BBC World Service

Coffee consumption on the rise around the world

Matthew Davies Dec 8, 2011

It’s a tall world after all — a tall half-caf cappuccino that is. The world is drinking more coffee.

From London, the BBC’s Matthew Davies reports.

Matthew Davies: Coffee consumption has grown by an average of 2.5 percent over the last ten years and is still surging ahead, despite the fact that many drinkers around the world have less money in their pockets. But it’s not that we’re drinking more coffee because we’re working harder and need the extra energy.

According to Jose Settee, the head of operations at the London-based International Coffee Organization, it’s that new consumers are being turned onto the bean.

Jose Settee: Even when times are hard, people still drink coffee. And the growth in coffee consumption these days occurs much more in emerging markets, which are bearing up much better under this economic turbulence than in the developed world.

Over the next five years, raw coffee prices are expected to fall, and that’ll bring in even more drinkers. Last year, the world consumed more than eight million metric tons of coffee — that’s 2.4 percent more than the previous year, and enough to fill more than 80 aircraft carriers.

In London, I’m the BBC’s Matthew Davies for Marketplace.

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