Who doesn’t love coffee? It is an ideal beverage with a variety of aromas and flavors. Cultivation and consumption of coffee happen in several places across the globe. This makes it hard to find a culture that does not indulge in a cup of caffeinated bliss. Roughly 42.7 liters or 11 gallons of coffee are consumed per year globally. No matter where you travel, it is difficult to be in a place where coffee isn’t brewed.
Obviously, this makes us wonder: who drinks the most coffee? Throughout the world, countries developed preferences for their ideal roast. Most even established their own coffee culture. Check out these top 10 coffee drinking countries to see why they love coffee just as much as we do!
This Scandinavian country remains the top coffee consuming nation in the world. A whopping 12 kilograms of coffee per person is consumed in Finland yearly. This is roughly 26.5 pounds of coffee beans!
Kahvi is coffee in Finnish. It is part of both the Finnish home life and social life. Coffee shops grace streets of Finnish cities.
In Finland, coffee is a core feature of both personal and professional life. The Finns believe coffee breaks support a healthy work-life balance. Coffee breaks are actually incorporated into many job contracts. Coffee is a ritual of relaxation in Finland. It should not be rushed and/or consumed on the go.
Indeed, the Finnish are particular about their sourcing. They value quality and fair trade coffee. Most roasters source their coffee straight from the country of origin, many even purchasing directly from small farms and cooperatives when they can. The Finns also love to pair their properly sourced coffee with sweets, like pulla (cardamom rolls) and other baked goods.
Sweden loves coffee. It is a symbol of socialization and relaxation. Kaffi is the standard Swedish word for coffee. But, coffee is more commonly known as fika. The Swedish take pleasure in sharing fika with others. Coffee breaks usually happen at least twice a day. Swedish workplaces respect this and expect employees to take 10 minutes for their coffee
The coolest thing about fika is that it is both a noun and a verb. For instance, you can ‘grab a fika’ between meetings. Or, you may fika at your friend’s home. In the latter manner, fika implies a coffee break. A spread of pastries, bread, and anything enjoyable to snack on finds itself in a traditional fika. For example, kladdkaka is a delicious pairing for a nicely brewed cup of coffee. This dark chocolate cake and its gooey center is the answer to any chocolate lovers’ prayers!
Another Scandinavian country to love coffee, Norway developed its own unique coffee culture over the years. Coffee has been enjoyed in Norway for decades. Only recently did coffee consumption expand outside the home. This makes Norwegians the second biggest coffee consumers, with 9.9 kg (roughly 22 pounds) of coffee consumed per person each year.
Norway is plentiful in nature and wilderness. This makes kokekaffe the most classic way Norwegians enjoy coffee. It is also known as ‘steeped coffee.’ Similar to the French press method, kokekaffe involves steeping coarsely ground coffee beans in a kettle of hot water. This method is particularly popular when exploring the outdoors. It makes for a great pick me up while hiking or camping.
Like in Finland, Norway values coffee quality. Norwegians traditionally enjoy light roast coffee. This preferred roasting method showcases the natural sweetness and complex aromas of a coffee. It also contains a bit more caffeine.
There is more to Iceland than its stunning natural phenomena. Iceland’s dynamite coffee culture is now an everyday Islander’s ritual. In fact, this small country of only 364,134 people consumes 9 kg (around 20 lbs) of coffee per capita a year.
Coffee is undoubtedly a central part of Icelandic hospitality. It is was an honorable import. Having access to such a foreign product brought pride to a small isolated island. In turn, coffee slowly became a staple in Icelandic households. Offering coffee to guests was a customary practice for years. Slowly, as Iceland evolved, coffee shops opened their doors. This gave way to new brewing styles.
Recently, Icelandic coffee boasts Italian coffee techniques. Espresso based drinks are incredibly popular. Islanders love a more bitter coffee. Chicory root was actually added into brewing methods years ago. Currently, lattes could be the most popular drink in Iceland, making an excellent pairing for all the lovely cakes and chocolates Icelandic coffee shops offer.
