Coffee or Tea?

Which drink is more popular around the world?

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World map of the most popular drink by country, coffee or tea?

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Coffee and tea are probably the most widely consumed hot beverages in the world. In many countries, tea or coffee are consumed on a daily basis by many people. Both have a rich history and are an important part of many cultures.

Coffee most likely originated in Ethiopia and has since spread to become one of the most popular beverages in the world. It is known for its strong, bold flavour and its energizing properties, making it a popular morning drink for millions of people. The coffee industry is a major part of the global economy, with coffee being consumed in countries all over the world.

Tea, on the other hand, originated in China and has been consumed for thousands of years. It is known for its soothing and relaxing properties, making it a popular drink throughout the day. There are many different types of tea, each with its own unique flavour and health benefits. Green tea, for example, is high in antioxidants, while black tea is known for its caffeine content.

As we can see on this map, there are some very clear geographic differences in the preference for coffee and tea. Coffee is mostly popular in western countries, in particular Europe. Tea is very popular in Asia and South America. For most African countries, consumption of both beverages is relatively low.

The data for this map comes from the FAO and is based on a 3-year average (2018-2020). The source data is measured in kilograms. Which poses a problem. One kilogram of tea leaves can make a lot more cups of tea than a kilogram of coffee beans can make cups of coffee. If we’d purely look at the amount of coffee and tea that is consumed in kilograms, coffee would be the most consumed drink in almost every country, even though in reality, a lot more tea is consumed.

Of course, the coffee beans or tea leaves that is needed, also depends on how strong someone wants to have their coffee or tea. As there is no data on how many litres of coffee and tea are consumed by country, we’re stuck with the consumption data in kilograms. Despite that, it’s still possible to make a fairly accurate estimate of which hot beverage is more popular. One cup of coffee requires about 10 grams of coffee beans. One cup of tea requires about 2-3 grams of loose tea leaves. So, to tackle this problem, I’ve decided to multiply the amount of tea consumed by four.

Data for some countries comes from Statista, as FAO data for some countries is incomplete or completely missing.

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