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07.27.10

20 Most Caffeinated Cities

What are the caffeine capitals of the U.S.? The Daily Beast compared the stats from urban centers across the country to find out where the best buzz can be found.

If you started this morning with a cup of joe, there’s a word for you: the majority. More than half of Americans over 18 are daily coffee drinkers. And coffee is by no means America’s only caffeine injection system, just the most popular. From energy drinks like Red Bull to ubiquitous candy bars, Americans consume 280 milligrams of caffeine each day, surely making it America’s favorite stimulant.

View Our Gallery of the Most Coffee-Addicted Cities

So across this caffeine-loving nation, which city is most addicted to the buzz? To answer that, we considered three things: the availability of coffee, the average monthly outlay for coffee and total caffeine consumption from all sources, including tea, sweets, energy drinks and pills.

The twofold focus on coffee as part of our definition of the most caffeinated city reflects the fact that three-quarters of all caffeine is delivered through roast beans—400 million cups every day—or more than 4,600 cups every second and 300 billion pounds of beans every year. Coffee is a $60 billion global industry with outposts on nearly every urban block.

Market research firm NPD Group provided a list of the cities with the largest number of coffee shops (both independent and chain stores) per capita. From that initial list, we then considered total caffeine consumption as measured by the most recent annual caffeine survey, commissioned by HealthSaver and conducted by Prince Market Research in 2008. Cities on our initial per capita ranking that were not accounted for in the consumption survey were given a normalized score.

Additionally, we considered data on the average monthly spending on coffee purchases in the first quarter of 2010, according to personal budget service Mint.com. Cities in which Mint data was not available were ascribed an averaged value.

How much does your city need a jolt?