Cultural Dimensions and Coffee Consumption


Responding to a Treehugger article, Why Americans will never love tea as much as coffee, I initially wrote my personal preferences for tea and coffee, ending with, BTW, this has just given me an idea for comparing Hofstede's cultural dimensions and coffee and tea consumption. Afterward, I did some analysis in Excel, then ran the same processes in R using Visual Studio, then converted that to a Jupyter Notebook on Microsoft's Azure Notebooks.

Although this analysis is limited to 45 countries that have Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions, as well as per capita consumption for both coffee and tea, it would seem that coffee consumption correlates with power distance, individuality, and masculinity. Tea had small correlations with the dimensions and sometimes in the same direction as coffee. A fuller analysis is available on Microsoft's Azure Notebook, but some quick findings:
  • Higher power distance, lower coffee consumption: -.63
  • Higher individuality, higher coffee consumption: .61
  • Higher masculinity, lower coffee consumption: -.41
Limiting one's analysis to 21 highly-developed OECD countries, excluding Japan and Korea to reduce some effects of culture and economics, only the masculinity dimension retains its high inverse correlation with coffee consumption. Exploring another dimension within this set, the degree of Protestantism has an equally strong positive correlation, and the two dimensions are also strongly inversely correlated.
  • Higher masculinity, lower coffee consumption: -.60, p-value=.003831
  • Higher Protestantism, higher coffee consumption: .61, p-value=.003642
  • Higher Protestantism, lower masculinity: -.60, p-value=.003895
In general, one might say that collectivist, hierarchical, gender-traditional countries drink less coffee, but that might have more to do with history than an actual relationship, in that the older empires are both more traditional, while later developed countries are both highly Protestant and stronger consumers of coffee, and this latter aspect having to do with trade. As for individuals, I don't know it means much, as a real analysis covering many people might yield some insights on personality, rather than culture.

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