Let’s face it:
America loves coffee.
Mainly because it is the ideal fix for all kinds of moods. Whether you are feeling lazy, sad, low, stressed, or depressed, a good cup of Joe always seems to make things better.
Have you ever wondered – “What is the story behind this addictive beverage we all love?”
That is what this post is all about.
So, here is a quick rundown of interesting facts regarding the origin of coffee, consumption stats, and general titbits on American (and global) coffee culture.
Prepare to have your socks blown off…
Table of Contents
1. Americans, On Average, Spend About $1,100 on Coffee Each Year
In today’s world, if you had $1,000, you would probably go for an iPhone 14 Pro. Right?
Well, for most Americans, that is about the same amount they spend to enjoy a year filled with luscious cups of Joe.
According to Zippia.com, American workers spend around $1,100 on coffee each year. And that equates to about $22 every week or $3 per day.
Which is as expected…
2. Two-thirds of the American Adult Population Drink Coffee Daily
Well, not so much; seeing as the USA has always been among the biggest coffee consumers in the world.
In its latest polling, the National Coffee Association asserts that 66% of Americans aged 18+ drink coffee daily. With the average coffeeholic drinking at least 3 cups a day.
3. The U.S. is Home To the World’s Biggest Collection of Coffee Mugs
That is the total number of unique coffee mugs owned by American collector – Bob Thomson. It is a milestone that has earned him a spot on the Guinness Book of Records.
Here is a fun fact:
It would take close to 18 years to use this entire collection at a rate of one cup of Joe per day. Plus, Bob has been collecting coffee mugs since 1995.
4. Hawaii Used to be the USA’s Only Coffee Growing State
Yes – Americans drink a lot of coffee but do not grow it that much.
“We need hot coffee to beat the cold winter, but the cold winter season does not allow us to grow coffee.”
Due to the favorable climate and rich farming land, Hawaii is the only state in the USA that was able to cultivate coffee.
As California Grown put it, Sip Happens!
The western state of California recently broke the norm to become the second coffee-growing state in the United States.
5. America’s Starbucks is the World’s Biggest Coffeehouse Chain
Well, don’t be. Starbucks is among the oldest coffee chains in the world. And since America loves java so much, it is only natural that such a company would be so successful.
The Wall Street Journal estimates the company had a revenue of over $32 Billion in 2022 (roughly $88 Million Per Day).
Now, here is another surprising fact:
On average, Starbucks opens up to two new stores per day.
Well, take the number of Starbucks stores (~34,000 now) divided by the company’s age (~18980 days).
6. The World’s First Drive-Thru Coffee Shop Was in Portland, Oregon
We can all agree…
Drive-thrus offer an unmatched level of convenience. Especially, when you do not want to get out of your car to queue physically.
Drive-through coffee became a thing in 1990. History has it that Jim and Patty Roberts opened the world’s first espresso drive-thru – the Motor Moka in Portland, Oregon.
Despite the convenience and success of the idea, Starbucks’ first drive-thru location came in four years later in 1994.
7. The World’s First Coffee Vending Machine Was Invented in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1947)
Five-second instant coffee, anyone?
Well, that was the latest trend in 1947 thanks to the Kwik Kafe vending machines. This American-made marvel was invented by the Rudd-Melikian company in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The Kwik Kafe was the first of its kind in the world.
This invention was so successful that a year later (in 1948) Americans were drinking 250,000 cups of coffee per day from these vending machines.
8. In the U.S.A., Coffee Ranks #2 in the Most Popular Beverages Segment
Again, this should not be that surprising.
Statista’s latest survey indicates that coffee is the 2nd most consumed beverage in America at 57%.
What is surprising is that it is only 7 points shy of being the most popular of all beverages. And that has me wondering…
Will coffee beat water in the near future?
Interesting facts about American coffee culture are numerous and exciting. However, what about the world?
Well, here are a few more things you should know about Coffee…
9. Finland Has the Highest Coffee Consumption Rate Per Capita in the World
According to World Atlas, the Finnish consume 26.45 lbs or 12 kg of coffee per person per year, to be exact. And obviously, this amount is much more if you remove kids from the equation.
This rounds off to 4 cups of coffee (or more) per day, per citizen.
Finland’s coffee culture is so strong that workers are legally mandated to take two, 15-minute coffee breaks per day.
10. Brazil Has Been the World’s Leading Coffee Producer for the Past 150 Years
In the world of coffee, Brazil is probably the most noticeable player in the market.
Aside from being the world’s #1 producer of coffee for the past 150 years (as per Wikipedia), Brazil also accounts for about a third of all global coffee exports.
To put it into perspective, in 2019 alone, Brazil produced more than 5.7 Billion pounds of coffee. Plus, it exports both Arabica and Robusta Coffee beans.
In 1932, Brazil used proceeds from coffee sales to facilitate their team’s trip to the Los Angeles Summer Olympics in the United States.
11. In Indonesia, the World’s Most Expensive Coffee Comes from Wild Cat Excrement
I know what you are thinking – that does not sound right.
Well, it is true. According to Wildlife Alliance, Kopi Luwak (or Civet Coffee) can cost as much as $600 (USD) per pound or up to $100 per cup.
Surprisingly enough, this coffee comes from animal (Sumatran Civet Cat) feces.
So, what is the catch?
