Britain is a nation of Tea drinkers. It likes the finest Coffee, too, of course, but which country drinks the most Coffee? Does the UK even make the cut?

We shall find out in the following article, chartering Coffee consumption by country to determine the place that holds its freshly roasted Beans in the highest esteem. Please keep reading to discover whether your home is on the list.

If you haven’t made it into the top ten, worry not as you can buy Coffee here at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company. Our family-run business has, since its establishment in 1982, provided the best, most delectable infusions around.

You never know. Maybe treating yourself and loved ones to enough Kentish Espresso Roast, say, or Kenya Blend could bump your nation up a notch!

Finland Coffee Drinkers

1. Finland is the Coffee-Drinking Capital of the World

Finland has had an obsession with Coffee since its arrival in the 17th century. Initially reserved for the elite and richest people, it quickly became a brew for everyone.

In 1919, love for these Beans grew all the more due to an outright ban on alcohol consumption. Though substitutes were needed for the Second World War (Dandelion Root Tea, anyone?), Coffee eventually came back with a bang.

Recent statistics suggest that Finland accounts for 12kg of Coffee per capita per year. In other words, the average Finn will drink around 26lbs of Java over some 365 days. That’s quite a lot. Indeed, rarely today is there a gathering or event without a cup of Joe.

The Finnish tend to prefer light roasts, brewing them in much the same way as Turkish Coffee. And it isn’t the only culturally Scandinavian nation to do so.

Norway Coffee Consumption

2. Norway is a Close Second for Coffee Consumption

Perhaps it is the cold, dark winters that the Nordic people endure that endears them to Coffee. Perhaps it’s simply because they love the stuff.

Either way, Norway is the second greatest consumer. Its history with Coffee dates back several centuries. However, like Finland, it became popular in the post-Great War period as prohibition prevented Norwegians from drinking alcohol.

Jump ahead to 2021, and you’ll notice that its popularity hasn’t dissipated by any stretch of the imagination. Per capita, Norway’s countrymen and women drink 9.9kg (21.82ibs) of Coffee every year.

Be it breakfast or dinner; whether you’re rural- or urban-based, you’ll undoubtedly find a cuppa with your name on it. There is even a cocktail called “karsk”, which includes Coffee, sugar and moonshine!

Iceland Coffee Fans

3. Iceland Ranks Third for its Coffee Fans

We continue our journey of which country drinks the most Coffee by exploring Iceland. Though not geographically part of Scandinavia - that is reserved for Norway, Sweden and Denmark - it is, similar to Finland, part of the region culturally speaking.

On November 16, 1703, a man called Árni Magnússon became the first person to drink Coffee on the Nordic island.

Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital city, is nowadays teeming with small, independent Coffee shops known and loved for their invigorating brews. It is within these venues - as well as, of course, in the homes of Icelanders - that, per capita, 9kg (19.84ibs) of Coffee Beans is consumed.

This makes the nation the third-largest Java drinker. And we’re still not finished talking about the former land of the Vikings.

Denmark for Drinking Fresh Coffee

4. Next is Denmark for Drinking Fresh Coffee

The fourth culturally - and geographically - Scandinavian nation to be part of our Coffee consumption by country list is Denmark. The Beans made their first appearance in 1665, exactly fifty years after they arrived in Europe as a whole.

More recently, in 2016, Denmark reached the rank of the world’s happiest country and has consistently stayed in the top five ever since. Coincidence? We think not.

Like Finland, like Norway, like Iceland, the fourth-place Coffee-drinking holder of Denmark is keen to brew up at mealtime.

The Danish often enjoy a cuppa served with cakes, cookies and small sandwiches - not too unlike an Afternoon Tea, except with Coffee. Meanwhile, when it comes to statistics, the nation accounts for 8.7kg (19.18lbs) per capita per year.

Netherlands and Coffee

5. Fifth Place is Reserved for the Netherlands

Europe is clearly the place to be as we reach fifth place for which country consumes the most Coffee. The holder is the Netherlands. In 1616, the Dutch became the first Europeans to transport live Coffee plants from Mocha in Yemen.

The man behind the plan was Pieter van den Broecke, who ensured that the bushes flourished in the colonies of Java and Suriname.

Today, ever-delicious Java Coffee is rightfully under the jurisdiction of Indonesia, while the South American country of Suriname likewise oversees its own Beans. However, in the Netherlands itself, the locals still indulge in 8.4kg (18.52lbs) of Joe per capita per year.

Those in the south tend to savour its flavour with a slice of sweet pie. Those in the north, on the other hand, prefer cake as an accompaniment.

Sweden and Coffee

6. It Turns Out That Sweden Loves its Coffee Beans

If you thought we were done with Scandinavia, you’re in for a surprise. Sweden comes in at sixth when establishing which country drinks the most Coffee.

Consumption began in 1674, although it wasn’t until the 1700s that it became fashionable among the wealthy and powerful. But then, Swedish King Gustav III, believing that Coffee was a threat to public health, banned it outright.

