How does the UK fit into international coffee culture?

It’s official – more of us worldwide are drinking coffee than ever before. The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization has released figures showing that coffee is now more popular than it’s ever been. It’s now produced in over 50 countries worldwide, with Brazil topping the list in terms of quantity in 2017/18. Coming up in second place is relatively new producer, Vietnam. India produced only a tenth of the number of coffee bags as Brazil, and was outstripped by the much small country of Honduras, which produced over 8 million 60kg bags to India’s 6 million.

When we’re sitting in our kitchens measuring out the finished product, it’s hard to remember just how many people are involved with coffee production worldwide. Over 125 million people worldwide depend on the industry, including growers, transporters, roasters and retailers.

Coffee consumption in the UK

It might surprise you to know that the UK doesn’t even make the list of top 20 countries in terms of coffee consumption per person. The top five spots are all held by Nordic nations, with Finland topping the list. Even the US doesn’t make the top 20 list, being overtaken by France and Lithuania.

We Brits do love our coffee, though, even if we drink less of it per person than other European countries. We have almost 7,500 branded coffee shops in the UK, and that figure grew by 643 in 2017. This was the biggest growth of any European country.

Despite the wild range now available at most stores, we still prefer coffee with milk in the UK. Lattes are still our number one choice, with almost 1,000 million sold in the 12 months to February 2018! Cappuccinos are still almost as popular, and flat whites are coming up fast.

As a nation, we spent 6.3 billion pounds on coffee last year, and only 1.5 billion pounds on tea – so it seems we’re finally become a nation of coffee drinkers rather than tea drinkers.

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