Is Coffee the Most Popular Drink in the World?

Is Coffee the Most Popular Drink in the World

Coffee is a unique beverage that combines remarkable flavor with a morning kick. In fact, a lot of people believe that their productivity levels will be affected negatively if they didn’t get their daily dose of morning joe! Since you’re most likely reading this while holding a cup of coffee, you might be wondering “is coffee the most popular drink in the world?”

Yes, coffee is the most popular drink in the world. More coffee and coffee related beverages are consumed every year than any other drink.

Although coffee is one of the most popular drinks around the globe, there are other popular beverages that might compete with it for the “most popular drink” title. In the following article, we’ll walk you through various coffee statistics, so you can find out whether it’s the most common drink. Let’s dive in!

First of all, let’s exclude water from the competition because it’s easily the most popular drink and no other beverage can even show up for that competition.

Coffee is one of the world’s most popular drinks and also a huge economical commodity. However, that doesn’t make it the most popular drink in the world. According to a variety of sources, tea still beats coffee to the title of the most popular beverage.

Tea has been around for much longer than coffee, it has been discovered for as long as 5,000 years in ancient China.

Similar to coffee, a lot of people drink tea for both its medicinal purposes and unique flavor. However, there has been an ongoing debate on whether coffee or tea is more popular.

Team coffee believes that tea gets an unfair advantage and is more popular only because it’s the main drink in the country with the highest population, which is China.

And in fact, this is true, as a lot of other countries, especially western ones, regard coffee as their most popular drink.

According to a map by Eurometer International with data from 79 countries, tea predominates the eastern part of the world.

Author Note: This includes Asia and the countries that used to make up the Soviet Union while coffee is much more popular in the Americas and many European countries.

Canada flag with coffee

By inspecting the data from Eurometer International’s map, you can find that coffee can sometimes be the most popular drink in some countries.

The margin of coffee popularity against tea can be by a very thin margin, such as in:

  • Canada
  • Georgia
  • Argentina
  • Tunisia
  • Poland
  • Estonia

However, in some countries, coffee can be head and shoulders above the competition, such as in:

  • Guatemala
  • Dominican Republic
  • Brazil
  • Ecuador
  • Costa Rica
  • Greece

There are 4 types of coffee around the world, which are:

  • Arabica (Coffea arabica)
  • Robusta (Coffea canephora)
  • Liberica (Coffea liberica)
  • Excelsa (Coffea liberica var. dewevrei)

However, 99% of all the world’s production is focused on only Arabica and Robusta types. Since 85% of all the coffee production is made up of Arabica, it’s easy to assume that it’s the most popular type.

Although it’s more expensive and doesn’t have as much caffeine as you’d find in Robusta coffee, it has a much better flavor profile that is preferred by a lot of people.

Although you can find hundreds of ways to brew your coffee, it’s almost impossible that you check a barista’s bench and not find an espresso machine.

Since espresso is the base for tons of coffee drinks, it’s widely accepted that it’s the most popular coffee drink in the world.

Factors That Affect Coffee Popularity in Different Regions and Countries

Coffee plantation over 1100m in Brazil

By checking the statistics and numbers, it might not be difficult to find out why coffee is received differently in various parts of the world.

Here’s a brief overview of the most widely accepted factors that have an impact on coffee popularity across the globe.


Climate is, by far, one of the most obvious reasons why some countries like coffee more than others.

According to various statistics, Scandinavian and Nordic countries are among the top consumers of coffee on the planet.

For example, the first 6 places in the list of the heaviest coffee consumers belong to Finland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, the Netherlands, Sweden.

Author Note: One of the things that these countries have in common is that they all have some of the coldest climates in the world. In fact, all the top 10 list include countries that are known for their cold weather.

Of course, coffee is known for its versatility, and you can easily make ice coffee and enjoy it as a refreshing drink in warm weather.

However, steaming hot coffee remains the original way of drinking and enjoys the beverage all over the world.

And of course, drinking hot coffee in hot weather might not be as appealing as it would be in cold snowy winters!


Another huge factor in determining the popularity of coffee, especially against tea, is the region’s tradition. For instance, the British Kingdom is popular for its long history with tea consumption.

Consequently, most countries that were once a part of the British Kingdom regard tea as their most popular drink to this day as well.

Also, ethnicities have been strongly linked and associated with caffeine intake, according to a 2018 study based on a 5-year long ongoing survey.

The study states that non-Hispanic white individuals consume much more caffeine than non-Hispanic black individuals, Asian individuals, and all other ethnic groups.

People’s Age

It’s noticeable that people get attracted more and more to drinking coffee as they grow up. According to Statista, Americans who are older than 70 years old consumed more coffee than any other age group and had the highest percentage of coffee drinkers in general.

Typically, it’s noticeable that countries with higher percentages of senior individuals, such as Nordic countries, are bigger fans of coffee in general!

Availability & Cost

Not all countries and regions have equal access to coffee. Since coffee requires a very specific climate and soil condition to grow, a lot of countries depend solely on imports for their entire supply of coffee.

It’s noticeable that countries that are able to grow tea leaves or have easier access to tea imports consume more tea and consider it their most popular drink.

Moreover, many countries have the concept of coffee breaks, which is enforced by labor unions as a worker right. And although you can drink tea during these breaks, it is called a “coffee break” for a reason!

So of course, countries with “coffee break” rights usually regard coffee as the most popular drink.

Lastly, availability also affects the cost of the beverage, which can be a huge impact on the popularity of coffee in some of these countries

The Reasons Behind Coffee’s Vast Popularity

Woman pouring Greek coffee on a white cup

Author Note: Coffee is widely considered by many to be the most popular hot drink around, as millions of people reach for a steaming cup of coffee every morning before doing anything else.

However, crediting all the coffee’s popularity to its caffeine content won’t just do it justice. That’s because, as you now know, Coffee Arabica is the most popular type of coffee out there.

However, it doesn’t have as much caffeine as Robusta Coffee beans. So, despite coffee’s ability to help people focus and improve their productivity level, it’s not the only reason why coffee is so popular.

Coffee has an extremely rich and unique flavor that, combined with the awakening fragrance, plays a huge part in the popularity of the drink.

Coffee flavor has been a staple in the confectionery industry, with tons of coffee-flavored candies, taffies, cakes, and energy bars being introduced to the market.

Moreover, the versatility of coffee also adds to its popularity level because you can simply make it in a wide variety of ways.

You can drink it alone, add milk, cream, chocolate, or even liquor. It’s great piping hot or ice cold. You can even make the beans in various levels of roasts, from light to medium to dark roast.

All that allows the coffee to adapt to almost everyone’s taste, which is why almost half of the planet are coffee drinkers!

For the Love of Coffee!

Every year, people express their love for coffee by celebrating coffee days. The National Coffee Day is celebrated in the USA and Canada on the 29th of September every year

There’s also the International Coffee Day, which is one of the biggest celebrations of coffee popularity in the world. However, this one is celebrated just two days after (October 1st).

The International Coffee Association (ICO) calls the world to donate every year to support a better income for coffee farmers around the world.

Wrap Up

With that said, you now have a detailed answer to the question “is coffee the most popular drink in the world?”.

As you can see, although coffee has been in a centuries-old competition with tea for the title of the most popular drink, it’s widely enjoyed almost everywhere in the world!

Stay caffeinated friends!

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