Coffee in Iceland is an institution and Icelanders really like their coffee. And they drink a lot of it. They really do.
When it comes to coffee consumption per capita, Finland is still the unbeatable number one with an annual consumption of more than 12 kg per person, according to data collected by the International Coffee Organisation in 2010. But with the average Icelander consuming about 9 kilos of beans per year, this tiny island in the north Atlantic drinks more coffee per capita than France and the UK combined, following Finland on a well deserved fourth place.
Icelanders are seen sipping coffee around the clock and you don’t have go far to get your coffee fix. From the swimming pool in the morning, the supermarket in the afternoon, to the bookshop in the evening, you will find coffee everywhere (unless you’re looking for Starbucks in Iceland, in which case you’ll be looking forever as they haven’t reached Iceland yet).
Iceland is largely chain-free, instead it is populated with many small coffee shops or cafes, which can be found on nearly every corner in downtown Reykjavík. There are around eighteen places selling coffee, not including pubs and restaurants, concentrated on or around downtown streets Laugavegur and Skólavörðustígur in a 700 metre radius alone.
Besides the fact that coffee tastes above average, perhaps one of the reasons that Icelanders drink more coffee per capita is that many cafes and coffee shops offer free coffee refills, after having purchased a first cup, which often comes as a surprise for many tourists and newcomers.
And if you are more of a foodie, you can always try to explore the tour Reykjavik by Food by our sister company Iceland Rovers.