Analysis: Seattle is not the No. 1 coffee city in the US

Sep 30, 2023, 9:00 AM | Updated: Oct 2, 2023, 9:28 am

Image: A cup of coffee...

Should coffee be the official scent of the state of Washington? (Photo courtesy of KIRO 7)

(Photo courtesy of KIRO 7)

Whether you celebrated National Coffee Day on Sept. 29 or International Coffee Day on Oct. 1, this is the time of year to celebrate the popular beverage.

While some people may consider Seattle the coffee capital of the U.S., it did not finish No. 1 in Wallet Hub’s recently released list of the “Best Coffee Cities in America.” In fact, Seattle didn’t even finish second.

San Francisco finished as the top coffee city in the U.S., according to WalletHub’s analysis.

A Pacific Northwest city ranked second, but that title went to Portland, Oregon.

Seattle, despite being the birth place of the world famous Starbucks brand, finished third on the list.

More on Starbucks: Longtime leader Schultz steps down from the coffee chain’s board

Orlando, Florida, and Honolulu rounded out the top 5 cities.

In describing its methodology, WalletHub, a personal finance company, compared the 100 most populated U.S. cities across 12 key metrics.

Some of the metrics include the average spending on coffee per household, the share of adult coffee drinkers, affordable coffee shops, coffee houses and cafés rated 4.5+ stars per capita, Google search traffic for the term “coffee” and the presence of coffee-centric events.

San Francisco tied for first in three categories: average spending on coffee per household, affordable coffee shops, coffee houses and cafés rated 4.5+ stars per capita and coffee and tea manufacturers per capita. Seattle finished in what ended up a 5-way tie for first in affordable coffee shops, coffee houses and cafés rated 4.5+ stars per capita with San Francisco, Portland, Las Vegas and N. Las Vegas, Nevada.

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WalletHub cited data various data sources to create its report, including the U.S. Census Bureau, Council for Community and Economic Research, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Google Trends.

More Americans drink coffee each day (63%) than any other beverage, including water, according to the latest National Coffee Data Trends (NCDT) report from the National Coffee Association (NCA). Citing the NCA, WalletHub notes Americans consume a total of 491 million cups daily.

The U.S. coffee market is worth around $48 billion per year, WalletHub also said.

Cups per capita and cups per coffee drinker have held relatively steady since 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic (1.7 and 2.8 respectively), the NCA reported.

According to a survey from Statista cited at the beginning of 2023, 51% of American adults agreed with the statement, “Coffee is pure pleasure to me.”

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Analysis: Seattle is not the No. 1 coffee city in the US