Coffee consumption is an internationally shared and enjoyed morning wake-up routine, pastime and social event. A great morning brew brings smiles to faces from every country around the world. These smiles bring the world together, speaking the same language of comfort and joy. Whether it be gourmet coffee or a classic homestyle brew, and whether you prefer coffee in the form of coffee beans, ground coffee, k-cups or coffee pods, a great cup of coffee is a worldwide favorite.
Just take a look at the numbers: coffee consumption has never been bigger. You might be surprised to know that the United States is far down the list of the world's top coffee drinkers. In fact, Finland is home to the world's highest per capita coffee consumption. The Fins consume coffee at an astounding rate of over three times higher per person more than in the United States. The official list, compiled by the World Resource Institute in 2008, states that on average, each person in Finland consumes 12 kilograms of coffee per person each year.
Taking second place in these coffee-drinking standings is Norway at 10 kg. In third, and you might be noticing a trend here, is the frigid country of Iceland, where residents consume an average of 9 kg of coffee. Trailing closely behind are Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Aruba, Canada and Germany, at rates decreasing from 8.7 kg to 6.4 kg. The United States sits at 26th place in the standings at only 4.2 kg of coffee consumed per person annually, even though the U.S. consumes about 45 per cent of the world's coffee. And people from the United Kingdom drinks much less coffee than most Europeans, according to the charts: it sits at 47th place at 2.8 kg.
In Finland, coffee is far more than just a social drink. It is a way of life. Decades ago, alcohol was banned throughout the country and coffee was the favorite drink for social gatherings. Because of this, cafes became popular gathering places. Now, coffee has become a staple in the local economy by creating and funding jobs at cafes throughout the nation. Vietnam has also decided to cash in on the increasing popularity of coffee over the past few decades by making coffee beans a major cash crop. When the idea was implemented, however, it forced the price of coffee down worldwide and almost caused the market to collapse. The industry responded by identifying market saturation points, introducing quality control plans and encouraging higher standards through the introduction of new varieties and blends of coffee.
Today, coffee consumption is even growing in countries that were originally recognized as tea-drinking nations. Asian countries like India, China and Japan are now jumping on the gourmet coffee bandwagon after a successful rebranding of the coffee industry by the International Coffee Organization. Coffee consumption is now an internationally loved luxury and economy stabilizer with the accepted price tags of about $4 for a specialty coffee with a particular flavor. And as long as the public will shell out that money for a good brew, coffee consumption will only continue to climb around the world.
Thanks to offchance / flickr for the coffee consumption map.