Why Some Aussies Will Spend $500 On One Kilo Of Coffee
Australian coffee drinkers are fussy people.
With the plethora of coffee beans, styles, flavours and milk available, Australians have an increasing appetite for the latest coffee trend, and they're not afraid to pay for it.
"Over the last 15 years the bar of what consumers will assume as acceptable coffee is creeping higher and higher," Founder and CEO of Campos Coffee Will Young told 10 daily.
And with that 'higher and higher' expectation comes a growing price that many Australians will easily justify. Young said a trend he's observed is the growing demand for ultra-high-end premium coffee that tastes amazing but is also incredibly expensive.
For International Coffee Day, which fell on Tuesday, Campos is selling one of the highest quality 'Geisha' coffees in the world -- the 'Special Release Super Mario San Jose'. The coffee retails at a whopping AUD$524 per kilo and is being sold in 18-gram pouches for $18.
Despite the eye-watering price tag, Young said many Australians will shell out the cash and purchase expensive coffee for a special occasion. Young also said Australians will pay more for coffee, not just because of the taste, but for the experience of enjoying a coffee with others.
"I think it started with the Italian and the Greek migrants in Australia and their community aspect where they go to the cafe before work or school," Young said.
"...[it's the] act of going out in the community first thing in the morning and rubbing shoulders with other people and I think Australians don't realise that's actually part of it for them. It's not just for the caffeine but because you enjoy the taste, saying hello to the barista. It's really become the new pub, the cafe is where people find their community."
This is reflected in the growing number of Australia's independent cafes. In the past 10 years, more than 10,000 independent cafes have opened around Australia, taking the number from roughly 14,000 to 24,000.
Coffees that consumers order have also changed in the past 10 years. Recent statistics collated by McDonald's reveal that the latte rose in popularity by 21 percent in McCafes around the country, while the flat white hit its peak in 2012 and has since stagnated.
Overall, 43 percent of coffees purchased in McCafes were cappuccinos, while lattes accounted for 27 percent and flat whites 19. Coffee orders also depended on which state the coffee-drinker lives.
Forty-eight percent of Tasmanians and 47 percent of New South Welshmen typically opt for a cappuccino, while Victorians prefer a latte (38 percent). Western Australians generally score as flat white drinkers.
The iced latte has also enjoyed a slow rise in popularity from one percent of orders to three percent in the past 10 years.
Coffee is more than a drink for most Australians, with consumers carefully curating their blend, milk, temperature and flavour. Will Young said the beverage is so ingrained in Aussie culture that some opt to make coffee their career -- just like he did.
READ MORE: Australia, A Coffee Crisis Is On The Horizon
"Australia has a lot of love for coffee and there are a lot of good baristas out there, not because they have to be but because they want to be," Young said.
"It's amazing how much it's grown in the last 15 years and a large amount of that is just people living their own cafe experience, they grew up in cafes and they love cafes, they want to go and live in the cafe lifestyle, get a job in it and work in it."
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