Coffee is the second most widely consumed beverage in the entire world behind tea, and there are millions of people who rely on their morning cup of coffee to start their day worldwide.
Certain countries show a clear preference for tea, while others have always favored coffee. In this article, we will take a deeper dive into coffee consumption by country by looking at habits on different continents, and taking a closer look at the countries that drink the most coffee.
Coffee Consumption by Country
- The US consumes over 85 billion cups of coffee every year
- Coffee is popular in Canada as well, with seven million cups per year
- Mexico consumes the least coffee in North America at four billion cups per year
It is estimated that the continent of North America is responsible for around 16 percent of coffee consumption worldwide. The United States is responsible for the lion’s share of North American coffee consumption, and the country has had a strong coffee tradition since the revolutionary war.
The roots of coffee’s prevalence in the United States dates all the way back to some of the conflict that led up to the revolutionary war. The Boston Tea Party in 1773 was a protest by settlers in the United States over the taxation of tea.
In the aftermath of the Boston Tea Party came a boycott of tea across the American colonies, and a tradition was born. By the time the country had achieved its independence, coffee was already a regular part of everyday life for many Americans.
Today, coffee is a major part of everyday life in the United States, and the rise of major coffee chains like Starbucks and Dunkin has pushed coffee even further into the forefront for many. Drip coffee is the most popular and traditional style of coffee in the USA, with espresso-based drinks like lattes and cappuccinos rapidly increasing in popularity.
It is estimated that the United States consumes over 85 billion cups of coffee each year, and that number is only increasing on an annual basis. The second largest coffee-consuming country in North America is Canada, with an estimated seven billion cups of coffee consumed each year.
Some of the most popular styles of coffee in the Country of Canada are fairly similar to popular coffee drinks in the United States, with drip coffee and espresso-based drinks leading the way. Iced coffee is also prevalent across Canada, which may come as a surprise to some considering the generally cold temperatures nationwide.
One of the most famous and unique coffee beverages that originated in Canada is the “Double Double.” This is a very popular coffee order across cafes, restaurants, and diners in Canada, and it is made by simply adding two sugars and two creams to a regular cup of drip coffee.
Mexico also drinks a significant amount of coffee, with an estimated four billion cups consumed each year. Traditional Italian style espresso-based drinks lead the way in Mexico, though the country is also home to some unique and popular creations.
The Café De Olla is a popular traditional Mexican coffee drink that is made by simmering sugar and cinnamon in a clay pot with coffee beans. This sweet treat is consumed year-round, though it is especially popular around the holidays and in colder months in Mexico.
- Brazil goes through about 25 million bags of coffee per year
- Columbia produces more coffee than it consumes, at only 1.5 million bags per year
While South America is the fourth largest coffee-consuming continent in the world, it is home to some powerhouse coffee-producing regions. South America is home to Brazil, which is the largest coffee-producing country in the entire world.
The most recent and reliable statistics available are measured in units of 60-kilogram coffee bags, and Brazil leads the way by far in South America with just under 25 million bags consumed per year.
Brazilians generally drink their coffee strong and sweet, with a preference for dark roasts and bold espresso-based drinks. A unique style of coffee from Brazil is “cafezinho,” which is a small and strong cup of coffee that is generally offered as a gesture of hospitality to friends and visitors.
Colombia sits firmly in second place to Brazil when it comes to both the production and consumption of coffee. Black coffee with a medium roast is generally the drink of choice in Columbia, and it is estimated that around one and a half million 60-kilogram bags are consumed in Columbia each year.
- Europe is responsible for just under one-third of all coffee consumption on earth
- Germany drinks just over 12 million bags of coffee per year
- France totals in at around 7 million bags per year
- Italy is right behind France in consumption at over 5 million bags of coffee
- Spain tallies in at fourth place with just over 3 million bags per year
Europe is the world’s largest coffee-consuming continent, accounting for more than 30% of the entire world’s coffee consumption. In the year 2020, Europe went through approximately 2.5 million metric tons of coffee, with Germany, France, Italy, and Spain leading the way.
