We Australians love coffee. For many of us, starting the day without popping into one of our local Adelaide cafes for our daily brew is an unthinkable concept! Australia is widely regarded as the home of milk-based coffee: we even claim to have created the ‘flat white’! You might be interested to learn that here in Australia we are in fact minnows when it comes to coffee consumption! It turns out that the rest of the world is just as obsessed with the humble bean, if not more so! In this article we’ll look at just how big of a deal coffee really is around the globe. It is after all the second most traded commodity in the world (second only to crude oil).
Australian coffee consumption per capita sits at a very respectable 3kg per year. That means on average, each Australian consumes the weight of a household cat (or a very-very small dog) in coffee! I mean, 3kg is good, but this is a rookie number compared to many countries around the world. In fact, Australia is only the 42nd biggest coffee consuming nation! So which country do you think consumes the most coffee? I’ll give you a clue: it isn’t where you think…
The world’s biggest coffee consuming nations (per capita)
Yep, Finland! Regarded as ‘the happiest country in the world’, the Finns lay claim to Santa Claus and the Northern lights. They also lay claim to the highest coffee consumption of any country in the world- by a long shot! The Finns consume 9.6kg of coffee per capita annually. That’s 2.64 cups per person per day! Finland’s love of coffee is so strong that employers have a legal obligation to give their workers a ‘coffee’ break! Is it a coincidence that the happiest country in the world also drinks the most coffee? I think not!
Imagine if we all drank as much coffee as the Finns… Our local Adelaide café owners sure would be busy! 😉
Yes way! Staying in the Scandinavian region, Norway is known for it’s beautiful natural scenery; in particular the world famous Fjords. Norway also has another thing to boast about: it has the second highest coffee consumption in the world, with a whopping annual consumption of 7.2kg per capita! Believe it or not, Norway is regarded as the second happiest country in the world! There’s a real pattern starting to emerge here… Norwegians like their coffee lightly roasted, which means the natural flavours of the bean are truly displayed and aren’t hidden by the roasting process.
Just making the podium is the Netherlands, with an impressive annual consumption of 6.7kg per capita.
… and the rest
I don’t know about you, but when I think coffee, I think of Italy. It was after all the Italians that invented ‘espresso’ coffee back in late 1800s. You might be surprised to find that Italy sits outside of the top 10 consumers worldwide. Coming in at #13 on the list, the Italians go through a highly respectable 5.8kg of coffee per capita per annum. Italian coffee culture is very different to Australian coffee culture. While we Australians have a tendency towards milk-based coffees, the Italians much prefer to sip espresso. Here in Australia we like a combination of light and dark roasted coffee, where as in Italy the coffee is primarily dark roasted. Something worth noting is that if you order a ‘latte’ in Italy you will be given something different to what you’d expect from your local Adelaide café… You’d be given a glass of milk! This is because the word ‘latte’ literally means ‘milk’. If you want a typical Australian latte, make sure you ask for a ‘caffe latte’!
Another country worth mentioning is Brazil. While this coffee-crazed nation comes in at #10 on the list of top consumers, it’s their coffee export that makes them a truly giant player in the coffee world. Brazil is the biggest exporter of coffee in the world- by a long shot! Each year they export around 3 million tonnes around the world; this equates to about 1/3 of the world’s total coffee export. Brazil’s stable, hot and humid climate, along with its rich soils makes it ideal for coffee growing.
It’s a big deal, the humble coffee bean. The world is obsessed and we in Australia are no different. It’s an incredibly exciting industry to be a part of and it’s one that inspires passion and demands dedication to the craft. Even though we are just one small Adelaide café here at First Things First Coffee, we love the thought that we are a piece of the massive puzzle and we take our responsibility of providing Adelaidians with their daily brew very seriously! Drive through and start your day the same way billions of people around the world have chosen to start theirs… with COFFEE!