If you've watched Gilmore Girls, you probably know that they love coffee. From Lorelai’s desperate pleas for coffee-coffee-coffee to Rory’s trips to the Yale coffee cart to the duo’s iconic moments spent at Luke’s diner, java was a supporting character of the show’s seven seasons. Coffee is also a necessity for most Americans (62%, according to Zippa), and the U.S. coffee industry had an annual revenue of $95.58 billion as of 2023. Let’s put this in perspective: if Gilmore Girls was set in 2024, realistically, how much of that revenue comes from the Gilmore girls, and how much coffee did they really drink?

How much coffee did the Gilmore girls really drink?

Young adult literature site Forever Young Adult did the math and re-watched the original series while recording Lorelai and Rory’s caffeine intake along the way – this included all the cups of coffee made at home, sipped at Luke’s Diner, after drinks and Friday night dinners at Richard and Emily’s, plus the cups poured at Rory’s Ivy League college. All in all, the grand total of coffee consumption was 503 cups throughout the series.

In the context of 153 episodes, though, this number doesn’t seem like much. That’s only three cups per episode, which means 1.5 servings of joe between Lorelai and Rory. It’s also fair to note that it doesn’t include the cups we didn’t see them drink: mornings in the kitchen before commuting to Chilton, Rory’s cups while she was away at Yale, slow afternoons at the Dragonfly Inn, and the odd cups during movie marathons or between classes. In the Gilmore Girls pilot alone, Lorelai drinks 11 cups of coffee over a period of two days. Plus, in the season three episode “Richard Comes to Stars Hollow,” Lorelai tells Richard she’s already had three cups of coffee in the morning – and that was pre-Luke’s breakfast coffee, which we do watch her drink on-camera. So really, over seven years, that 503 number would be way higher.

The first season was the most caffeinated with 80 cups over 21 episodes, which makes sense — new schools, new boyfriends, engagements, and rekindled family ties necessitate caffeine consumption — but that’s still only an average of four cups per episode. But when you crunch the numbers, it’s safe to say that Lorelai and Rory could’ve had some serious cash to spend not just on coffee, but on The Bangles concert tickets and Chinese food from Al’s Pancake World.

How much money did the Gilmore girls actually spend on coffee?

In season three, "Lorelai Out of Water", Lorelai spends 75 cents a cup on coffee. Adjusted for inflation, that would be $1.29 today — not bad at all, given that a Grande Starbucks black drip coffee is $2.75, and Connecticut diners seem to average around $3 per cup, with the state average coming in at $2.81 per cup in 2023. Based on the price of a medium cup of coffee at Starbucks today, the Gilmore girls would have spent $1,383.25 on coffee over the course of seven seasons.

While that may seem like a hefty price to spend on subpar diner coffee (sorry Luke) over seven years, it’s less than what the average American spends on coffee in 12 months. According to Zippia.com, American women spent an average of $2,327 per year on coffee in 2023, and American men spent around $1,934.

If we’re really breaking things down, though, it seems as though the Gilmore girls averaged one cup of coffee at home and one cup of coffee at Luke’s during each episode. If a home-brew is, on average, fifty cents, we’ll say that’s $125.50 spent on 251 homemade coffees during the show, and $690.25 on coffee from Luke’s. This comes out to only $815.75 spent on coffee throughout the entirety of Gilmore Girls — shockingly cheap considering coffee is, you know, their thing.

All in all, though, the cost and consumption of diner coffee begs the question: did Luke give out free refills?