Photo: Ivan Kurmyshov/Shutterstock

The Most Expensive, and Cheapest, Countries for a Cup of Coffee

by Elisabeth Sherman Jun 30, 2021

There’s one thing that people around the world — from North America to Asia, Europe to Africa and the Middle East — have in common: We welcome a new day with coffee. Here in the US, we like to gripe that coffee is getting more expensive by the day. But how does it compare to coffee prices in the rest of the world? The World Coffee Index recently released its 2021 survey, which answers all your burning (scalding?) questions about how the rest of the planet drinks their coffee.

Surprisingly, New York City can’t claim the most expensive cup of coffee. That title goes to South Korea, where the average cup of coffee costs $7.77. That seems extravagant for a cup of regular coffee, but South Korean people are clear coffee enthusiasts (and therefore presumably willing to the pay the price). Seoul is also home to the most Starbucks locations in the world.

If you’re looking for the most inexpensive cup of coffee in the world, plan a visit to Iran, where a cup of coffee will cost you 0.46 cents. The preferred caffeinated drink of choice there is tea, anyway. Coffee prices are inexpensive in countries that produce coffee beans too. For instance, Brazil produces the most coffee beans in the world, and the average cup of coffee costs around $1.90.

Now about who drinks the most coffee in the world. No, it’s not the Italians. It’s not even you, standing in your kitchen before you leave for work in the morning. The people of Luxembourg actually drink the most coffee, clocking in at about 24 pounds of coffee per capita, followed by Amsterdam and Helsinki. The country many people most associate with coffee, Italy, appears at number 15 on the list of who drinks the most coffee per capita.

As for the Americans, the most dedicated coffee drinkers come from Washington, DC, where a cup of coffee costs, on average, around $4. And that makes sense, with all the busy politicians (and their assistants) running around, trying to keep the country running. So next time you pick up that venti latte with an extra pump of caramel, just remember what unites us as human beings: almighty coffee.

Discover Matador