The Australian Coffee Revolution
Author: Rob Date Posted:12 June 2012
Until just a little over a quarter of a century ago, Australia was largely a nation of tea drinkers. When someone said, “Let’s have a cuppa,” the assumption was that they meant tea.
While tea is still a popular beverage in Australia, “cuppa” is now almost short for “cappuccino.” What brought about this revolutionary change in our drinking habits?
Our European forefathers brought their habits with them when they migrated to Australia in the early 19th century. The majority of early immigrants came from England, where tea was still the beverage of choice. Italian migrants were the real coffee lovers back then, but it was difficult for them to get the fine coffee they were used to and the coffee they could get their hands on was very expensive. The espresso machine had not yet been invented, either, so they had no means of getting the most out of the limited amount of coffee they were able to enjoy.
By the early 20th century, Lavazza had already established its reputation as Italy’s best coffee and espresso machines were being installed in cafés throughout Italy. Café culture rapidly spread north from Italy, but was slower to catch on in Australia. Then, in the 1970s, things began to change. Thanks to the advent of container shipping, the “Land Down Under” was finally able to get all the imported goods we previously had to pay a premium for at affordable prices. By then, coffee and tea consumption in Australia were already almost on a par. It just took lower shipping costs to turn the tables.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics and other sources, the 1980s and 90s marked the beginning of coffee’s dominance over tea. In the 1970s, Australians drank 1.2 kg of coffee per capita per year and virtually the same amount of tea. By 2001, we drank 2.4kg of coffee per person, while tea consumption had fallen to less than a kilogram per capita.
The past decade has shown even greater growth in the popularity of coffee and another change in Australian coffee drinking habits. While instant coffee remains the biggest seller from supermarket shelves, coffees made from espresso machines account for increasing numbers of café and restaurant sales. Although exact numbers are not available, industry experts say that coffee consumption in restaurants and cafés has increased 65% in the past decade and that cappuccinos account for the majority of those sales.
Not content with instant or drip coffee at home, we have been willing to pay $3.00 or more for espresso or cappuccino in restaurants and cafés. This is an expensive habit, though. Sales of home espresso machinesand coffee machines have been increasing, but not at the same rate as our coffee drinking. This is probably because until recently, quality espresso machines were very expensive and it was hard for the average person to get consistently good results with a manual or even automatic coffee machine.
Thanks to the Bluepod Coffee Company, another revolution in Australia’s coffee habits is taking place. This company offers a free Lavazza espresso machine or coffee machine on loan to its customers who regularly purchase Lavazza coffee pods from them. Using the exclusive Lavazza coffee pod system, it is now possible to make a perfect espresso or cappuccino at home for as little as 60 cents per cup. If the explosion of interest in Bluepod’s offer is anything to go by, Lavazza pod coffee is going to really give instant coffee a run for its money in the very near future.
According to the Australian Coffee Traders Association, Rainforest Alliance coffee consumption is on the rise in Australia, thanks to increased public awareness of the need for sustainable coffee growing techniques and better working conditions on coffee plantations. The Bluepod Coffee Company is proud to be part of this mini-revolution in Australian coffee consumption. Why not make Tierra! Rainforest Alliance certified coffee pods a part of your first order from Bluepod? Viva la Revolution!