2021’s best coffee cities in America

Covid may have curtailed consumers abilities to visit coffee shops or cafés daily for a cuppa joe, but that didn’t stop coffee lovers from drinking it. The National Coffee Association (NCA) of the United States in its 2021 NCDT Study (National Coffee Drinking Trends) reported that consumption has risen 8% since January 2020. Many turned to home brewing rather than forgo their favourite daily elixir. But when coffee outlets reopened, consumers returned to their favourite ‘coffee haunts.’ So, just in time for National Coffee Day (US) – 29 September – the personal-finance website WalletHub released its report on 2021’s Best Coffee Cities in America, and some cities that make the list are surprising.

For example, Florida has three cities in the top 20 list, while California has five cities.

New Orleans, Louisiana, where the Specialty Coffee Association is holding its 2021 Specialty Coffee Expo, is number 15 on the list, while Boston, Massachusetts, where the Expo is being held in 2022, is 10th.

Not surprising in the least, Portland, Oregon, where the Expo would have been held last year, is the top coffee city on the list.

To determine the best local coffee scenes in America, WalletHub compared the 100 largest cities across 12 key indicators of a strong coffee culture. The data set ranges from coffee shops/coffeehouses and cafés per capita to the average price per pack of coffee.

According to WalletHub, 2021’s list of the top 20 cities in the US for ‘coffee lovers’ includes:

  1. Portland, Oregon
  2. San Francisco, California
  3. Seattle, Washington
  4. Orlando, Florida
  5. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  6. Honolulu, Hawaii
  7. Tampa, Florida
  8. Miami, Florida
  9. San Diego, California
  10. Boston, Massachusetts
  11. Minneapolis, Minnesota
  12. Los Angeles, California
  13. Denver, Colorado
  14. Long Beach, California
  15. New Orleans, Louisiana
  16. Oakland, California
  17. Jersey City, New Jersey
  18. Washington, DC
  19. Irvine, California
  20. New York, New York

WalletHub also featured ‘best vs worst’ in terms of pricing, spending, number of coffee outlets, etc. Per the report:

  • Kansas City, Missouri, has the lowest average price for a cup of coffee, USD $3.44, which is 2.5 times lower than in Honolulu, Hawaii, the city with the highest at $8.69.
  • Fremont, California, has the highest average annual spending on coffee per household, $229.62, which is 3.5 times higher than in Hialeah, Florida, the city with the lowest at $65.06.
  • Gilbert, Arizona, has the highest share of households that own a single-cup/pod-brewing coffee maker, 28.11 per cent, which is 2.6 times higher than in Hialeah, Florida, the city with the lowest at 10.93 per cent.
  • Orlando, Florida, has the most coffee shops, coffeehouses and cafés (per square root of population), 0.4529, which is 8.2 times more than in Laredo, Texas, the city with the fewest at 0.0550.
  • Portland, Oregon, has the most coffee and tea manufacturers (per square root of population), 0.0211, which is 42.2 times more than in Riverside and San Bernardino, California, the cities with the fewest at 0.0005.

To view the full report and other cities’ rankings, visit: wallethub.com/edu/best-cities-for-coffee-lovers/23739 or here for a YouTube video summarising the study.

Just a reminder that presentations from our 2021 Virtual Tea & Coffee World Cup are still available. Visit www.tcworldcup.com for access and more information.


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