Food & Drink

Not everyone's a coffee snob: nearly half the world prefers instant

Hold onto your AeroPress, coffee nerds, because we've got some news that you're not going to like. Despite your efforts to convert everyone to your favorite roaster, new data from Euromonitor reveals that nearly half the world prefers instant coffee. Not even grocery store beans -- instant. Where is your god now, Latte Artist?!

Instant coffee sales have been on the rise for some time. Since 2000, they've almost tripled, and now stand as a $31 billion industry. (By 2018, it'll be making $35bill.) The growth is all thanks to our less-snobby international friends. While America and Europe still gravitate to the fresh stuff, heavy hitters like Australia, Russia, and China are firmly on the insta-train, as you can see from Euromonitor's color-coded map. A lot of this can be explained by new coffee drinkers: In places like China, many people are just branching out beyond their cup of tea, so they're coming to the instant stuff without the usual judgments.

In fact, Americans might actually be the judgiest coffee drinkers on the globe. According to Euromonitor analyst Dana LaMendola, America is "entirely unique in its aversion to instant coffee". Even in Europe, where they skew fresh, instant coffee is seen as acceptable at home or on the go. But apparently that's not the case here, where instant coffee sales have remained stagnant since 2008. We'd better watch ourselves, or else we'll all turn into that guy at the coffee shop.

Kristin Hunt is a food/drink staff writer for Thrillist, and suspects our Founding Fathers were all huge coffee nerds. Follow her at @kristin_hunt.