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California Pours In With Five Top 20 Coffee Cities
Coffee Day

With National Coffee Day observed on Sept. 29 – International Coffee Day on Oct. 1 – and coffee consumption up 14 percent since January 2021, the personal-finance website WalletHub has released its report on 2022’s Best Coffee Cities in America. Alongside that report, WalletHub also released its list of top coffee deals and discounts offered by retailers during the holiday.

To view the full report, visit:

Five of the nation’s top coffee cities are in the Golden State. According to the report, the ‘Top 20 Cities for Coffee Lovers’ are: San Francisco, California coming in at number one, followed by Seattle, Washington at number two. They were followed by Orlando, FL; Honolulu, HI; Portland, OR; Tampa, FL; Pittsburgh, PA; Miami, FL; Sacramento, CA and Denver, Colorado rounding out the top 10. Ranking from number 11 through number 20 are: New Orleans, LA; Boston, MA; San Diego, CA; Long Beach, CA; Chicago, IL; Los Angeles, CA; Cincinnati, OH; Atlanta, GA; Washington, DC; Austin, TX.

To determine the best local coffee scenes in America, WalletHub compared the 100 largest cities across 12 key indicators of a strong coffee culture. The data set ranges from coffee shops, coffee houses and cafés per capita to the average price per pack of coffee.


Best vs. Worst

• Miami and Hialeah, Florida, have the lowest average price for a pack of coffee, $3.41, which is 2.4 times lower than in Honolulu, the city with the highest at $8.11.

• Fremont, California, has the highest average annual spending on coffee per household, $229.62, which is 3.5 times higher than in Hialeah, Florida, the city with the lowest at $65.06.

• Gilbert, Arizona, has the highest share of households that own a single-cup/pod-brewing coffee maker, 28.11 percent, which is 2.6 times higher than in Hialeah, Florida, the city with the lowest at 10.93 percent.

• Orlando, Florida, has the most coffee shops, coffee houses and cafés (per square root of population), 0.4497, which is 7.4 times more than in Laredo, Texas, the city with the fewest at 0.0607.

• Portland, Oregon, has the most coffee and tea manufacturers (per square root of population), 0.0216, which is 43.2 times more than in Riverside and San Bernardino, California, the cities with the fewest at 0.0005.


Expert Commentary

What tips do you have for a person that wishes to enjoy his/her daily “java” cup while on a budget?

“If you want to have a daily ‘java’ cup, you might try purchasing a smaller coffee or a simpler one. Not only will a smaller/simpler coffee save you money, but you might also decrease the amount of caffeine and sugar. If the price of a medium coffee is $1 less than the price of a large coffee and you purchase one cup each day, you would save $365 in one year by switching from a large to a medium coffee. Another approach would be to decrease the frequency of your purchases from daily to several times per week. If the price of your coffee is $5 and you decrease your purchases from seven cups to six cups per week, you would save over $250 in one year. You could also join a loyalty program and earn points to use on future purchases.”

Monica A. Zimmerman Ph.D., CPA – Professor, West Chester University



Why are some folks willing to spend two or three times more for a comparable cup of coffee?

“If you consider any commodity, the secondary factors differentiate two different sellers. In this case, it can be service, location, proximity, social connectedness, or brand values. Differentiation sets one competitor apart from others and people are willing to pay more for convenience, flavor, familiarity, nostalgia, etc.”

Sherif A. Ebrahim, Ph.D., M.H.A., FACHE – Professor, Tulane University


“Sometimes it is a signal to others, like owning an iPhone or a BMW. Sometimes that more expensive coffee is actually better and you are paying for that local entrepreneur who provides not only great coffee, but great service, and a welcoming atmosphere, that is repeatable.”

Thomas M. Martin, Ph.D. – Dean, College of Business, Eastern Kentucky University



In the current economic environment, is opening a coffee shop as a first business for young entrepreneurs still a good idea? Or are most markets already oversaturated?

“In any economic environment, opening a small business such as a coffee shop is a labor of love, but also a big risk. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the failure rate, five years out, for small businesses is 50 percent. However, that risk can be somewhat mitigated by an entrepreneur who does their homework upfront. Understanding the saturation of a particular coffee market is a key first step and then determining whether your coffee shop is sufficiently differentiated from competitors would be the next step. Again, because coffee has the trappings of a lifestyle product, and because (some) people will pay two to three times more for certain coffee experiences, there are, indeed, many ways to differentiate a new coffee shop, but the risks must be understood and the research must be undertaken.”

Rikki Abzug – Professor and Convener of Management; Ramapo College