Bad news, Brisbane. You’re paying too much for your coffee.
Or you’re paying more than the southern states, at least. That’s the finding in data released by Skip, an online food-and-beverage-ordering app. Skip crunched the numbers stemming from more than 200,000 coffee orders to find out how people in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales prefer their coffee. And for you lot, the news isn’t good.
Queenslanders pay significantly more for their coffee, handing out $3.81 for a small cup compared with $3.56 in NSW and $3.65 in Victoria. The discrepancy is even more telling when stepping up to the state’s preferred "medium" size: Sydney residents are paying on average $3.90 for a mid-range cup and Melbourne $4.10, compared to a whopping $4.44 in Brisbane.
Westlake has extensive experience working with cafes across Australia — as well as partnering in his own, Project 41 in Bowen Hills. He says Brisbane pays the price on both the supply and demand sides of the equation. “You’ll get better volumes going through those southern cafes, kilos per week, which gives them better buying power,” he says. “But it’s also a competition thing as well. In the Sydney and Melbourne CBDs and inner suburbs, there are enough people there to support a large degree of competition, whereas Brisbane is naturally a very spread-out city with a low populace per square kilometre.”
Queensland cafes are also limited in their buying options. “They can buy from the southern roasters, which adds to operating costs,” he says. “Otherwise, it’s the smaller local roasters who need to charge more per kilo, affecting the price for the customer.”
There were other insights contained within the report, which surveyed over 400 cafes in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney that have signed on with Skip since its launch in 2014. Brisbane and Sydney prefer the flat white, as opposed to Melbourne’s latte-obsessed coffee connoisseurs. Also, Brisbane tends to enjoy its coffee in larger sizes compared to the southern states.
But if you think all those gigantic flat whites make us a bunch of classless slobs, think again. Queensland is the purist’s friend with its preference for full-cream milk. And unlike the southern states it tends to take its coffee without sugar – 64 per cent elect to forego sweetener, as opposed to 46 per cent in Sydney and Melbourne. “Full cream and no sugar is the better way to drink your coffee, when it comes to flavour notes,” Westlake says. “A purist, if they’re not drinking espresso or filter coffee, they’ll have full-cream milk and no sugar.”