The 10 Countries That Drink The Most Coffee In The World
As far as drinking coffee goes, most people associate the practice with the USA as it is constantly referred to in their TV shows and films but in terms of being a serious coffee drinking nation, this just isn't the case. In fact, it seems coffee drinking seems to be a far more Scandinavian custom than anything else and as we look into the top 10 countries for coffee drinking, America doesn't even make it into the top 10, in fact, it comes a paltry 16th.
We use coffee consumption per capita to rank these countries and here are the results.
The first of the Nordic nations on our list, it took a long time for coffee to make its way to Norway since it had no real mercantile or colonial power. It took 150 years for Europe to get coffee and even longer for it to make its way to the Northern tip. However Norwegians really became accustomed to it once it came their way and now tend to drink it strong, black and with regularity.
The reason seems to stem back to when Norway was governed by Denmark (between 1524 and 1814), a trading superpower who had a port located in St. Thomas, in what is now the Virgin Islands with a law stating that any good imported to the home nation via this port was duty-free. As such, Norwegians could get their hands on coffee far more cheaply than most other countries in the world and as such became obsessed with it. Now 1.128 cups of the black stuff are drunk per day per capita.
Eastern European countries seem to have seized upon coffee in recent decades with it booming in consumption from the mid-90s onwards. The reason for this: Communism...or lack thereof. Between 1945 and 1989, Poland was under communist rule and had restricted trade due to the cold war and often suffered food shortages. By 1989, Poland became a democratic and independent nation and instantly became intrigued by the images of the West they were being bombarded with including the consumption of coffee often paraded about in American media.
Now able to get their hands on a decent cup of joe, the Poles fell in love and now are one of the highest consumers of the caffeinated beverage with rates consumption coming in at 1.152 cups per day per capita.
8. Czech Republic
The Czech Republic has a historic cafe culture that would see trade from East to West and vice versa flow through the country and so coffee flowed into the capital city of Prague with a sense of regularity but Nazi and then Soviet occupation meant coffee became hard to come by for most of the 20th century due to trade restrictions.
Once the country did gain independence, the drink once again started to trickle back in and regain its popularity with 1.17 cups being downed per capita per day.
Serbian coffee culture dates back to when the region was part of the Ottoman empire where the coffee from Turkey was brought in by the occupying empire. Coffee houses serving, dark, sweet Turkish coffee called kafans became very popular and soon became the meeting place where town and village issues were discussed.
By the 20th-century, espresso cafes became more and more prevalent in the country serving just coffee and since women were at the time prevented from kafanas by a strong social prohibition they were often found in these coffee bars called kafics. Both establishments still exist in Serbia and go a long way to explaining why each day 1.188 cups of coffee per capita are drunk.
With a history closely associated to that of the Czech Republic (since the two were the same country from 1918 to 1945), Slovakian's didn't really get decent coffee until the mid-90s but were known for their cafe culture modeled on that of Vienna pre-1918.
Drinking marginally more than their Czech neighbors, they consume 1.201 cups of coffee per day per capita.
More well known for its alcoholic beverages than its caffeinated ones, Germans consume a massive quantity of coffee at 1.231 cups per day per capita. In fact, it was in Germany where drip filter coffee was invented by a housewife who found percolated coffee would often burn whilst she was doing chores and espresso makers of her day often left grounds in their drinks.
Searching for an alternative, Melitta Bentz took some paper from her son’s school book and filtered out the grounds. Founding it worked really well, she patented the idea and founded her own coffee company. Today drip coffee is still the most preferred method of coffee brewing in Germany and Melitta is one of the country’s biggest companies.
The country that led Norway to coffee comes in 6 places higher than their Nordic neighbors and likewise, they tend to drink the stuff black with the average Dane drinking 1.217 cups of coffee a day.
Part of the high rates of coffee drinking can be attributed to its ingrained culture of ‘hygge’ that is a cultural identification loosely defined as feeling cozy in the company of friends and family over a meal or cup of coffee and maybe the black stuff is a reason for Denmark ranking as the happiest country on Earth.
One of the three highest coffee consuming countries in the world, Sweden has a cultural affinity to coffee with a notion called ‘fika’. This is literally just a break time where coffee and cake are consumed but so ingrained into the national psyche is it, that people will quite often make time in their working day for it and it helps communities bond as locals will often discuss events and goings on during fika.
Anyone who has read a Stieg Larsson book will know how often the Swedes take to the drink as there is nearly a mention of it on every page, which is unsurprising as they drink 1.357 cups of it per day per capita.
Fin's have been obsessed with coffee since it made its way to them in the 1700s with some proclaiming it as a medicine that could cure headaches. A recent report from Nordic Coffee Culture found that 6% of Finnish women and 14% of men drink more than 10 cups of coffee per day and with the average being between 4 and 5 cups a day for a coffee drinker, it does explain why the rate of consumption comes in at 1.848 per day per capita.
In fact, Finland is the only country in the world where it is mandatory that workers be allowed a coffee break.
1. The Netherlands
Dutch coffee culture is so ingrained into the national psyche that, walk into almost any Dutch home and you will be instantly welcomed with an offer of coffee. This is because the Dutch were a huge trading empire and came by coffee easily and so it became part of the culture, like tea is to the Brits and they are the only country on this list that drinks more than 2 cups of coffee per capita as they come in at a whopping 2.414 cups per day.
Also like the British and their tea, most Dutch don't buy coffee out as they feel they can make a better cup back home, hence why Dutch 'coffee shops' tend to sell a far stronger substance than caffeine.