Denmark remains a long time coffee lover. Dealing with nearly 17 hours of darkness in the winter, a steaming hot coffee can make all the difference. With 7.4 kg of coffee consumed per capita, the Danes are leaders in worldwide coffee consumption.
Kaffe is coffee in Danish. The Danes embody a kaffepause, or coffee break, in their daily routines. From espresso to black coffee, the Danish indulge in a variety of roasts and brews. They are also known for independently owned cafes. Each cafe has its own unique roast preferences. These cafes also come with the perfect pairing of a sweet treat. A great option is the kanelsnegle, a Danish cinnamon roll!
Just Southwest of Denmark is a country with a major coffee history. The Netherlands is full of coffee lovers. Its’ extensive trade history made it one of the first nations with premiere access to coffee beans. Today, the streets of Dutch cities are full of cafes. These cafes serve coffee of various roasts and preparations.
Koffiecultuur, or coffee culture in Dutch, is very laid back. Not to be confused with the other type of coffee shop, Dutch cafes are for socializing and perhaps hiding from the rain. The Netherlands is not known for always having warm dry weather you know! Coffee, therefore, soothes everyone, especially during the colder winter months.
Oftentimes, the Dutch like to serve their coffee with a little free treat on the side. Think mini cookies, cake bites, and the like. This definitely puts an extra smile on anyone’s face!
It is fantastic that the home of delicious chocolate is also plentiful in coffee. Belgians maintain a strong hand in coffee trade with their Port of Antwerp. This makes Belgians a large importer and re-exporter of coffee. This access increased demand for quality and single-origin coffee across the country.
Coffee culture in Belgium varies from old school to modern. Everyone enjoys coffee and has their own preference. Several new minimalist style cafes opened not too long ago. These cafes offer delicious espresso drinks and assortments of artisanal sweets. It is a brilliant coincidence that a place with lots of coffee also has some of the best chocolate. A simple piece or two of pure dark chocolate with your cappuccino is practically heaven!
The Swiss drink a lot of coffee. We are talking around 5 cups a day. It is not surprising that the country is home to some of the world’s largest coffee brands.
The Swiss enjoy coffee very similarly to their Italian neighbors. They often enjoy espresso, whether at a coffee bar or after a big meal. The roast is usually dark and chocolatey, making for a great pairing with something sweet. But, there is a unique coffee only found in Switzerland.
Caffé crema (also known as kaffee-crème) is an espresso drink with thickened sweet milk. This beverage symbolizes Switzerland’s multiculturalism. This drink represents the French, German, and Italian influences in the country. In fact, Switzerland has four national languages!
Viennese coffee culture is quite historic. Since the Siege of Vienna in the 17th century, coffee evolved in popularity throughout the country. Vienna is notable for its traditional cafes, which were like second homes to famous literary and philosophy figures over the years. The cafes’ elaborate decor is still marvelous today. The warmth and old-world charm of cafes make them known as “the city’s public living rooms.” It comes at no surprise that UNESCO included Viennese coffee culture to its intangible cultural heritage list!
Austria is iconic for its pastries. And, as we have seen, a good pastry requires a proper coffee. A piece of apfelstrudel (apple strudel) with fresh cream will make any pain go away!
Canada is the biggest consumer of coffee in North America. The average Canadian coffee drinker has around 3 cups of coffee a day. This makes it the most popular caffeinated beverage in the country!
Canadians enjoy a wide variety of coffee. Black coffee stands as the most popular. There is a slow embrace of more espresso-based drinks as Canadians begin to consume more coffee outside the home.
Did any of these countries come as a surprise to you? It may be shocking to some that half of the top coffee consuming countries are in Scandinavia. It could be that colder weather makes steaming hot coffee just a bit more attractive.
Nonetheless, all ten countries possess a unique coffee culture and history. Each one deserves to be on your coffee travel bucket list. Where would you like to visit first? In the meantime, you can check out our worldwide coffee selection. Our coffee variety will satisfy your wanderlust with exotic aromas and versatile flavors. Order your bag of fair trade beans today!