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This Is the Most Popular Beverage in America, Data Says

Sixty percent of people say they need this drink more than water.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the way we consume a lot of basics, like baking ingredients, pet food, and even frozen foods. Now, new data reveals how one big beverage that had already been a favorite has grown even more popular—and maybe more necessary—in the past year.

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A lot of recent trends (like yet another Starbucks supply shortage) have hinted that coffee was gaining some ground in the hearts and homes of Americans. But now it's been confirmed that coffee is currently the most popular beverage in America, with 60% of Americans choosing coffee each day as their most necessary drink—even more than tap water, according to a new survey conducted by the National Coffee Association.

Of course, you'll have to consider the source, but the truth remains that coffee has been a big part of our pandemic lives, as the national survey reveals. Here are some other findings that may sound similar to your own coffee-drinking habits.


We're drinking coffee at home.

coffee pot pouring into two mugs

Eighty-five percent of coffee drinkers say they drink at least one cup at home, which is an 8% increase since January 2020—just before the pandemic started.


We're also drinking it on-the-go.

Woman wearing a face mask working on a laptop in cafe

The bump in coffee consumption at home doesn't make that the only place we're drinking it. This survey found that app-based and drive-thru coffee orders have both increased by a remarkable 30% since last year.

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We've gotten experimental.

Barista adding flavored syrups for coffee

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented an opportunity for Americans to commit more passionately to our coffee habits, with 40% of survey respondents saying they've purchased types of coffee they'd never tried before the pandemic. It's reported that a third stated they'd tried to re-create their favorite coffee shop order at home.


We've even bought new machines.

espresso being poured into a glass cup
Calvin Fletchers Coffee Company/Facebook

A quarter of respondents saw the pandemic as such an opportunity to enjoy at-home coffee-making that they reported they'd gone so far as to invest in a new machine.

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We miss our coffee shops.

coffee, coffee shop, barista

Thirty-five percent of respondents to the National Coffee Association's survey said they miss their favorite coffee shop and the drinks they like to order there.

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But we're starting to return to them.

Social distance conceptual small business waiter serving customer in cafe.

Compared to last September, 17% of survey participants said they've officially returned to coffee shops, while 48% said they were returning or planned to return soon.


We drink two cups a day.

Cup of pour over coffee being poured into a mug in the morning.
Mike Marquez/Unsplash

The survey found that the majority of respondents have had their daily fill after two cups.

How do you take your coffee? Check out the recent study on what your coffee order reveals about your personality. Sign up for the Eat This, Not That! newsletter delivered to your inbox each day.

Krissy Gasbarre
Krissy is a senior news editor at Eat This, Not That!, managing morning and weekend news related to nutrition, wellness, restaurants and groceries (with a focus on beverages), and more. Read more about Krissy
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