Skip to main content

Demographics of Tea vs Coffee Drinkers in the US

  • Author:
  • Updated date:

America has had an interesting relationship with both coffee and tea throughout the years. While tea consumption beats coffee worldwide, coming in as the second most popular beverage after water, Americans still drink more coffee. Approximately 83 percent of Americans drink coffee, with over 50 percent drinking it on a daily basis. This makes the United States the biggest consumer worldwide. The following information delves into the specific demographics of coffee and tea drinking throughout the United States.

History of Coffee and Tea

The Colonists brought their love of tea to America after leaving England. But the tax on tea, the Boston Tea Party that followed, and ultimately the American Revolution, dramatically changed tea drinking habits in the new country. The fact that tea drinking fell sharply after the American Revolution opened the way for coffee to take its place. In the early years of the country, however, coffee was still too expensive for most people to drink it on a daily basis.


Coffee Drinkers in the US

Through the years America has gone from choosing among sugar, cream, or taking it black to seemingly infinite choices that include skinny lattes, steamy espressos, and an endless variety of mochas. About 40 billion a year is spent on coffee in the United States. Coffee shops are still growing at a faster rate than fast food chains. Those who regularly visit coffee shops tend to be younger and more affluent. It's not surprising that Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon have the most coffee shops per resident and spend the most on coffee drinking. According to SBDCNet, approximately 75 percent of the cups of coffee made each day, however, are still brewed at home. According to the National Coffee Association, Hispanic Americans consume the most coffee, followed by Caucasians, and then black Americans.

Those over the age of 60 are increasingly drinking more coffee. This may be due to the fact that this age group is growing faster than those in most younger groups. The most volatile demographic seems to be young people. The 18 to 24 crowd is drinking less coffee than in recent years. Whether this trend will continue or is due to a weak economy remains to be seen. It is estimated that men drink about the same amount of coffee as women. About 65 percent of coffee is drank during breakfast. Coffee drinkers like it black 35 percent of the time, while 65 percent need to add something to their coffee.


Tea Drinkers in the US

According to the Tea Association of the USA, the largest number of tea drinkers in the United States is in the South and the Northeast. While men and women are split fairly evenly on coffee drinking, the largest group of tea drinkers in the United States is women between the ages of 30 and 50. About 85 percent of all tea drank in the US is iced tea. The tea of choice in this country is Black Tea, with about 15 percent choosing Green Tea, and a very small percentage picking White and Oolong Tea. Tea is consumed more often in the late afternoon or during the dinner hour. About half of all Americans drink tea each day. Perhaps after 200 years, tea is making a comeback. Tea shops and gourmet tea products are increasingly gaining popularity throughout the United States.

Scroll to Continue

While coffee is still America's drink of choice, tea is rapidly becoming more prevalent. But with a Starbucks on every corner it's unlikely that tea will overtake coffee in popularity anytime soon.

Related Articles