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Surveying Coffee Drinkers in Cities Around the U.S.

Here at SimpleTexting, we love coffee just as much as our customers do.  From its delightful smell and one-of-a-kind taste to the beautiful sight of it in your coffee pot each morning, it’s no secret that few beverages compare to a good ‘ole cup of joe. Whether you’re looking to kick start your work day […]

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Here at SimpleTexting, we love coffee just as much as our customers do.  From its delightful smell and one-of-a-kind taste to the beautiful sight of it in your coffee pot each morning, it’s no secret that few beverages compare to a good ‘ole cup of joe. Whether you’re looking to kick start your work day or just need a pick-me-up in between meetings, coffee never fails to do the trick. In other words, it’s a work week staple. 

But when it comes to America’s favorite beverage, we were curious to learn more— and we thought you might be, too. With this in mind, we decided to conduct a coffee analysis to get the scoop on everything we’ve ever wondered about coffee. In addition to surveying coffee-drinkers from around the country on a number of coffee-related questions, we also determined the best cities for coffee in the US. And we must say, we have some fun insights to share. 

Ready to be the ‘coffee expert’ of your social circle? Read on. 

US map showing the best cities for coffee in the US

First, we looked at a few criteria points for some of the largest cities in the U.S. to determine which is the best for coffee drinkers. We looked at 3 different factors:

1) The number of coffee shops per 100k people 2) The average Yelp rating of coffee shops, and 3) The average Yelp price level of coffee stores. We then rated each of the eight components on a 5-point scale, with a score of 5 indicating the most positive coffee conditions. Each city received an overall score based on the total of each one’s individual factor scores, which were weighted according to their significance for coffee drinkers. The highest possible score for a city was 25 points. 

With an impressive score of 20.4, Orlando topped the list as the best city for coffee in the US. Behind Orlando, Tampa (18.4) and Pittsburgh (17.4) are the second and third best cities for coffee. Unsurprisingly, Portland, which is home to one of the most-loved coffee shops chains in the Pacific Northwest, also made the top five. 

Next, we decided to determine which cities consume the most coffee. We surveyed coffee drinkers in each city and found that coffee drinkers in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Chicago drink 3 cups of coffee each day, which is the most of all of the cities included in the study. 

More often than not, though, people consume about 2 cups of coffee each day, as is the case in Atlanta, Baltimore, Charlotte, Los Angeles, and Miami, among other cities.

Regionally speaking, it is also worth noting that one in two Midwesterners and Northeasterners drink 3 or more cups of coffee a day. So if you’re from either of these regions, odds are, you’re more caffeinated than the rest of the country.

US map showing how much coffee drinkers can save by not purchasing coffee outside the home per city

Have you ever wondered how much you could save by not drinking coffee outside of the home? Well, we decided to look into it. To do this, we surveyed coffee drinkers in each city on the number of cups they purchase outside of the home each week. We then matched their responses with Numbeo’s average cost of a cup of coffee city-specific estimates to calculate how much coffee drinkers could save annually by not purchasing coffee outside of the home. 

Unsurprisingly, people from Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Chicago, who consume more coffee each day than the rest of the country, also stand to save more by not purchasing coffee outside of the home— between $708.24 and $850.20 annually, to be exact.  

But, as it turns out, how much you spend on coffee is not only tied to geography but also your generation. 1 in 2 Gen Zers spend between $11-$20 on coffee per week, making Gen Z the generation with the greatest potential to save money should they forgo their coffee runs.

US map showing “non-plain favorite coffee” coffee drinks per city

We were also interested to see how coffee preferences differ across the country, so we asked coffee-drinkers what their favorite coffee drink is, besides black coffee, in our survey. 

As you can see via the map above, Americans loves cappuccinos. This frothy, caffeinated beverage is the top ‘coffee drink’ in seven cities, and ties as the top choice in an additional four cities. 

Even though all you black coffee drinkers aren’t represented on the map above, we thought you might be interested in a no-frills, black coffee insight: Millennials are the least likely generation to drink black coffee. Additionally, we found that the South is not into black coffee— nearly 70% of Southerners take their coffee with cream and sugar. 

We also decided to ask coffee drinkers what they’d be willing to give up for a cup of coffee. And this is where things get fun. 

Interestingly, though coffee lovers are undeniably devoted to java more than half of coffee-drinkers say they would choose coffee over their cell phones if they had to give up one or the other for a day. But despite what you might think, people are far more willing to part with social media than their cell phones— 67% of people say they would rather give up social media for a year than coffee. There is one caveat here, though. Unlike the majority of people (Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials), Gen Zers say they would give up coffee over social media.

Knowing how much Americans love sugar and alcohol, we also asked coffee-drinkers whether they’d rather give up these indulgences or coffee. 61% of coffee-drinkers said they would rather give up sugar than coffee, and even more (nearly 75%) said they would be willing to part with alcohol over coffee. While none of the top twenty-five US cities said they would rather go without coffee than alcohol, Washington D.C. and Dallas locals said they would choose sugar over coffee.

pie charts are showing how much coffee-drinkers are willing to pay for the last cup of coffee in the world

If there were only one cup of coffee left in the world, how much would you be willing to pay for it? This is another question we posed to coffee-drinkers around the country. 

And we were taken aback by the responses. Despite how much coffee-drinkers love coffee, 50% said they would only pay less than 10 bucks for the last cup in the world. Just over 25% said they would pay up to $100, and only about 7% said they would pay $1,000 or less. Needless to say, if you ever find yourself at an auction for the last cup of coffee in the world, you may not need to shell out all that much to win.

pie chart showing what coffee drinkers really think of pumpkin spice lattes

Finally, in the spirit of fall, we decided to look into public opinion on what is arguably the most polarizing coffee drink of all: The Pumpkin Spice Latte. 

As we expected, the results were quite divisive. 44% of respondents said they like Pumpkin Spice Lattes— but only in the fall, whereas 34% of coffee-drinkers said they hate them. Only about 2 in 10 say they ‘love them’ and would drink them year-round if they could. 

Any guesses as to which generations or regions are most adverse to Pumpkin Spice Lattes? You guessed it. 44% of Baby Boomers and nearly half of Northeasterners hate Pumpkin Spice Lattes.

Now that you have the scoop on all things coffee-related, you have everything you need to impress your coffee-loving friends and family members at upcoming holiday get togethers. When the conversation starts to lull around the dinner table, why not share a few of these insights and see how the preferences of those in your social circle stack up with our analysis?

Meghan Tocci
Meghan Tocci

Meghan Tocci is a content strategist at SimpleTexting. When she’s not writing about SaaS, she’s trying to teach her puppy Lou how to code. So far, not so good.

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