Who Cares About Coffee Anyway?

by Ron

Well, Coffee Review certainly does.  Given that you’re reading this post, you probably care.  The roughly one million people who visit CoffeeReview.com each year care, at least enough to visit.  But what we’re really trying to get at is which cities are most interested in coffee… most passionate about coffee, if you will?

To answer that question, we looked at Coffee Review visitors by city (using Google Analytics; data for year-to-date 2013).  Not surprisingly, the top cities in the U.S. were New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, and Seattle.  Internationally, the top cities were London, Hong Kong, Toronto, Bangkok, and Sydney.

Obviously, a big driver of traffic is the population of each city.  For example, you would expect New York City to have more readers than Seattle just based on the large difference in population, roughly 8.2 million versus 650,000, respectively.  So, we normalized for population to calculate visits per capita, which is a better measure of how “passionate” a city is about coffee.  Granted, there are many other, perhaps more meaningful, ways to measure how crazy a city is about coffee but here’s what we found based on Coffee Review traffic.


1. San Francisco, CA

2. Seattle, WA

3. Washington, DC

4. Minneapolis, MN

5. Atlanta, GA

It’s not surprising to see San Francisco and Seattle at the top of the list.  Both cities have great coffee communities with plenty of outstanding roasters and cafes.  In fact, there are probably coffee lovers in cafes in these cities reading this post on their laptop or mobile phone right now.  Shoot us a tweet (@coffeereview) if you are.


1. Vancouver, Canada

2. Toronto, Canada

3. Taipei City, Taiwan

4. Melbourne, Australia

5. Sydney, Australia

Vancouver is another great coffee city.  There must be something about the Pacific Ocean or Pacific time zone that makes people passionate about coffee.  Thanks for visiting, Vancouver.  Take note, Toronto, your readership is growing much faster in 2013 than that of Vancouver (64% vs. 37%) so you may well surpass Vancouver soon.

We’ll refine our ranking process and revisit the data later in the year.  For example, we can look at roasters and coffee shops per capita.  Send us your thoughts on how to improve the rankings.  Perhaps, with your help, we can crown a U.S. and world “coffee capital” for 2013?

This entry was written by:Ron and posted on Wednesday, July 17th, 2013 at 10:15 am and is filed under Coffee Business: Roasting and Retailing, Industry Issues and News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

6 Responses to “Who Cares About Coffee Anyway?”

  1. Ron says:

    It is a bit surprising, given the population of the country and the fact that many residents don’t speak English. However, roasters in Taiwan have embraced reviews as a means of evaluating and communicating quality. There are nearly 100 reviews on CoffeeReview.com for coffees roasted in Taiwan. It’s quit impressive.

  2. Rowena says:

    Very surprised to see that Taiwan is the top 3 on the international list : )

  3. Ron says:

    Drew, Wellington is great. I stayed there on two separate occasions during the 2011 Rugby World Cup. I don’t recall the names of the roasters and cafes but I do recall enjoying them. My most vivid coffee memory from the trip was arriving in Napier the morning after the France v Canada match. We stopped in the first coffee shop we could find (a Starbucks of all things…. I know). I’ve never seen so many hung over coffee lovers speaking French in a cafe. Not even in Paris.

    Anyway, we’ll include Wellington in the analysis. FYI, taking a quick look for July, Wellington, New Zealand, was ranked 234 for the month.

  4. Drew says:

    You need to include Wellington, NZ. Seriously. Great coffee culture all though NZ, but Welly stole the show for us when we visited. Make sure you check out Havana coffee roasters! http://havana.co.nz/

  5. Ron says:

    Thanks for your question, Betsy.

    We broke the results into two categories – U.S. and International – because U.S. cities dominated the top 10. I have to imagine that is because 65% of our readers reside in the United States. Furthermore, in many countries, English is not widely spoken so the per capita readership is likely to be lower than in the U.S. and other English-speaking countries. That said, to answer your question, the blended top ten would be:

    1. San Francisco, CA
    2. Seattle, WA
    3. Washington, DC
    4. Minneapolis, MN
    5. Atlanta, GA
    6. Denver, CO
    7. Boston, MA
    8. Portland, OR
    9. Vancouver, Canada
    10. San Diego, CA

    Keep in mind that we only looked at our top 25 cities to see how they would rank. Later in the year, we’ll do a more comprehensive analysis, perhaps the top 100. In quickly scanning the top 100, Madison, Wisconsin at #35 jumps out as a notable coffee town that has a high per capita readership. In fact, it would be ranked third, behind Seattle. I didn’t see any other cities that would appear in the top 10.

  6. Betsy says:

    And where do any of the U.S. cities rank, internationally? That is, San Francisco (where we live) might place quite high world-wide, and not just within the U.S. Any possibility of getting that info?

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