A State-by-State Look at the Price & Popularity of Tea in the United States

Toast, a cloud-based restaurant management software company, recently released its Quarterly Restaurant Trends Report. In it, the company shared data on price and preference for tea versus coffee across the United States.

Tea Prices in the United States

The study first looked at how much Americans pay per cup for their favorite beverages. Toast analyzed transactions at restaurants on the Toast platform from January 1, 2024, to March 31, 2024, to determine the price of drinks labeled “regular coffee,” “cold brew coffee,” “latte,” and “tea.” Drinks in the “tea” category include specialty, iced, black, herbal, and green tea. Milk tea is not included in this analysis.

On average, Toast found that consumers paid $3.74 for tea and $3.08 for a cup of regular coffee in Q1 2024. When compared to other types of coffee, tea falls on the lower-priced end of the spectrum, with  for cold brew clocking in at $5.14 and lattes at $5.46 on average.

The most expensive cups of tea are found in Hawaii ($4.92), California ($4.72), and Washington ($4.24). The cheapest cups are found in the central part of the country: Nebraska ($3.00), Kansas ($3.27), and South Dakota ($3.31).

tea prices in the United States
(Graph courtesy of Toast)

The price of a cup of tea per state, ranked highest to lowest price:

  • Hawaii, $4.92
  • California, $4.72
  • Washington, $4.24
  • Florida, $4.17
  • Utah, $4.16
  • Colorado, $4.14
  • Nevada, $4.08
  • Arizona, $4.02
  • Maryland, $3.99
  • Texas, $3.99
  • Alaska, $3.94
  • Delaware, $3.91
  • Massachusetts, $3.91
  • Louisiana, $3.90
  • Connecticut, $3.89
  • North Dakota, $3.86
  • New Jersey, $3.86
  • Oregon, $3.86
  • South Carolina, $3.85
  • Illinois, $3.79
  • Minnesota, $3.78
  • Maine, $3.75
  • New York, $3.73
  • Rhode Island, $3.72
  • Virginia, $3.71
  • Idaho, $3.67
  • Michigan, $3.67
  • Tennessee, $3.67
  • Alabama, $3.64
  • Mississippi, $3.62
  • Wyoming, $3.62
  • North Carolina, $3.61
  • Georgia, $3.59
  • Vermont, $3.58
  • Arkansas, $3.54
  • Ohio, $3.54
  • New Hampshire, $3.52
  • New Mexico, $3.49
  • Oklahoma, $3.49
  • Kentucky, $3.48
  • West Virginia, $3.47
  • Missouri, $3.45
  • Montana, $3.45
  • Pennsylvania, $3.41
  • Indiana, $3.40
  • Iowa, $3.38
  • Wisconsin, $3.38
  • South Dakota, $3.31
  • Kansas, $3.27
  • Nebraska, $3.00


Tea Popularity in the United States

To measure the popularity of tea in each state of the United States, Toast analyzed transactions on the Toast platform from April 28, 2023, to March 31, 2024 to determine the popularity of drinks labeled “regular coffee,” “cold brew coffee,” “iced coffee,” “latte,” “espresso,” “cappuccino,” “mocha,” “Americano,” “milk tea” and “tea.” Drinks in the “tea” category include specialty, iced, black, herbal, and green tea. Analysis dates were increased beyond Q1 to remove seasonality ordering preferences.

The results show a divide between the Northeast, which mostly favors regular coffee, and much of the South and Southwest, which prefers tea.

Overall, tea is the beverage of choice in states across the country, with tea the most popular drink in 31 states. Interestingly, when milk tea appeared in the top five, it never rose higher than the fourth preferred drink, consistently ranking fourth or fifth.


popularity of tea in the United States
(Graph courtesy of Toast)


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