In the United States, we’ve long loved our coffee. Ever since Mr. Jim Folger was roasting coffee in 1850 (and likely before he was roasting), coffee has been a staple for many of us. There was a time following World War II when Coca-Cola became more popular than coffee, but coffee has since reestablished itself as the U.S.’s favorite caffeinated beverage. Here’s a look at the current state of coffee in the United State.
Americans Are Drinking More Coffee Than Ever Before
Today, more than ever before, we in the U.S. love our coffee:
- a third of the country’s population drinks coffee daily
- half of the population drinks coffee at least weekly
- two-thirds of the population has coffee at least occasionally
Among those who drink coffee, the average consumption is higher than it has been in past years. In 2014, the typical coffee drinker had 3.13 cups of coffee per day. (At Driftaway Coffee, our roaster Suyog doesn’t drink quite this much. He, and many other coffee roasters, actually drink less coffee than the typical American.)
The average person in the U.S. spends $21.32 on coffee each week — and this average includes non-coffee drinkers. The amount that those who drink coffee spend on their brewed beverages is actually higher.
In total, the United States imported 27.5 million bags of coffee in 2014. This accounted for almost 25 percent of all unroasted coffee imports in the world, making the U.S. unquestionably the largest buyer of coffee in the world. Over half of these imports came from Brazil, Vietnam and Colombia. (Coffee from Vietnam is coffea robusta and often used to make instant coffee.)
(At the time of writing, data for many 2015 statistics wasn’t available yet.)
Taste and Convenience Are Important
One survey showed that taste was people’s main consideration when selecting a coffee. When asked, 94 percent of people said taste was a key buying decision when selecting a place to go for coffee.
Two other statistics, however, suggest that convenience is also important.
First, the number of coffee shops in the United States has increased from 2,850 in 1993 to 17,400 in 2003 and to 29,300 in 2013. This growth in coffee shops is only possible because Americans are looking for good coffee that’s conveniently available on the go.
Second, there has been a shift in brew methods from 2011 to 2013 (again, data for 2015 wasn’t available when writing). Namely, K-cups exploded in popularity. In 2011, just 6 percent of coffee drinkers used K-cups. In 2013, 26 percent did. In comparison, all other brew coffees declined in popularity, indicating people were turning from their coffee of choice to the convenience of K-cups.
Thus, despite the niche movement toward more involved brew methods like manual pour-overs, most Americans are balancing taste and convenience when selecting coffee.
Get Good Coffee
We at Driftaway Coffee are honored to be part of the coffee industry in the United States, and we’re proud to offer great freshly roasted coffee each month. If you’re a regular coffee drinker but haven’t yet had freshly roasted coffee, let us introduce you to some of the most aromatic and flavorful coffee you’ve had. Sign up for a sample pack, and we’ll send you four coffees that you’re going to like.