One of the most upvoted posts on Reddit from the food and drink communities in 2021, was this insane order of Starbucks Frappucinos:
This got me thinking, if we drink one to two coffees a day, that would be well over 60 coffees a year, which means we must be spending literally hundreds of dollars on our coffee intake alone.
I did the math.
I usually only have one coffee a day—I’m a morning coffee gal—but occasionally, if I’m feeling extra tired, I’ll have an arvo coffee too.
So, let’s say 365 coffees for one per day, with an extra 60 to cover those days when I have two. I order a soy latte or a batch brew, which are almost always $5. I know, you can already tell that I rack up a huge bill, but just wait for it….
I spend $2,125 on coffees every year, on average.
That’s wild. That’s more than two months’ worth of rent.
It’s a surprising number TBH. I’ve always known that coffee is an expense, but I guess when you’re only outputting $5 a pop, it feels like less than it really is overall.
But even with these numbers, I don’t regret any of it. I really love a good coffee and because I’m well-acquainted with the taste of good coffee, I’m not sure that there’s any other way.
When I went to get my coffee this morning, I had a chat to my barista, Josh, about it.
“Why do you think people are willing to pay serious coin for good coffee?” I asked him.
“It’s not just about the coffee,” he said, “it’s the whole experience.”
And he’s right. I don’t just walk across the road, to my favourite cute cafe (it’s called Sibling, check it out here) for the coffee alone — although they do make literally every coffee under the sun and they’re all amazing. I also go there for the banter, the good music, the other friendly regulars with their cute dogs… it’s a really nice way to start my day.
“People like to get out of their daily routine, break up the work day with a walk to the cafe and a chat with someone that isn’t a family member or colleague,” Josh continues.
“I mean, it also doesn’t hurt that our coffee scene in Melbourne is really competitive and quite impressive in quality compared to other places around the world.
“People in Melbourne know good coffee, because they’ve tasted it. It’s hard to drink a shitty coffee if you know what a good one tastes like.”
It’s like wine. We drank goon when we were teenagers because we didn’t know any better. But now that we’ve all had at least one Pet-Nat or some fancy wine from the south of France, there’s no way you could get be back on the goonies.
As I sit here, sipping on my perfectly not-too-hot-but-just-hot-enough soy latte, I feel immense pleasure and joy. The coffee is doing it’s job, it’s waking me up and preparing me for the day, but it also tastes delicious and I am savouring every sip.
In Australia, coffee is really quite ritualistic. We drink coffee the same way that we go out to dinner; we really like to savour the moment. Unlike Italy, where you literally have to pay extra to sit down and drink your coffee, in Australia we plan dates, hangouts with friends, meetings and even alone time with a book around coffee. We could sit on a coffee for a good half an hour, and maybe order another if we’re there for longer.
Australian coffee culture has really evolved on its own, over time. It was first brought to Australia by European migrants, from the 1930s through to the ’60s. They brought cafe culture to Australian cities and introduced the ritual of going out for your coffee rather than drinking it at home.
But over the decades, with the evolution of technology and increased interest in the art of coffee-making, it seems as though a new boutique cafe pops up every week, each with a more impressive coffee than the one before. It’s a true gift.
I personally love to see that beans from Colombia, Ethiopia, Brazil and Vietnam are celebrated in cafes spanning across Australia. All with different flavour profiles to offer, you get to change up your coffee to suit your mood.
Overall, the important takeaway is that coffee is an art that has been developing for decades in Australia. To think of where we’ve come, from stovetop coffee (which still has its place some days) to espressos and foamy cappuccinos in the ’50s, to the almond milk lattes and batch brews of today—it’s worth the price we pay.
I agree that sometimes, coffees can feel overpriced. But anything under $5 has become pretty normal in Melbourne and I think that we owe it to the coffee culture because damn, where would we be without it?
The cold weather in most parts of Australia coinciding with EOFY celebrations is the closest thing that we’ll get to snowy Christmas vibes. And if you’re in dire need of some festive cheer after the first six months of 2023, grab your ugly sweater and head to your nearest Red Rooster for Xmas in July deals.
From June 29 – July 31, 2023, Red Rooster is serving up free food items, a chance to win $10,000 or one of 10 merch packs valued at $400 and other fun prizes. All you have to do is sign up as a Red Royalty member and spend $5 on at a location near you or online.
Each week there’ll be new delicious deals and prizes to win. The week one deals have already dropped and they’re looking pretty tasty. You can get access to them via your Red Royalty account. The more you purchase, the more chances you have to win.
Spoiler alert: you can get 10 chicken nuggets for free, right now. Brb running to Red Rooster.