Speed Reads

coffee first — talk later

The unexpected reason we're consuming less coffee

Despite the fact that Keurig Green Mountain's K-Cups create exorbitant amounts of plastic waste as a byproduct of supporting Americans' coffee addictions, a new report suggests that Keurig machines are simultaneously decreasing our actual coffee waste.

While the company sold enough non-recyclable coffee containers in 2014 to circle the Earth 10.5 times, national coffee consumption actually declined this year for the first time since 2009-2010, according to a biannual USDA report released on Friday. The reason isn't a lack of desire to stay caffeinated — rather, the rise of Keurig machines means that fewer Americans are wasting the extra drip coffee that often gets poured down the drain. Nearly a quarter of Americans brew coffee at home in Keurig-style machines. "We're losing the sink as a consumer," one roaster told Reuters.

Although millions feel naked without clutching a coffee cup in hand each morning, overall coffee consumption in the United States will drop from 24 million 60-kg bags to 23.7 million in 2015-2016, the report estimates. This may seem like a minor decline, but it will make the U.S. the only top coffee-drinking nation to see demand fall after experiencing steady growth.