So wait, are Americans drinking more coffee or aren’t we?

It wasn’t but two months ago that the National Coffee Association released their annual National Data Trends report, finding that coffee consumption in America was as popular as it has been in two decades, bolstered mostly by a growing specialty sector that saw a 20-point increase over the same time last year. Which all sounds pretty good and feels like it aligns pretty one-for-one with coffee’s seeming popularity.

But then the Guardian dropped a bomb yesterday that, actually, coffee drinking in America is only half of what it was in the 1940s. Time may be a flat circle, but it appears that the diameter matters.

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Based on findings from the US Department of Agriculture, coffee consumption peaked in 1946, with Americans drinking an average of 46.2 gallons per year (a weird way to measure coffee consumption, I know, but still better than the amorphous “cup” found in many modern scientific reports); in 2005, that number had dipped to 24.2 gallons.

The Guardian places the blame on two major factors: the rise of soft drinks and Americans working fewer hours. In the ‘50s, around the start of coffee’s decline, soft drinks began to skyrocket in popularity. The alternative caffeine source, and one that is served cold at that, is believed to have cut into coffee’s overall market share. The second factor is perhaps a bit more specious. Citing a study showing a decrease in average hours clocked annually, from 1,989 in 1950 to 1,757 in 2017, the Guardian suggests that folks need less coffee-as-caffeine to perform their work duties. Now, that decreases constitutes less than an hour extra work a day, which maybe doesn’t quite move the needle.

While seemingly contradictory, these two reports paint a larger picture of coffee consumption in America. The Guardian’s data stops around 2015, right around the same time that the NCA’s picks up. And based on the NCA’s numbers, modern coffee consumption isn’t all that far off from the 1946 peak. They state that 517 million cups of coffee are consumed every day in America. Taking even a conservative estimate of a cup as just eight ounces, Americans are back up to 35.38 gallons per person annually.

Both can be true, but in a very yes-with-an-if-no-with-a-but sort of way. Is coffee consumption in America only half of what it was in the 1940s? Yes, if you stop keeping score around the time it started rebounding. Is coffee more popular than ever in America? No, but it’s getting there.

Zac Cadwalader is the managing editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.