December 1, 2014 8:00 AM PT

New Survey: Coffee Consumption Statistics

How Deep is Americans' Love for Coffee?

If coffee is the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning, you're not alone. We may have different preferences - mild or bold, black or creamy, just a splash of soy milk - but all in all, America is a land of coffee drinkers.

In fact, 70% of Americans surveyed consume coffee, according to a 2014 CreditDonkey survey, and the majority of those coffee drinkers say they fulfill their java craving during breakfast hours. The affinity for a cup o’ Joe keeps rising: coffee consumption went up 5% last year, the National Coffee Association USA reported.

But just how deep is America's love for coffee? Our survey delved into America’s affinity for their morning jolt of caffeine to see if they would ever give it up for money.

Related: 23 Reasons Why You Should Drink Coffee Every Day

Would you give up your fix?

Have you ever heard the saying “put your money where your mouth is?” Well, coffee drinkers don't seem to mind that they’re doing just that every day. As it is, the average American spends about $21 per week on coffee, according to Wells Fargo.

  • Some CreditDonkey readers spend far more than average. When asked, “How much do you spend on coffee each week?” the highest amount reported was a whopping $70.

  • A cup of coffee may not seem that pricey – until you start doing the math. That $21 average a week adds up to just over $1,000 a year. Still, nearly 80% of those surveyed say they don't worry about the price of coffee, and half of the respondents said they would not cut back on their coffee consumption to save money.

For years, personal finance professionals have criticized Americans for spending absurd amounts of money on coffee. In advertisements and other marketing materials, they have calculated how much people spend annually and then over long periods of time, like 10 years, to pinpoint what they consider to be an easy way for consumers to free up some home budget space.

Time and time again, financial professionals say if people were smarter about buying coffee, they would have more money to do more meaningful things, like contribute to retirement, take vacations and pay off credit card debt.

The CreditDonkey survey suggests most of that advice is falling on deaf ears. Americans have a deep-rooted love for coffee, and for the most part, they don't care to change it. But should it matter? Perhaps in our minds, the money in our coffee bank is money well spent.

An undying love for coffee

After all, many of us view it as a necessity.

  • Over 1 in 3 CreditDonkey survey participants not only drink coffee, but they claim they need it to start the day.
  • The older you are, the more likely you feel that need: just 23% of 18-24 year olds said they need coffee to start their day, while 46% of 45-54 year olds depend on it to get going.

It's highly unlikely – and understandable – that folks who feel dependent on the beverage will consider any coffee-free mornings for the sake of extra savings. For many of us, our daily caffeine beverage of choice is a habit we just can’t break.

Does parenting call for coffee drinking?

Another noteworthy stat from our survey is a gap between parents and non-parents. If the coffee habit is not picked up in college, to make up for all-nighters, it may be picked up later during the parenting years.

  • Slightly more parents than non-parents drink coffee: 74% compared to 67%.

  • There was an even bigger gap when it came to daily consumption: 51% of parents said they drink coffee every day, but only 37% of non-parents said the same.

  • 10% more parents than non-parents said they need coffee to start their day.

We also noted a difference between the genders:

  • About 20% more men than women prefer their coffee black.

  • 13% more women than men say they care about the price of coffee.

(CreditDonkey conducted the online survey of 1,254 Americans, age 18 and over between August 8 and August 12, 2014.)

(Additional Writing by Josh and Jasmine)

Michelle Smith is a contributing writer at CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison and financial education website. Write to Michelle Smith at michelles@creditdonkey.com. Our data-driven analysis has been recognized by major news outlets across the country and has helped families make savvy financial and lifestyle decisions. (read more)

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