Best Coffee Cities in America

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Every day, Americans drink about 400 million cups of coffee — that’s 146 billion cups per year. Although the majority of Americans tend to prepare their morning coffee at home, millions of people a day purchase a brewed coffee or espresso beverage from one of over 37,000 coffee shops in the United States. (There’s nothing wrong with all this consumption of coffee: Here are 18 reasons to drink coffee for your health.)

Coffee shops have become ubiquitous in American cities. It’s no secret that Seattle-based coffee roaster Starbucks helped kickstart coffee shop culture in the mid ‘90s, paving the way for the establishment of thousands of independent caffeine-fueled operations across the country. Despite a downward trend in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the market size of coffee shops has risen most years since 2010 and is expected to increase in the coming years. (When you want something to go along with your java, consider the best doughnut shop in every state.)

To determine America’s best cities for coffee drinkers, 24/7 Tempo reviewed the results of a study by the financial consultancy site WalletHub, evaluating the coffee scene in the 100 most populated cities in the country by 12 relevant metrics. Among the metrics were average cost of a cappuccino, share of households that own coffee makers, and number of coffee shops, coffee houses, and cafés per capita, as well as number of affordable places in the same categories. (In compiling the data, WalletHub drew on 11 sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau, the Council for Community and Economic Research, Numbeo, Yelp, Google Trends, Caffeine Crawl, Coffee Fest, and Specialty Coffee Association.) 

The list reflects not only the vibrancy and affordability of coffee shop culture in various places, but also the proportion of home coffee brewers in the area. While Seattle scores highly (No. 3), another Pacific Northwestern city takes first place — Portland, Oregon. Proving that coffee thrives in sunny climes as well as rainy ones, though, California dominates the list overall with eight entries, and Florida comes next with three.