Coffee is one of the most popular beverages people enjoy, whether starting the morning or taking a break. But did you know that the US is only the 25th largest consumer of coffee? Which country holds the top spot in consuming coffee?
Countries in the Nordic region are the highest consumers of coffee globally. All countries in the area are among the top 10 coffee consumers worldwide. Finland holds the top spot, consuming almost double what Italy does.
Top Ten Largest Coffee Consumers
When we think of coffee, we immediately think of Starbucks or those fancy, tiny cups of French espresso. This leads us to believe that the largest consumers of coffee are Americans and Italians, but statistically speaking, we didn’t even make it on the list of the top ten.
The study lists down the top ten countries with the most significant consumption of coffee per person per year:
- Finland – 26 pounds
- Norway – 22 pounds
- Iceland – 20 pounds
- Denmark – 19 pounds
- Netherlands – 19 pounds
- Sweden – 18 pounds
- Switzerland – 17 pounds
- Belgium – 15 pounds
- Luxembourg – 14 pounds
- Canada 14 pounds
As mentioned above, Americans only placed 25th on the study of annual coffee consumption per person, with 9.7 pounds per year, or an average of 3 cups a day. (Source: World Population Review)
How Coffee Came to the Nordics
Coffee cultivation began in the Middle East, and by the 15th century, coffee houses were typical in countries like Turkey, Persia, and Syria. With the start of global trade, coffee soon found its way to the European region in the 16th century. It was seen as an infidel drink by many Europeans. Still, when Pope Clement VIII tried it and approved it, it became popular and spread throughout the region and into the Americas.
Coffee soon found its way through Denmark since Denmark had access to a free port. It soon spread throughout the Nordic region. Today, it is an integral part of the culture there for several reasons. (Source: World Population Review)
Coffee initially became a popular drink in the 1800s because alcohol was more expensive in the region due to taxes and tariffs. Apart from this, churches also played an integral role in popularizing the drink. Churches often offered coffee and cake to their parishioners, called Kirkekaffe, which means church coffee.
Another reason coffee became so popular in the Nordics is because of the climate. Temperatures can go as low as -40F. (Source: Verdict)
Nordic Coffee Culture
Coffee is an integral part of the culture in the region. Drinking coffee is a social activity and is always present in any event. Due to its popularity, there are many coffee shops, almost one on every street corner.
Coffee breaks are an integral part of the Finnish culture. In fact, two 10-minute coffee breaks are mandated by law. In other parts of the region, coffee parties are the norm. It is pretty much like the British tea time, but with coffee and lots of cake.
These coffee parties are very informal gatherings and are known by different terms depending on which country you visit. The Swedes call it kafferep. In Iceland, it is known as kaffiboð, and in Norway and Denmark, it is called kaffeslabberas. (Source: World Population Review)
Coffee is also a sign of hospitality in the Nordic regions. Any guest that visits a household is offered coffee. And usually, the guest would respond tiú dropar, which translates to ten drops. This means that the guest would only want a small cup of coffee instead of a regular mug. It is also considered rude to leave when someone has not yet finished their coffee. (Source: Verdict)