The Cheapest Cities for Coffee in America

According to an industry study by the National Coffee Association, 64 percent of Americans consume at least one cup of coffee daily. Which means a cup of Joe could be a consideration for people looking to find a new city in which to live.

Determining the most affordable cities for coffee

We took cost of living data and ranked 256 cities on affordability for ground coffee and beans. Each category received a score of based on the average price in that area, with 1 being the most affordable and 256 being the most expensive.

So, what are the most affordable cities for coffee in America? Spoiler alert: Texas and Michigan lead the pack with six cities in the top 10. But there’s great inexpensive java to be had around the nation.

Let’s take a moment to pour over these cities and find out what makes them such nice (and affordable) places to call home — and sip a good coffee.

10. Lynchburg, VA

Lynchburg VA

Lynchburg is known as the “Hill City” in the foothills of Blue Ridge Mountains. This fifth-largest city in Virginia boasts great hiking trails filled with waterfalls and scenic views. And with a can of ground coffee priced at an average of $3.39, you could easily fill your mug and hit the trail on the weekends.

If hiking isn’t your thing, Lynchburg is also home to museums, an arboretum and Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest and home. And it won’t take you too many dead presidents to call Lynchburg your home, as well. The average one-bedroom apartment costs $837 a month — or 16,740 Jefferson nickels.

9. Grand Rapids, MI

Grand Rapids MI

As the second-largest city in the state, Grand Rapids is the first of three Michigan cities with inexpensive coffee. Ranking in at an average of $3.32, this city is not only the leading city for furniture manufacturing, but it’s also known for another favorite American beverage: beer.

In 1997, Founders Brewing Company launched and started a local movement of craft breweries. Now with more than 40 breweries and beer tours, Grand Rapids is known as “Beer City.” Hey, a cold brew is a cold brew.

Drink it all in while living in your one-bedroom apartment, which will set you back about $1,100 each month.

8. Kalamazoo, MI

Kalamazoo MI

Next up in our run of Michigan cities is Kalamazoo with average ground coffee prices at $3.31. The city is known for its abundance of paper mills and celery farming. Now, it has largely become a suburb with most of the city in the southwest bend of the Kalamazoo River.

Many economists have ranked this city as not only affordable, but they’ve also dubbed it one of the best cities for work-life balance.

In addition to cheap coffee, you can also find affordable housing here. The average one-bedroom apartment will cost you $821 a month.

7. Benton Harbor, MI

Benton Harbor MI

Our last Michigan city on the list is Benton Harbor, located on the St. Joseph River. If you want to make your own a cup of java here, you’ll pay about $3.29 for your grounds.

As the home of the Whirlpool Corporation, one of the largest manufacturers of home appliances, it also hosts the Maytag Ironman Triathlon.

6. Statesboro, GA

Statesboro GA

Statesboro is located in southwestern Georgia and has all the charm you’d imagine from a town voted one of the best for “live, work and play” in the state.

With deep roots in farming cotton and tobacco, the state has strong agriculture, education and manufacturing economies. If you’re on your way to the factory or local college, ground coffee will cost about $3.29.

5. Ponca City, OK

Ponca City OK

Ponca City is located in central Oklahoma and is known for its production and refinement of crude oils. The city is named for the Ponca Tribe who were historically relocated, here.

Now, it’s home to several historic landmarks and the Pioneer Woman Museum. For those headed to work at the refinery or are simply taking a tour of local landmarks, your can of ground coffee will cost you $3.25.

4. Houston, TX

Houston TX

Houston, we don’t have a problem here. As the most populated city in the state, Houston is home of many great sights, including a bustling downtown and historic district, Galveston Bay and the Houston Space Center, which is a NASA training center for astronauts.

Second only to New York City in Fortune 500 companies, Houston is an economic hub nicknamed “Space City,” And yet, its coffee prices (and cost of living) are not out of this world, at only $3.22 on average. Rent here also isn’t that sky-high — you can call a one-bedroom apartment home for an average of $1,184 each month.

3. Jonesboro, AR

Jonesboro AR

Jonesboro is the place for outdoor enthusiasts who love to fish, hike and camp. The city is located on Crowley’s Ridge and contains Craighead Forest Park, a city-owned park and scenic byway that has a 60-acre fishing lake and all the camping sites and hiking trails you could want.

Java here will cost you only $3.21, and your monthly rent is also affordable at $755 for a one-bedroom apartment.

2. Temple, TX

Temple TX

Located in the heart of Texas, Temple is a star in the medical economy with distribution ties to all neighboring cities such as Houston, Austin and Waco. Temple comes in hot with an average of $3.05 for Joe that’s no doubt very telling of its cost of living overall.

