While people continue to feverishly extol the virtues of third wave pour over drip coffee, it turns out that about half the world would much rather just drink the instant stuff. An industry analyst at Euromonitor tells the Washington Post that "the markets where instant coffee is most popular tend to be the ones without a strong tradition of coffee drinking." This is why India and China are two of the fastest growing markets for instant coffee.
Australians, however, "like the stuff more than anyone else." Instant coffee makes up about 75 percent of all retail coffee consumed in Australia and New Zealand. In Eastern Europe, it accounts for 50 percent, only 25 percent of Western Europeans prefer instant. While the rest of the world slugs down instant joe, America is "unique in its aversion to instant coffee" and when it comes to the $30 billion dollar coffee market, about $960 million is spent on instant coffee, or just 3.2 percent of the total sales.
America's love for fresh coffee is alive and well: Cities like Portland, San Francisco, and Brooklyn have strong independent coffee shop cultures. High-end coffee chain Blue Bottle raised just under $26 Million in funding earlier this year for its expansion plans. And Apple once even posted a job looking for someone who would "provide fresh brew coffee to all Apple employees."