Melburnians might think they live in Australia’s coffee capital, but they are wrong.
A Lavazza Australia survey reveals that Sydneysiders are buying more of the brew in cafes – 4.41 cups a week on average, compared with 3.91 cups in Melbourne.
The study, released on the eve of International Coffee Day, was conducted by research company Indeana, interviewing 1573 people across the country in July.
It shows how, where and when we are drinking our cup of joe – and what we are spending on it.
Lavazza Australia espresso specialist John Kozsik said Australians’ coffee consumption was becoming more sophisticated.
“The quality of the baristas are improving, the quality of the cafe is growing. So what was an average cafe years ago is simply not tolerated these days. The average has gone up a lot,” Mr Kozsik said.
“People expect a lot these days walking into a Melbourne cafe.”
He said, having a coffee was becoming a lifestyle choice.
“Years ago people used to go to the pub and have a meeting, where these days people tend to gather at cafes, they come together around coffee,” Mr Kozsik said.
“Coffee is not going away, the coffee culture is starting to grow and influence … it’s making a bit more noise than it did in years gone by.”
He said people still preferred milk-based coffees in Australia.
The survey showed the most popular way of drinking the java across NSW and Victoria was still a cappuccino, followed by flat white and latte, usually had with full-cream milk. In Melbourne, only 12 per cent drank a short black, the coffee most preferred in Europe.
Young people were not just forking out money on smashed avos, with 23 per cent of Melburnians aged 18 to 24 splurging on coffee, compared with 16 per cent of those aged 60 years and over.
The youngsters were also spending the most – $7.47 per cup on average. But the largest consumers in Sydney and Melbourne – 27 per cent – were in the 30-39 age group.
Coffee might be the new class divider too with only 14 per cent of those earning less than $40,000 in Melbourne spending their cash on the cuppa.
In Melbourne, 27 per cent of those earning $80,000 to $120,000 were the top coffee consumers. But in Sydney, where the dollar obviously doesn’t go as far, it was the high-income earners with $120,000 and more in the pocket who were the bigger coffee drinkers.
Flinders Lane cafe Saluministi manager Christian Grieco, said Melburnians liked to drink a good coffee.
But, Mr Grieco, who moved from Italy, said coffee in Victoria’s capital was a complicated affair.
“There is a lot of different blends and type of coffees in Melbourne,” he said.
“Like a cappuccino, flat white, macchiato, caffe latte. Then all the modifications: skinny, full [milk], while in Italy … it’s just short black.”
Mr Grieco said they catered to about 300 people a day during the week, starting off with the tradies in the early morning, followed by office-goers about 9am and then those looking for a post-lunch hit.
Andrew Wegman, who was taking a post-lunch break in the city, said he first stated drinking coffee at 14. His mother, Judy Browning, said she had grown up seeing her parents drink instant variety, but her tastes had changed over time.
Mr Wegman, 26, said he bought two cups a day, seven days a week, spending up to $60 on his soy flat white.
So would he ever drink instant coffee?
“Maybe, if my life depended on it,” Mr Wegman said.