U.S. Coffee and Tea Consumption, 1923 and 2023

Coffee and Tea figure, 1923 and 2023

Do people drink more coffee and tea today than they did a hundred years ago? When I researched this on the U.S. Department of Agriculture website, I was surprised to discover that in the U.S. people now consume only about two-thirds as much coffee as they did in 1923,  but that they consume about the same amount of tea. Here are the details:

Table - tea and coffee 1923 - 2023

20 thoughts on “U.S. Coffee and Tea Consumption, 1923 and 2023

        1. I recall my parents routinely serving coffee after dinner if we had people over. Indeed, what I remeber about “formal” dinners when I was a kid is that 1) alcohol was never served at them, even though nobody we knew was a teetotaler, any alcohol was ever served, it was a served in very limited amounts before dinner, and 2) coffee was always served, often during dinner, but also after.

          My in laws, active ranchers, serve coffee at all three meals in the day.

          Interesting topic. I haven’t thought about this for years.

    1. There was a random mention of how little tea Americans drank in a 1923 cookbook, and the next thing I knew I was researching it – and then when I found the data, and it looked interesting I decided to make the figure and table. It’s interesting how little things can get one started with a blog post.

      1. Yoy know, thinking back even on my childhood. My mom made a pot of coffee at breakfast and on workdays made a second for dad’s thermos. Then it was pretty common at dinner time for her to perk another pot. I can’t think of the last time I made three pots of coffee in a day unless it was a dinner party.

        1. Even when I’ve had dinner guests over, I haven’t made coffee in years. A while back it seemed like people just didn’t want coffee after dinner when I made it, so I just quit making it.

    1. I also would have guessed that tea and coffee consumption might have gone up across the years, but that’s sure not what the data shows.

        1. My mother was Canadian and never drank coffee. But when I was a kid she consumed a lot of tea, a remnant of the English influence in Canada. She became very ill when I was in my early teens and just stopped drinking it entirely. I still have her tea sets.

  1. My father was not a coffee drinker – he always had tea at breakfast and at dinner. My mother was all about the coffee. She would make a pot in the morning and drink a cup before getting ready, another at breakfast and a final cup in the car on the way to work. She would drink coffee as soon as she got home and all evening. It was only after she was in her late 70s that her doctor told her to cut down on the coffee and switch to decaf! I think that big spike in coffee consumption was because she was newly in the workforce!!

    1. 🙂 There’s an upswing in coffee consumption during WWII, and then consumption continues to increase in the 1950’s. Maybe it did have something to do with more women working – though the employment rate for females may have trended down in the 50’s.

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