Baylor Scott and White Medical Center is its top employer. And if you need a little more caffeine in your life, Temple is also home to Dr. Pepper, which is produced by the Temple Bottling Company.

This city is also favorable for renters. You can grab a one-bedroom apartment for just $863 on average per month.

1. Waco, TX

Waco TX

Waco is the place to be if you want an affordable cup of coffee and a real bang for your buck when it comes to real estate. The city is located in central Texas along the Brazos River, where you’ll find coffee for about $2.82, the lowest average cost in the country.

Plus, it’s home to America’s home and garden sweethearts, Chip and Joanna Gaines of HGTV’s “Fixer Upper.” Just think, with all the money you’ll be saving on coffee (and rent, which is only $877 a month on average for a one-bedroom) you can spend more at Magnolia Market to decorate your new place.

The top 50 cheapest cities for coffee

Next up on our list are cities known for their affordability and downhome Americana. They include everything from fried chicken and bluegrass music to the founding of the American colonies in Jamestown and government facilities like the Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Defense and National Science Foundation. It’s no wonder they’ve cracked the code on affordability.

RankCity/County StateAverage Coffee Cost
1Waco TX$2.82
2Temple TX$3.05
3Jonesboro AR$3.21
4Houston TX$3.22
5Ponca City OK$3.25
6Statesboro-Bulloch County GA$3.29
7Benton Harbor MI$3.29
8Kalamazoo MI$3.31
9Grand Rapids MI$3.32
10Lynchburg VA$3.39
11Miami-Dade County FL$3.40
12Danville City VA$3.46
13Round Rock TX$3.49
14Staunton-Augusta County VA$3.50
15Richmond VA$3.51
16Conway AR$3.52
17Allentown PA$3.53
18Detroit MI$3.54
19Evansville IN$3.55
20Burlington NC$3.55
21Dothan AL$3.57
22Louisville KY$3.57
23Lexington KY$3.58
24Raleigh NC$3.61
25Tyler TX$3.62
26Lexington-Buena Vista-Rockbridge VA$3.62
27Tallahassee FL$3.63
28Martinsville-Henry County VA$3.63
29Wichita KS$3.64
30New Orleans LA$3.64
31Harrisonburg VA$3.64
32Laramie WY$3.64
33Jacksonville FL$3.65
34Utica-Rome NY$3.66
35Daytona Beach FL$3.69
36Roanoke VA$3.69
37Charlotte NC$3.72
38Wilkes-Barre PA$3.72
39Edmond OK$3.73
40Lincoln NE$3.74
41Tampa FL$3.75
42Bethesda-Gaithersburg-Frederick MD$3.75
43Spartanburg SC$3.75
44Valdosta GA$3.76
45Seguin TX$3.76
46Mobile AL$3.77
47Hot Springs AR$3.78
48Fort Lauderdale FL$3.78
49Hutchinson KS$3.79
50Pittsburg KS$3.79

The top 10 on the other side of the list

The most expensive places to get a cup of coffee in the country are Honolulu, Columbus and San Francisco.

Honolulu’s steep price of $8.39 a cup must be due to its remote location and large size. Home to many cultural sights and a booming economy, its name means “sheltered harbor,” which is appropriate given its low crime and role as the main gateway to the Hawaiian Islands and the United States.

To find out which other cities are the most expensive, check out our list below.

RankCity/County StateAverage Coffee Cost
1Honolulu HI$8.39
2Columbus OH$8.02
3San Francisco CA$6.85
4Oakland CA$6.84
5Juneau AK$5.91
6Terre Haute IN$5.89
7Charlottesville VA$5.89
8Glenwood Springs CO$5.79
9New York (Manhattan) NY$5.73
10Reno-Sparks NV$5.66

Methodology

Average prices for coffee come from the Council for Community and Economic Research‘s Q1 2019 Cost of Living report. The C2ER defines coffee as an 11 to 11.5 oz. can of Maxwell House, Hills Brothers or Folgers.

We ranked each city in the C2ER report in terms of affordability for coffee, with the cheapest being 1 and the most expensive as 256. The cities with the lowest average price were determined to be the most affordable.

The rent information included in this article is based on August 2019 multifamily rental property inventory on ApartmentGuide.com and Rent.com and is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.

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Christa FletcherChrista Fletcher is a professional writer living in Orange County, CA., who specializes in lifestyle, travel and technology content. She has worked for start-ups and large corporations, managing and creating digital content for consumers. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications including Marie Claire, Women eNews, Grow Wire and Fox Business. Fletcher is a graduate of New York University.

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