Thomas Jefferson reportedly declared, “Coffee — the favorite drink of the civilized world.” It is the quintessential way to begin any day and the second most consumed beverage globally.
Even though 2.25 billion cups of Joe are consumed globally on an average day, it falls second to tea, although the reason may be related to cost. One cup of tea made at home is about five cents, compared to 16 cents or more for coffee, according to PBFY. The price in shops and cafes reflects the same cost difference.
Interestingly, in the United States, bottled water is the number one beverage, according to Top 5. Coffee ranks third, behind water and carbonated drinks. Fifty-four percent of Americans drink at least two cups of Joe daily.
The top ten coffee-consuming nations are in Europe; the top two are Finland and Sweden. The Finnish drink 12.5kg (27.6 pounds)yearly, per capita. Swedes consume slightly less at 10kg (22 pounds). The other countries in the top 10 are, in descending order, Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Austria, Switzerland, Greece, Bosnia, and Germany.
The United States did not make the top 20 on the list. Nonetheless, Americans love their cup of Joe so much that in times of panic buying, such as stocking up for pandemics, extreme storms, it is common to find empty shelves at the grocers. This was the case during the 2020 coronavirus lockdowns in the U.S. when restaurants and coffee houses were closed.
No one really knows much about how coffee was discovered beyond the herder’s story, whose goats exhibited increased energy after eating the cherries. Historians explain that word of its energizing qualities spread to the Arabian Peninsula, where its popularity flourished. By the 16th century, it hit Europe, and within the next 100 years, it had spread throughout the continent.
The English brought the flavor-filled beans to New Amsterdam (New York) in the 1600s. But, even as the access grew, tea remained the favored beverage in the New World until the tax rebellion led to the Boston Tea Party.
Coffee continues its favor among Americans today, with more than half consuming an average of two cups a day. During the pandemic, discussions surrounding antioxidants grew, leading people to discover the health benefits of their daily ritual. While statistics for 2020 consumption are not available yet, some experts suggest the more coffee was consumed in the U.S. during COVID-19 lockdowns.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
NCA USA: The History of Coffee
BBC News: Coffee: Who grows, drinks and pays the most? By Laura Jones
Republican Coffee: Happy Birthday, Thomas Jefferson!
PBFY Flexible Packaging: Coffee vs. Tea: What’s the Difference?
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Simon James’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image by Thomas Søndergaard Courtesy of Play the Game’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License