Best cities for coffee fanatics -- 2017 edition

Derek Miller

Coffee is the lifeblood for many Americans. It is not uncommon to hear people say they can't start the day without that first cup of joe. However much like beer, a unique culture around coffee is growing across America. Take Starbucks for example, there's one on every corner, but today's coffee snobs spurn the global icon in favor of flat whites and Costa Rican pourover coffee. But not all cities are as coffee-obsessed as others. We looked through the data to see which American cities are the best for coffee fanatics.

This is SmartAsset's second annual study of the best cities for coffee fanatics. Read the 2016 version here.

See the top 10 below:

To find the best cities for coffee fanatics, SmartAsset looked at data on the 100 largest cities across six metrics. Specifically we looked at data on the number of coffee places, the number of coffee places per 100,000 residents, the number of coffee roasters, the price of coffee, the amount of coffee enthusiasm in a city as measured by Google search volume and the percentage of coffee places that are highly rated. Read more about where we got our data and how we put it together to create our final index in the data and methodology section below.

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Key Findings

  • Still Seattle - For the second year in a row, Seattle ranks first, which is exactly where you would expect it to rank. It should be noted however that Seattle didn't just finish first, it dominated the rankings beating second-place San Diego by seven points on our index and third-place Honolulu by 15 points.

  • California coffee culture - California is represented by three different cities in our top 10 – San Francisco, San Diego and Oakland. No other state has more than one entry in our top 10.

coffee fanatics 1 table 2 Best Cities for Coffee Fanatics   2017 Edition
coffee fanatics 1 table 2 Best Cities for Coffee Fanatics 2017 Edition

Data and Methodology

In order to find the best cities for coffee fanatics, we ranked the largest 100 cities by the following six metrics:

  • Total number of coffee shops, coffeehouses and cafés. Data comes from Yelp.

  • Coffee shops, coffeehouses and cafes per 100,000 residents. Data on number of coffee establishments comes from Yelp. Population data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2015 5-Year American Community Survey.

  • Percentage of highly rated coffee shops. This is the percentage of coffee shops which are rated 4.5 stars or higher on Yelp.

  • Average price of a cappuccino. Data comes from Numbeo.

  • Google search traffic for coffee as a percent of national average. This is how many times residents in an area searched for the term "coffee" in the past year as compared to the national average for that search term. Data comes from Google.

  • Total number of coffee and tea manufacturers. Data comes from the Census Bureau's 2014 Business Patterns Survey.

We ranked the 100 cities by each of the six metrics. We then averaged those rankings giving equal weight to each factor. We assigned a score to each city based on the averages. The city with the best average received a score of 100 and the city with the worst average received a score of 0.

Questions about our study? Contact us at press@smartasset.com.

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