between the two!
Preference: Filter coffee is a staple here but fancy espresso-based drinks are growing in popularity.
Netherlands (18.5 lbs)
The Dutch have had a sizable impact on the coffee world. Their early cultivation of coffee plants on colonized islands like Java fueled the European coffee craze that began centuries ago. In the capital Amsterdam, it is not uncommon to go to a bar or café just for a coffee but keep in mind anything labeled a "coffee shop" will specialize in cannabis and hallucinogenic baked goods. With that said, the coffee scene is great here and there are coffee moments found throughout each day.
Preference: Don’t expect a large 16 oz. coffee here. Everything will be much smaller, about 4-6 oz. and often made by using course grounds pulled quickly through an espresso machine opposed to a traditional coffee brewer.
The U.S. Trails Far Behind
When it comes to coffee consumption, would you be surprised to find out that the U.S is no where near the top 10? In fact, the U.S. barely makes the top 25 on a per capita consumption basis. While the U.S. is a front runner in preference for filter coffee opposed to the instant type, we still drink only 9.2 lbs. per person per year. To put that in better context, Finns drink almost 3x the amount of coffee as Americans! With that said, the U.S. has a growing preference for high quality specialty coffee, like that found in B-Pods®, so I guess quality over quantity is the story here!