We can't say we're too surprised by this news, and we can't say that we're not a little bit envious of it: While it may not be the healthiest drink to imbibe on, Seattle media reports that its citizens are so buzzed on caffeine that they're drinking more espresso than water.
Seattle Times news librarian Gene Balk took on the task of calculating just how much espresso Seattleites really drink. After crunching numbers from market research data, he calculated the sales for espresso versus bottled water. (Obviously, we're sure Seattleites still drink water — even if it's from the tap.) Balk found that 35 percent of Seattleites drink at least one espresso drink per week, while only 29 percent of residents drink bottled water. "As much as Seattleites love espresso, we hate bottled water. Mineral, spring, well, flavored, vitamin-enriched, electrolyte-charged, you name it. Maybe it’s because we’re sensitive to environmental issues here — those plastic bottles aren’t exactly 'green.' Whatever the reason, we just don’t like the stuff," he writes.
If you look at his graph comparing Seattle to other cities, the coffee capital of the country far outweighs other U.S. cities in espresso consumption — even other cities in the Northwest. (The city with the most bottled water consumption? New York City. And Los Angeles ranks surprisingly right in the middle, just about the average of American consumption of water and espresso.) That means that 94 percent of the time, Seattle residents will take a Starbucks over a bottled water.
This shouldn't a huge surprise to those who know Seattle well; the Daily Beast last year claimed Seattle as the country's number two "most caffeinated city." That's one coffee shop for every 35 people in the town (we hear Oprah crying, "and you get a coffee shop! And YOU get a coffee shop!"). And as the birthplace of Starbucks, we can only imagine how many of those are hiding under the green logo (or under the sister brand, Seattle's Best Coffee). Looks like a trip to the West Coast is in order...