Where the world’s biggest coffee drinkers live

Some countries go back for seconds—sometimes even thirds.
Some countries go back for seconds—sometimes even thirds.
Image: Reuters/Denis Balibouse
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Not all coffee drinkers are made equal
Not all coffee drinkers are made equal

America might be famous for running on coffee, but it doesn’t run on much. Not compared to a handful of other countries, anyway. When it comes to actual coffee consumption per person, the US doesn’t even crack the top 15.

For much of Europe, and especially Scandinavia, the story is quite different. In a review in 2010 about Stieg Larsson’s hit Swedish trilogy, the New York Times wrote incredulously about how the books’ scenes seemed to always revolve around endless servings of coffee:

…everyone works fervidly into the night and swills tons of coffee; hardly a page goes by without someone “switching on the coffee machine,” ordering “coffee and a sandwich” or responding affirmatively to the offer “Coffee?”

But as it turns out—and as the Times soon thereafter learned—the coffee obsession has much less to do with Larsson than it does with Sweden. Or really, with all of Scandinavia, the Benelux countries, and bits of Eastern Europe. The Netherlands’ per-capita consumption of 2.4 cups a day is almost the same as those of the US, UK, Spain, and France combined.

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Note about the data: The cups measurement we used is equivalent to 8 fluid ounces. Euromonitor provided data in liters, which we converted to ounces and then cups, before dividing by the number of people in each country.