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The 5 Most Famous Coffee Chains in the U.S.

Scouting local coffee shops is necessary if you're a coffee lover or a daily coffee drinker. Here are five of the most famous coffee chains you can easily find in the U.S.!

Famous Coffee Chains in the United States

Knowing which coffee chain has your favorite drink is important. Some large coffee chains have hundreds or even thousands of shops across the country. Knowing where they are guarantees you always get a delicious cup of coffee no matter where you are. Here are five coffee chains that may be of interest to you.



Starbucks is the largest coffee chain in the world. It is headquartered in Seattle, Washington, with almost 15,000 locations in just the United States alone! California is the state with the largest number of Starbucks locations at 2,963. These locations account for about 19% of all the Starbucks in the U.S.

The first Starbucks store opened in 1971 in Seattle. It was founded by Jerry Baldwin, Gordon Bowker, and Zev Siegl out of their shared love for coffee and tea. Starbucks was named after “Starbuck,” the first mate in Herman Melville's novel “Moby Dick."

There are many different drinks available at Starbucks. Their most iconic drinks are their seasonal flavors and the Frappuccinos. For example, their most popular is their fall drinks, such as the Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Peet's Coffee & Tea


Peet’s Coffee was founded in 1966 by Alfred Peet and opened its first shop in Berkley, California. Peet was a Dutch immigrant and coffee roasting entrepreneur. He started importing Arabica coffee into the U.S. during the 1950s. As a result, Peet’s Coffee specializes in importing first-rate coffees and teas. When they first opened, they used a roasting system that they manually calibrated. This manual calibration allowed Peet to create a darker and sweeter coffee roast.

Today, Peet’s Coffee not only have brick and mortar store locations but is available in other places. This includes grocery stores, universities, and wholesalers across the United States. They can also be found as coffee bar locations in cities like Chicago, Boston, and Washington D.C.

As of 2021, Peet’s Coffee & Tea has over 300 locations in the United States alone. Just like Starbucks, California is home to most of Peet’s Coffee locations. In detail, there are 235 locations in California, which is about 69% of all their stores!

Caribou Coffee


Caribou Coffee was founded in 1992 in Edina, Minnesota, by John Pucket and his wife, Kim. They started the coffee company after visiting the Denali National Park in Alaska and were inspired by the wildlife of North America.

Currently, Caribou Coffee has 450 locations across the United States. The majority of its establishments are in Minnesota, which has 294 locations. The state accounts for 65% of all the locations in America. In fact, the city of Minneapolis has 79 shops by itself.

Caribou Coffee offers a variety of drinks that range from coffees to teas. They are best known for being the first major coffee chain in the United States to serve 100% Rainforest Alliance Certified™ coffee. Their products are sold in grocery stores, mass retailers, club stores, hotels, entertainment venues, etc.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf


The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf opened its first store in 1968 in Los Angeles, California. Herbert Hyman founded it after he discovered quality coffee in Sweden with his wife. The Coffee Bean focused on selling whole beans and allowed customers to watch the beans get roasted. Customers were also allowed to sample different varieties of coffee beans before purchasing.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf are known for their customizable drinks and menu. They offer their customers a variety of different flavors and add-ins. However, their most iconic drinks are the Ice Blended. These are frozen drinks that can be either coffee and tea-based.

The Ice Blended was first invented in 1987 after an employee brought a blender to the store. In it, they mixed ice, coffee extract, and chocolate powder.

Today, there are 176 locations of The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in the United States. California has 74% of the locations, at 131. Thus, you can find the majority of these coffee shops in Los Angeles.

Dunkin’ Donuts


Dunkin’ Donuts is a multinational coffee and doughnut shop, unlike the other companies. It first started as a restaurant in Quincy, Massachusetts, in 1948. It was founded by William Rosenberg and was initially called “Open Kettle.” It was later renamed “Dunkin’ Donuts” in 1950.

It wasn’t until 1955 where the first Dunkin’ Donuts franchise opened. The idea of Dunkin' Donuts came from William Rosenberg's experience with selling food. The two most popular items during this time were coffee and donuts.

Today Dunkin’ Donuts has a diverse menu that ranges from classic coffee and tea to seasonal drinks to their Coolatta® frozen drinks. They also serve Rainforest Alliance Certified™ coffee and cold brew. Not to mention, their Munchkins® donut holes had been an iconic treat since its introduction in 1972.

Currently, Dunkin’ Donuts has 9,320 locations in the United States across 45 states and 2,886 cities. The state that holds the most locations is New York, with 1,435 stores. This state has 15% of all the Dunkin’ Donuts locations in the U.S.

With all these big coffee chains around the United States, you can enjoy coffee anywhere you go. Have you tried all these coffee shops yet? If so, which is your favorite store and menu?

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