Coffee consumption around the world
Though coffee’s origins are believed to have been in the wild coffee tree forests of Ethiopia’s highlands, coffee has certainly found more than a home elsewhere around the world. Today we will look at what countries consume the most coffee based on consumption per person. The numbers and who is at number one may surprise you as much as they surprised us!
What is interesting, too is that many countries that produce the most coffee beans like Brazil, which produces more coffee than even its number two and three competitors, actually does not rank too high in coffee consumption.
Also, while early coffee culture developed in Yemen, Ethiopia, and Turkey, these countries also did not rank particularly high. Not to mention Italy and France, the nations where we have attained so much of our cafe culture and terminology, also do not place too high on the list. As for Australia, Korea, and Japan? Three countries in particular that are renowned for their nuanced and novel coffee beverages like the Flat White, the reinvention of the Dutch Brew, and Dalgona? Not near the top ten either.
As one can surmise, the top ten will certainly surprise you. Perhaps because when we think of coffee we mostly imagine tropical locales with vaulting jungle mountains. Or hot and arid places where coffee beans are brewed strong. Or Vespas and vistas on ancient cities now turned modern or towers that marvel. Or high octane, busy cities awash in neon lights. But think less about these locales and more so cold, snowy, and fjord-having.
Coffee may come from tropical and hot places but the top ten coffee consuming countries are actually closer to the polar bears and ice caps than the equator where coffee beans initially hail!
When visiting Canada, poutine and ice hockey are not the only treats to indulge in. Canada is home to one of coffee’s first major chains, Tim Horton’s which contributes to Canada’s place at #10 for the most coffee consumption.
Though Luxembourg is known for its high GDP and a small land area, it has also earned its spot at #9 on our list. Coffee is truly ubiquitous in Luxembourg.
Innovation and a large host of coffee houses and cafes are a common occurrence in Belgium. Belgium’s cities of Brussels and Antwerp have coffee galore and have helped earn Belgium a nice #8 spot on our list. If you are in Belgium lookout for a brulot, a unique espresso shot containing cloves, cinnamon, sugar, lemon zest shavings, cognac, and topped off with a little flame!
Once the number one consumer of coffee, Switzerland has sunk a bit in its coffee consumption. But as the homeland of Nespresso, the Swiss treat coffee as a social activity and many Swiss citizens enjoy coffee 2-3 times a day.
Perhaps another surprising nation, Sweden is 7 on our list. Sweden’s meatballs have taken a backseat to Swedish coffee which has even inspired its own word, “Fika”. This word, hard to translate into English, means an extended break one takes in the day to enjoy coffee. we think we all could use a bit more Fika in our lives. Perhaps brew up some exceptional decaf coffee beans and have one today!
5: The Netherlands
Interesting to see Belgium’s neighbour here at 5 while they are a few spots behind. But no matter! The Dutch have played an integral role in the spread and development of coffee and coffee culture to the Western world. Legend has it that some of the first coffee plants introduced to the court of Louis the 14th were smuggled out of the Yemeni port of Mocha centuries ago by Dutch merchants. Not only that but they even have a brewing type named after them, “Dutch Brew”!
Coffee plays quite an important role in Denmark where, like Sweden, there is an informal social ritual known as “kaffeslabberas” which includes people enjoying coffee and cake together. Danish weddings will also feature an after-party known as the “bryllupskaffe” which has selected guests and the happy couple enjoy coffee together, too!
With a prohibition period that spanned from 1915 to 1989, coffee stepped in where lots of other alcoholic drinks were kept out in the cold! So instead of social drinking featuring alcohol, coffee was the social drink of choice. Even today, with all alcohol legal in the country, coffee still has a place at the top, which leads Iceland to #3 on our list of most coffee consumed.
So far, our list has had many surprising nations. Again, while most coffee is produced in countries around the equator, almost all of our top ten countries have been lands of ice and snow! Our number 2 is no exception. Norwegians love their coffee, with many enjoying 2-3 cups a day. Coffee houses in Norway are seen as social gathering places and serve the function of meeting places.
Now this one is surprising! Though we suppose in a land that is cold a piping hot drink is exactly what one may need. The average Finn drinks 3-4 cups of coffee a day which has helped vault Finland to #1 on our list. Coffee is such a serious business here that two 10 minute breaks for a cuppa are legally mandated by Finnish law. Talk about coffee culture!
Which countries drink the most coffee, (the answers surprised us!)
They certainly did! As we discovered, Finland loves its coffee, even more than coffee-centric cultures like Italy or France even! We certainly hope some of the beans folks on our list enjoy are decaf coffee beans! But otherwise, happy brewing, and may everyone have a blissful cuppa each and every day all over the world.