If US cities are what they drink—or at least, what they drink at Starbucks—then Portland, Oregon, is an eggnog latte.
Coffee drinkers in Seattle, the birthplace of the global coffee giant, are likelier than anyone else to order their coffee with an extra shot of espresso. Those in San Francisco have an unusual affinity for Starbucks’ soy lattes. Los Angelenos like Frappuccinos more than anyone else—aside from people in San Antonio, Texas. And no city likes white chocolate mochas quite like Memphis does.
Starbucks’ analysts looked at hundreds of millions of transactions at the chain’s coffee shops across the US, and they shared some of the trends they observed with Quartz. Unsurprisingly, the most popular drinks across the board were simple brewed coffee and lattes. Looking solely at volume, every region, state, and city would essentially have the same exact top preferences, with regular coffee by far the most common order, and lattes a distant second.
The country can be divided along the cold-hot axis; the only states that order more iced coffee than hot coffee are Florida, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Oklahoma, Hawaii and southern California, which has pushed to secede from the rest of California and form its own state, anyway. This all makes sense. It basically forms a line dividing the country’s south—that is, the hottest parts—from the more northern states. But it also begs the question: What do sweltering states such as Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia, have against cold coffee?
Other dividing preferences are harder to fathom; for example, the variation in tastes when it comes to the bitterness and strength of coffee. The US’s most populous cities can be split by whether they prefer Starbucks’ new Blonde (i.e. light) roast, their Pike Place (medium), or their Bold (dark) offerings. Draw what conclusions you will from the list, below.
Which Starbucks brew big US cities like best:
Dark: Seattle, Boston, Memphis, and Minneapolis
Medium: New York, San Francisco, Portland, and Phoenix.
Light: Chicago, Philadelphia, Denver, Tampa, San Antonio, and Charlotte
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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