Well, it is believed that Civets are often very picky when it comes to the type of coffee berries they eat. Generally, they only consume the best, ripest, and healthiest coffee berries.
From their excrement, the naturally fermented coffee beans are harvested, cleaned, and processed.
So, would you spend that much just to enjoy a cup of Kopi Luwak?
12. Mexico Currently Holds the Guinness World Record for the World’s Largest Cup of Coffee
How big can a coffee cup be?
Well, if you live in León, Guanajuato, Mexico, you have probably seen one big enough to hold 7,116.59 US gallons of coffee.
On 10th December 2022, the Tonic World Center S.A. DE C.V. with the help of the University of Guanajuato and the Guanajuato State Government made history.
According to the Guinness World Records, they used around 300kg of coffee to fill a gigantic cup.
The cup has a diameter of 3.5m and 3.05m in height, making it the biggest coffee mug in the world. Basically, its capacity is equivalent to a whopping 107,757 standard cups of coffee.
13. Ethiopian Goats Might Have Discovered Coffee…?
Yes, you read that right… 😂
If the legend of Kaldi (a 9th-century Ethiopian goatherd) is to be believed, goats discovered coffee.
Well, Kaldi noted that his goats got invigorated and started “dancing” after chewing berries from a peculiar tree.
As per Wikipedia’s account of events, Kaldi did the same and got energized after chewing the fruit. And in a bid to determine why this was happening, he took the berries to a local abbot.
Unfortunately (or fortunately):
The abbot became convinced that the berries were the “Devil’s work,” and tossed them into a nearby fire. Then, after a while, a nice, alluring, and powerful smell filled the room.
To preserve the smell, water was poured on the burning berry embers.
And curiosity got the better of the abbot.
Apparently, sipping the mixture made him feel calm, relaxed, and warm.
However, after a while, he also became energetic and alert. And that allowed him and fellow monks to discuss and pray well into the night.
From there, stories of the magic berries spread far and wide.
If the legend above is true, three interesting facts about coffee become clear:
- Goats discovered coffee berries
- Coffee – as a drink – was made by accident
- Coffee has been around for over 12 centuries
Again, mind-blowing, right?
14. In Turkey, Lack of Coffee Was Used As a Reason for Divorce
Would you file for a divorce if your husband failed to get you enough coffee?
I know… It sounds silly and too extreme, right?
But, in the 15th-century Ottoman empire (modern-day Turkiye), women were allowed to divorce their husbands on grounds of failing to provide coffee.
Yes, it was that serious. But this law was short-lived.
At the beginning of the 17th century, the rulers at the time deemed coffee a drug that increased radicalization rather than a recreational drink.
Consequently, it was outlawed and all coffee houses shut down.
There have been multiple attempts to ban coffee.
Aside from the Ottoman Empire, coffee was also outlawed in Mecca (Islam), Prussia, Sweden, and Catholicism (between the 16th and 18th centuries).
But, the bans were lifted as time went by and coffee became even more popular.
15. Italy Sits at the Center of Today’s Global Coffee Culture
Italian coffee, anyone?
Well, if you love drinking your cup of Joe the Italian way, you know it is supposed to be small and quick. And that is why most Italian coffee drinks are espresso-based.
Funnily enough, “espresso” is Italian for “pressed out.”
Basically, it is a strong, and highly-concentrated type of coffee drink that comes with a kick. And that makes espresso the best pick-me-up for slow mornings.
Remember, it is Italian.
16. Saudi Arabia Is Home To The World’s Largest Coffee Shop
Fancy going for coffee in the world’s largest coffee shop?
Well, the AL MASAA CAFÉ in Saudi Arabia is believed to be the biggest cafe on the globe. That is as per the Guinness Book of Records.
It can host up to 1,050 coffee drinkers at any given time.
17. German Pianist, Beethoven, Was a Coffeeholic
Yes, Ludwig van Beethoven (a german composer and pianist) was a huge fan of coffee.
He was also very specific about how he wanted his java prepared. 60 coffee beans per cup to be precise – nothing more, nothing less.
18. You Can OD (Overdose) on Coffee
Although, not humanly possible, Facts.net says it would take about 70 consecutive cups of coffee to kill someone.
Hmm! Just another intriguing episode of 1000 ways to die…?
Please, do not try this at home. Or anywhere else, for that matter.
19. Coffee Comes with Numerous Health Benefits
Try drinking some coffee.
According to Medical News Today, coffee offers relief from depression. It also wears down suicidal thoughts.
Other health benefits include:
- Improved heart health
- Better chances of living longer
- Healthier liver
- Energy boost when working
- Short-term memory boost and more
So, why not…?
20. Want to Keep Your Coffee Warm? Add Some Cream
This is a much-needed life hack for slow coffee drinkers, like me. Apparently, the cream can keep your coffee hot for 20% longer than usual.
Well, in the simplest of terms, cream blocks heat loss by limiting convection. Gotta love physics. 😉
There is more to coffee than meets the eye (or taste buds). Hidden behind that alluring cup of Joe are a ton of mind-blowing facts.
And as coffee adoption grows, I am certain more world records and fascinating facts are bound to pop up.
For now, let me go for a much-deserved coffee break (as should you).
Also, do not forget to share this post or leave a comment on any interesting facts I may have left out. I would love to hear from you.