You might have heard, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”, but in the case of coffee it’s more like, “A coffee a day keeps the Grumpiness away” 😉
Americans love coffee! On average, 400 Million cups of coffee are consumed each day, making U.S. a dominant consumer of coffee around the globe. If we compare that figure to a single person, then data suggests that the average American coffee drinker drinks just over 3 cups each day, while some drink coffee for pleasure and others as a necessity to keep them awake.
That’s not it; there are several ways to make and serve coffee.
Speaking of preparation, some people favor the bitter-the-better; on the other hand, many prefer to add milk or other additives to their final brew. Nowadays, global coffee consumption has increased and is regularly increasing. Simultaneously, the coffee industry is also frequently bringing up new innovative methods for brewing coffee and serving it. It’s no secret that coffee is the most popular drink worldwide, just after water, and has acquired great social importance thanks to its high acceptance and number of brewing techniques.
Although globalization and the rise of coffee franchises have immensely spread this everyday habit across the U.S., it is fascinating to track down which coffee drinks are the most popular among Americans.
After 9 hours of intense research and 4 cups of coffee, I’ve curated the list of the 7 most popular coffee in America.
So, without any further ado, let’s get the list started.
Let’s start off this list with the most popular coffee drink in America, i.e., Americano. It’s a great click to activate you in the mornings. It got its name because it’s made from diluting espresso with water. The perfect ratio of water to espresso for an Americano is typically 1/3 espresso to 2/3 water, whilst some people prefer equal parts of each.
This coffee drink is an extremely popular type of coffee; still, most people know nothing about where it came from. This coffee was discovered way back in World War II when American soldiers were sent to fight in Europe. The American Soldiers in Italy ordered a coffee. They thought they’d be served the same coffee they used to drink back home, but rather, they’re served with espressos, surely not what they wanted at all.
Raised on drip coffee, many soldiers refused to drink their espressos. Using what was available, the local barista took their espresso back and added hot water to a shot of espresso, and that’s how the famous Americano coffee was born.
However, Italians aren’t familiar with drinking coffee in any other way besides espresso (they call diluted espressos ‘dirty water’). Typically, Americanos are served without milk, but that’s not a requirement though; you may ask the barista to add it for you. You can also add ice to it if that’s your preference.
If you want to experience the jolt that espresso provides, then give Americano a try!
Read more about Americano here.
The cappuccino is an espresso-based coffee drink mixed with steamed milk and milk foam. For those looking for a more potent drink that’s also creamy, cappuccino is the right answer. Frappuccino is the little brother of cappuccino, which is basically an iced cappuccino. Frappoccino is most popular in San Diego, San Antonio, Nevada and Los Angeles. However, Californians are known for their cappuccino.
Cappuccino also originated in Italy and became most popular in the mid-1990s. Cappuccino’s name comes from the Capuchin friars, referring to the color of their habits.
A cappuccino is incomplete without those three layers in the cup, i.e., espresso, milk, and milk cream (microfoam). The idea behind this is, that whenever the consumer takes the drink, he can taste a balance between the taste of coffee & the sweetness of the milk.
In terms of proportion, the ratio of espresso to milk to froth in a cappuccino should be about 1:1:1. You can customize your cappuccino in several ways, such as adding syrups, cocoa powder, spices, foaming cream, or a sometimes small amount of sugar for an even more indulgent drink.
Mr. Coffee. Cappuccino and Latte Maker is the best espresso maker so far for the home barista who wants to enjoy this great coffee drink at their home. With this espresso maker, you can prepare popular coffee drinks other than cappuccino too.
A cappuccino is different from a latte if you don’t know how. Check out our detailed article on Cappuccino VS Latte: What’s The Difference?
Cafe Latte is another espresso-based drink that is made with espresso and steamed milk. CaffeLatte is an Italian word that means “coffee and milk“.
Although both the cappuccino and Latte are espresso-based drinks, note that they are pretty distinct. A Latte contains more steamed milk and only a thin layer of microfoam on the top. The only difference lies between the ratios. Speaking of ratios, the accurate ratio of espresso to milk for a latte is 1/3 espresso to 2/3 steamed milked, with a skinny layer of milk foam at the top.
Lattes are primarily served in tall glasses, but sometimes they can also be presented in a Cappuccino-Style Cup (View On Amazon). Another reason why Latte is popular is latte art. It’s the most famous technique used by Baristas around the world. Without a latte art, your latte cup isn’t complete, Indeed!
You can order Latte at the coffee cafe or easily make it at home with the same espresso machine recommended above. And, if you don’t like too much cream in your Latte cup, you may mix it with almond or soy milk.
Research done by the Specialty Coffee Association and Square discovered that from 2017 to 2018, Latte was the most popular coffee in America. Interestingly, Americans drank over 67 million lattes in the time between June 2017 to June 2018. Jaw-dropping!
Lastly, Latte drinks are incredibly customizable and can be prepared with any milk or milk substitute. Much like cappuccino, you can also add flavorings to your Latte, such as syrups, cocoa powder, spices, and more.
4. Cold Brew
There’s a heated debate in the coffee community around iced coffee versus cold brew, but it’s clear that cold brew is one of the hottest new trends in the American coffee market and won’t take a break anytime soon.