According to the International Coffee Organization, Germany consumed approximately 12.7 million 60kg bags of coffee in the year 2020. Germans typically drink coffee in the morning with breakfast, and then throughout the day as a “pick me up,” which is similar to the consumption habits of Americans.
One of the most common coffee beverages in Germany is a simple drip coffee with milk and sugar. It is common to see people meeting for coffee in cafes and restaurants, and the Eiskaffee is one of the most popular local creations.
The Eiskaffee is made by combining iced coffee with ice cream and whipped cream, and there are many different variations of the drink. The vast majority of recipes call for vanilla ice cream, but other flavors are used in some parts of Germany.
France is the second largest coffee-consuming country in Europe, totaling just under 7 million 60-kilogram bags of coffee in the year 2020. One of the most popular coffee beverages in France is called the “Café au lait,” which is typically made with equal parts coffee and hot milk.
Italy is the birthplace of some of the most famous espresso-based drinks in the entire world, and the country has upheld a strong coffee tradition for many centuries. It is common to see people in Italy standing up while drinking coffee at cafes, and it is considered rude by many to order a cappuccino after 11 a.m.
While there are many iconic espresso-based drinks known worldwide that are from Italy, the “Caffè corretto” is far less famous and enjoyed all over the country. It is made with a shot of espresso combined with a shot of grappa, or another style of liquor.
Spain consumed approximately 3.3 million 60kg bags of coffee in the year 2020, and Spaniards typically drink coffee throughout the entire day. A small and strong shot of espresso is the most common coffee drink in Spain, as well as the “Café con leche,” which is simply made with coffee and hot milk.
- South Korea drinks around 60 million 3 million bags of coffee per year
- The Philippines is not far behind at around 2.5 million bags of coffee a year
According to the International Coffee Organization, Japan consumed just over seven million 60-kilogram bags of coffee in the year 2020. The coffee culture in Japan is focused on quality, with a strong emphasis placed on single-origin beans and pour-over brewing methods.
A unique coffee beverage from Japan is the “siphon coffee,” which is made using a vacuum coffee maker that creates an extremely clean and crisp cup of coffee. The country is also home to some of the top specialty pour-over coffee devices in the world.
South Korea is the second largest coffee-consuming country in Asia, and just over three million 60-kilogram bags of coffee were consumed there in 2020. Coffee consumption in South Korea has grown rapidly in recent years, and the coffee culture is similar to Japan with a focus on quality and specialty coffee.
A unique coffee beverage from South Korea that has made waves over social media in recent years is called “Dalgona coffee.” It is made by whipping instant coffee, sugar, and hot water into a frothy mixture and serving it over milk or ice.
With around two and a half million bags of coffee consumed in the year 2020, The Philippines is the third-largest coffee-producing country in Asia. Coffee is an important part of Philippine culture, and coffee consumption is growing rapidly.
One of the most popular and accessible coffee drinks from The Philippines is called “3 in 1 coffee,” which is a pre-packaged mixture of coffee, sugar, and creamer. It is simply added to hot water and mixed, making it one of the easiest coffee drinks to make of all time.
- Ethiopia drinks over 125,000 metric tons of coffee per year
- Algeria and Egypt are the next biggest coffee consumers in Africa
Ethiopia is by far the largest coffee-consuming country on the continent of Africa, and just over 125,000 metric tons of coffee beans are enjoyed in the country each year. Coffee is a very important part of Ethiopian culture, and the country is also a major exporter of high-quality coffee beans to the rest of the world.
Algeria and Egypt also drink a significant amount of coffee, though the total consumption of both countries combined is still lower than that of Ethiopia. Ethiopia is the 10th largest coffee exporter in the world, and it is readily available for purchase at some of the world’s top retailers.
Coffee Consumption by Country – Final Thoughts
Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the entire world with good reason – it is delicious and provides many adults with the caffeine boost they need to accomplish their daily tasks. While coffee is popular all over the world, there are certain countries that drink significantly more than others on an annual basis, and each area has its own customs and traditions around the drink.
Feel free to leave a comment below if you know of any interesting coffee-related statistics, and be sure to let other coffee enthusiasts know of any interesting regional coffee customs or recipes that you are aware of.