Measuring spoon of ground coffee on top of coffee beans
The Important Role New Orleans Plays In America's Coffee Industry
With 146 billion cups of coffee enjoyed by residents every year, the U.S. consumes more java than any other nation. A huge part of the country's coffee scene relies on New Orleans.
Since California and Hawaii are the only two U.S. states that produce their own coffee, the country relies heavily on imports, much of which pass through the Port of New Orleans.
The Port of New Orleans, which imported 530,000 tons of coffee in 2016, has overseen coffee imports for 300 years. It's one of the closest ports to the Caribbean and Latin America.
The U.S. imports most of its coffee from Brazil and Colombia, and New Orleans is also close to the mouth of the Mississippi River, allowing for easy upstream transport of coffee.
New Orleans began importing coffee in the 1700s, becoming America's second-largest coffee importer by 1940. By 1857, over 500,000 bags of coffee per year came through the port.
When the Civil War dried up coffee imports, New Orleans became home to coffee experimentation, creating their own roasts and combining coffee with chicory root to extend supplies.
Today, New Orleans is also a titan of the domestic American coffee industry, home to countless local cafés and micro-brands like Mojo Coffee Roasters and Pretty Coffee.