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The Coffee Insurgency?

coffee-world-tea-world

The Economist reports that “The coffee insurgency” is winning:

EXACTLY 240 years ago [December 16th], uppity colonists barely disguised as Mohawk Indians defied the crown and ruined the private property of English merchants by dumping 342 chests of perfectly good tea into Boston harbour. This illegal act, known as the Boston Tea Party, was part of a small rebellion that eventually led to independence and to today’s Tea Party movement. Americans now quaff three times more coffee than tea, according to Euromonitor, a research firm. Throughout most of the West, the bean bests the leaf. Yet the British consume three times as much tea as coffee, despite an invasion by the American Starbucks. And tea fuels the fast growth of BRICS countries (save for coffee-producing Brazil) and dominates Asia. A gentleman is hardest pressed to find a cup of tea in Guatemala, where its superior Arabica is the drink of choice 99.6% of the time. The world’s most divided nation is Australia. The sun may never set on tea—but overall, more countries prefer coffee.

Of course, like the famous county-by-county election maps that became famous after the 2000 presidential election, geography can be a distorting lens. Given the vast population of Asian countries—particularly China, India, and Indonesia—tea almost certainly remains the drink of choice of most of the world’s people.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    This illegal act, known as the Boston Tea Party, was part of a small rebellion that eventually led to independence and to today’s Tea Party movement.

    That illegal act led to today’s Tea Party movement? Really????

    BWAHAHAHAHAAAHAHAAAHAAHAHAHAAHAAAAHAAAHAAHAA… gasp… wheeze…. Stop it James, yer killing me. You need to find a new source of material as this one’s grip on reality is a little shaky.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  2. al-Ameda says:

    This illegal act, known as the Boston Tea Party, was part of a small rebellion that eventually led to independence and to today’s Tea Party movement.

    The original Boston Tea Party was comprised of people who wanted the new American government to default on its debt?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  3. michael reynolds says:

    T-e-a i-s n-o-t guuuuuuh. . .

    Sorry! I hadn’t had my first sip of coffee yet! Much better now. Go, Team Coffee!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  4. JKB says:

    It is hard to find good tea in the US that isn’t affectatiously over-priced. I used to enjoy very good teas at good prices when I lived in Hawaii. It became harder and harder as I moved back across the mainland. I’m talking real tea, not some “tea” with apple-mango or some crap to mask the flavor.

    And really, with Starbucks’ rise, it is actually more people prefer a bit of coffee in their milk than tea.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  5. michael reynolds says:

    I take both my coffee and my tea black, no sugar. Bitterness to feed the bitterness within.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  6. JKB says:

    @al-Ameda:who wanted the new American government to default on its debt?

    Sarah Palin got you again. Party like it’s 1773.

    It’s right there in the article 2013-240.0=?? Make it easy….3-0 =??

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. al-Ameda says:

    @JKB:

    Sarah Palin got you again. Party like it’s 1773.

    Sarah Palin? Not sure what you’re referring to there.
    Actually, I’d prefer that Charlize Theron or Rachel Weisz get me.

    Seriously – are you saying that the Boston Tea Party actually did have members who wanted an independent America to default on it’s debt?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  8. anjin-san says:

    @ JKB

    It is hard to find good tea in the US that isn’t affectatiously over-priced.

    Just one more way that Obama has screwed you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  9. JKB says:

    @anjin-san: Just one more way that Obama has screwed you.

    Really, my impression was that Obama had done nothing of real consequence before 2008. He keeps this up, he’ll be the next George Bush.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  10. PJ says:

    Nice map. You know what it’s missing? Any links to any information from Euromonitor International.

    A gentleman is hardest pressed to find a cup of tea in Guatemala, where its superior Arabica is the drink of choice 99.6% of the time.

    So, of every 1000 cups of coffee or tee served in Guatemala, 996 are cups of coffee?
    Is this based on surveys? Or did they divide the amount of coffee and tee consumed by the average amount of coffee or tea in a cup of coffee or tea? Who knows. Which makes this map worthless.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. Andre Kenji says:

    : @michael reynolds: I once drank yerba mate(Or chimarrao, as they call in Brazil). It´s bitter, hot, no sugar. By the way, Mate tea(That has lots of caffeine) is a great tea, specially cold.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  12. Andre Kenji says:

    @JKB: Try to find a Chilean plant, Boldo, on a gardening store. It produces a very bitter tea and it´s the most resistant plant that I ever saw – even the laziest gardener in the world can keep it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  13. Andre Kenji says:

    @PJ:

    So, of every 1000 cups of coffee or tee served in Guatemala, 996 are cups of coffee?
    Is this based on surveys? Or did they divide the amount of coffee and tee consumed by the average amount of coffee or tea in a cup of coffee or tea?

    I imagine that their research is based on coffee and tea that´s consumed on bars and cafes and bakeries and things like that. In South America, there is a large consumption of teas made with local herbs(like coca, boldo and yerba mate), that the Natives already consumed before the arrival of the Europeans. Since these teas do not originally exist in Tropical Climates, I imagine that there is very little consumption of tea in Central America.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  14. Andrew says:

    looks at the political map of the world

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  15. DrDaveT says:

    @JKB:

    It is hard to find good tea in the US that isn’t affectatiously over-priced.

    I resorted to mail-order and haven’t looked back. Upton Tea Company and Grace Rare Tea are both excellent. Upton covers the whole quality range, with many extremely reasonably-priced fine teas from all over the world.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  16. DrDaveT says:

    Turkey is mis-labeled. I was there recently, and they drink neither tea nor coffee.

    The preferred social beverage is a hot black swill called ‘chai’, which is (in the words of Douglas Adams) “almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea”.

    If you order coffee, you get a thimbleful of damp bitter grounds. Yes, I know what Turkish Coffee is supposed to be like, and this wasn’t it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0