Ultimately, having failed to prevent the Swedes from drinking it, the ban was lifted in the 1820s. Not that it changed much, really, as the people had been enjoying it all the time it was illegal!

The average countryman or woman now has 8.2kg (18lbs) of it yearly. It is primarily associated with social interactions, especially in urban locations such as the capital of Stockholm.

Switzerland Drinking Coffee

7. Switzerland Comes in at Seventh Place

You’ve tried Swiss cheese. You’ve gorged on Swiss chocolate. But have you experienced Swiss Coffee culture? It started in the 17th century, much like the rest of Europe, before taking hold in the cantons (states) of Geneva, Neuchâtel and Basel.

It wasn’t always smooth sailing in the latter, though, as the city of Basel at one point imposed strict restrictions on Coffee. These were, thankfully, lifted.

Such is the adoration for Espresso-based drinks in Switzerland today that numerous distinct types are now available. Examples are caffè crema, similar to an Americano, and Café Mélange, which is effectively Coffee with whipped cream - what could be better?

Statistics indicate that, per capita, 7.9kg (17.42lbs) of Beans make it into the diets of the Swiss every single year.

Belgium is Coffee Loving

8. Belgium is a Nation of Coffee Loving People

While Switzerland is known for Gruyère, L'Etivaz and Sbrinz - not to mention boxes brimming with sweet treats - Belgium is famous for beer and waffles. Yet fresh coffee, too, is an important component of the culture, albeit an arguably controversial one.

As a former colonial power in Africa, the country was able to feed its demand for Beans by growing them in Rwanda and the Congo. 

Much has since changed, with Belgium and Europe overall able to obtain Coffee via ethical sources. Seldom will you pass through a street in Bruges, Brussels or Ghent without the urge to drop into a nearby Coffee house for a cup of Java.

The Belgians drink 6.8kg (15lbs) per capita, per annum, perhaps alongside one of those heavenly waffles so famous around the world. Save the beer for afterwards!

Coffee for Luxembourg

9. Save a Cup of Coffee for Luxembourg

We’re at the penultimate place for which country drinks the most Coffee. The ranking is held by Luxembourg, much to the surprise of, well, everyone bar Luxembourgers!

Small the nation might be, but its love for a brew seems to have no limits. Whether it’s drip Coffee or artisan drinks, residents and tourists alike flock to Luxembourg City and the surrounding area to get their energy fix.

When, exactly, did it first arrive? The answer isn’t forthcoming, although the chances are that it occurred during the 18th century. Per capita, per annum, the average local has 6.5kg (14.55lbs) of these Beans.

It’s worth noting, too, that a fair few Italian ex-pats live in Luxembourg, many of whom will almost certainly be avid Coffee drinkers. So, the last place in the top ten is reserved for Italy, right? Wrong.

Canada and Coffee

10. Oh, Canada, You Do Enjoy Your Coffee

The only non-European nation to make the cut is Canada. From Vancouver in British Columbia to Halifax in Nova Scotia, Canadians can’t get enough of Coffee.

According to one story, it was none other than Captain John Smith, the English explorer associated with Pocahontas, who introduced it to the New World. It is probably little more than a myth, though, as some historians believe Coffee arrived earlier.

Despite winter playing a role in its popularity - temperatures can drop as low as -40°C - a cup of Joe today is, fundamentally, an intrinsic part of the culture.

Drive down the highway, and you’ll be hard-pressed not to come across a Coffee house, occasionally a mere few yards apart. Statistically speaking, 6.2kg (13.66lbs) is consumed per capita from one year till the next.

Summary of Coffee Consumption by Country

There you have it: Our top-ten list for which country drinks the most Coffee. Should you be interested, Bosnia and Herzegovina comes in at 11th, Austria is 12th, Italy (finally!) is 13th, and Brazil is 14th.

The United States, meanwhile, doesn’t appear until the 25th spot. What about the UK? Not 26th, nor 27th, but 45th! Tea, at least for now, rules supreme.

Also remember that the ranking constantly changes year after year, meaning that there could be a dramatic shift soon enough.

Furthermore, present figures may differ depending on how they are calculated. Regardless - indeed wherever you are on the planet - you can count on The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company to offer the best Ground Coffee found anywhere.

Author: Richard Smith

Partner at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company

Richard Smith is a Tea expert, entrepreneur, and owner of The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company. Part of a family of renowned Tea planters dating back four generations, he was born in Calcutta (Kolkata), India, where he spent his childhood between Tea Estates in Assam and Darjeeling.

In the late 1970s, having accumulated years of knowledge in the industry, Mr Smith and his mother, Janet Smith, moved to Kent, South East England, to establish a Tea business in the village of Pluckley. Their early days of packing Tea Bags by hand from chests of 10,000 prompted the creation of the company’s flagship infusion known as Pluckley Tea. It remains our most popular product today.

Mr Smith, who studied economics at London Polytechnic, has since specialised in over 1,000 types of Loose Leaf Tea - in addition to around 70 varieties of Roast Coffee - from around the world. These are now available at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company, where everything is still packed by hand and fresh to order, not only to honour tradition but to ensure the utmost quality and consistency.