This popular coffee drink originated in Japan. The concept is simple: coarse-ground beans are steeped in cold water for an extended period, and the result is a super-smooth, low acidic, highly caffeinated coffee that can be served with milk or without any additives. Cold-brew coffee happens to be bitter compared to regular coffee as there is no heat involved in the preparation.
There’s a hell of a difference between cold brew and iced coffee. Iced coffee is usually brewed in a traditional drip brewer and then chilled over ice or placed in the fridge to make iced coffee drinks. However, cold brew has a wholly different approach. It can be made in advance with a Cold Brew Coffee Maker (View On Amazon) and then be stored in the fridge from a single day to 2 weeks max.
Another common practice in the coffee industry regarding cold brew is nitrogen infusion with the cold brew called nitro cold brew.
Caffe Mocha, also called mochaccino, is another popular espresso-based drink in the United States. The overall demand and consumption of these espresso-based drinks are increasing day after day, and if we take it into a percentage, 23% of Americans drink Mocha.
Mocha is usually served in a transparent glass so that all three layers of ingredients, i.e., espresso, chocolate syrup, and milk foam, become visible.
Why is a mocha called Mocha? Well, the name “mocha” refers to beans imported from Al Mocha (a Yemeni port city ). Interestingly, this city was one of the early Yemen Coffee trade centers back in the 17th century.
A Mocha is basically a latte, but hot chocolate or chocolate syrup is added instead of steamed milk. This drink is a perfect combination of both espresso and chocolate.
Proportionally, a Mocha has a ratio of 2:2:1 where the first two shots are of espresso, the second 1 or 2 pumps of chocolate syrup, and the last is steamed milk with a bit of milk foam on top. Mocha contains 12.67 mg of caffeine per fl oz, which is 42.83 mg per 100 ml. Some people also prefer to add whipped cream on top; you may too 😉
Learn more about Mocha here!
Caffe Macchiato, often called espresso macchiato, is another popular hit among cafes and coffee shops. The term Macchiato is an Italian word meaning “stained” or “marked”, as it is an espresso drink “marked” with a tiny dollop of frothed milk on top. This tiny frothed milk dollop helps offset the strong caffeine hit.
Macchiato is a more miniature drink compared to a latte but not as strong as a full espresso shot. Macchiato drink was born in the 16th century, even before the Cafe Mocha, and is prepared in Layers. That’s why it is usually served in a transparent glass so that the layers become a more visible cause; in the end, layers are its only attraction.
There are limitless variations of macchiatos available worldwide; for instance, in Australia, you can order a long Macchiato, while at Starbucks, a caramel macchiato is served so on and so forth. However, according to coffee experts, there are two main macchiato variations: espresso macchiato and latte macchiato.
A macchiato is different from a latte if you don’t know how? Check out our detailed article on Macchiato VS Latte: What’s The Difference?
7. Café au lait
Finally, our list of most popular coffee drinks in America came to an end with Café au lait. This specific coffee type originated in France.
It’s a strong coffee that’s made with equal parts French Press brewed coffee and steamed milk. At the same time, French Press isn’t a requirement, though, but you can also use a drip brewer. The only secret formula is the use of hot milk. There is no third ingredient like milk foam included in making the final brew; however, some coffee shops may serve it with a fragile layer of milk foam on top.
The critical difference between a latte and a café au lait is that a latte is made with bold espresso, while a café au lait is made with regular strong coffee, i.e., the one made with French Press or Drip Brewer. It isn’t as strong as espresso or Americano. Also, the amount of caffeine is relatively less than a latte with a weak coffee flavor.
Now let’s talk about its preparation. It isn’t as complicated as others, and I think most coffee shops don’t even bother including it in their Menu as the process is the simplest of all. Even if you don’t find it on the menu, it’s a simple drink most baristas will know how to make, so you can quickly request one for yourself.
Since no espresso is required, use your regular drip coffee maker and make coffee as usual. Even if you don’t have a coffee maker in your house, you may also brew coffee in a French press. Any kind of coffee beans can be used in the process.
Next, try to find a way other than an espresso machine to steam milk. I recommend this cute little Milk Steamer and Frother by Generic. Finally, mix the coffee with warm milk and enjoy! Obviously, you can add foam milk or cocoa powder on top too.
This completes the list of some of the most popular coffee drinks in the United States and worldwide. There is a reason why all of these drinks are so popular, so I’d suggest giving all of them a try as you never know which coffee drink your taste buds adore the most.
Lastly, do let me know in the comments if there’s any popular coffee drink missing or if there’s something more to add to the list. Coffee is life; who says you cannot make all of the listed coffee drinks at home. Sure you can. If you want to be your own barista and surprise your loved ones with the perfect cup of caffeine, then how about subscribing to our newsletter, where we share the perfect stuff to uplevel your barista skills.
A die-hard coffee aficionado, Habiba has been crazy about caffeine for almost as long as she can remember. For her morning brew, she relies on a French Press, which is a part of her daily morning ritual that also involves grinding and meticulously weighing coffee and water for the perfectly crafted morning cup. To better inform this article, she included insights from various coffee experts.