Americans are drinking less coffee, but spending more money on it

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COLUMBIA - People are drinking less coffee, but spending more money it. A new Reuters study said Americans use more coffee pods to make a single serving of coffee than ever before.

The National Coffee Association (NCA) said the number of Americans with a single-serve coffee machine increased in 2015 to 25%. The number was 15% in 2014.

Joe Grotha is not one of those Americans.

Grotha said he feels the convenience of making a single cup of coffee is not worth the price of the machine and pods.

"If I had a Keurig I'd be drinking less coffee, but spending more money," Grotha said.

Grotha said he purchases a bag of coffee beans about once every three weeks for $8.

"That pot will last me two days sometimes," Grotha said.

The study said Americans spent $11.9 billion on coffee last year. The study said the number spent on coffee is expected to rise to $13.6 billion in 2016.

Daniel Neff said the convenience of making a single cup of coffee, as opposed to brewing an entire pot, is worth the extra money.

"It's a little expensive," Neff said. "But it's worth it because of the expediated coffee."

Neff said he buys a box of coffee pods in bulk for about $35 each month. He said he typically drinks two cups of coffee per day, but that his Keurig is still more convenient than making a pot of coffee to drink throughout the day.

The NCA said on average, it costs less than a dime for each cup of coffee brewed at home on a coffee pot.

The study said coffee consumed in the U.S. is expected to drop to 23.7 million bags within the next year, which is less than the amount sold this fiscal year.

Shortwave Coffee owner Dale Bassham said he still consistently sells bags of coffee. Bassham said Americans enjoy machines like the Keurig for the convenience, not for the taste. He said the decrease in coffee consumed nationally could affect the sales of the coffee beans in his store.

"We're buying it based on quality, not quantity," Bassham said. "The commodity market will effect that somewhat."

Bassham said he has been in the coffee industry for more than a decade and drinks multiple cups of coffee and shots of espresso throughout the day. He said he doesn't use a single-serve coffee machine because he doesn't want to waste his money on a bad experience.

Bassham said he doesn't see a major impact on his business with the national decrease of consumed coffee. He said he sees the benefit of making a single-serving of coffee at home.

"Maybe we're wasting less instead of brewing it and throwing it down the drain," Bassham said. "And that's probably not a bad place to be."

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