Judging by the rate at which Australian’s guzzle their coffee, you’d be forgiven for thinking that we’re among the top coffee drinkers in the world. Sydney’s beaches, Melbourne’s alleyways, and Byron’s sidewalks are all littered with cafes dealing their local addicts their daily dose of caffeine.
However in a surprising twist, researchers from World Atlas have found that Australians actually rank 42nd in the world when it comes to coffee consumed per capita. According to the research, Aussies only down an average of 0.8 cups of brown goodness each day, with coffee guzzling champions, Finland, powering through and average of 2.64 cups per day.
It’s suggested that perhaps our poor ranking comes down to exactly how we drink our coffee. We’re a population of latte devotees and cappuccino aficionados, rather than the espresso taking drinkers of Europe. And despite our poor world ranking, there’s no denying that our ‘coffee culture’ is real, and it has come to define who we are as a population.
Lachlan Ward, General Manager of Sensory Lab in Melbourne backs this theory, knowing how integral coffee is to our national identity.
And if you’re being truly honest, you’d also admit that you’d be lost without your local barista. Baristas see us at our very worst and most vulnerable, dealing with most of us first thing in the morning, and ultimately delivering us the energy we need to tackle the day… all in a convenient 12oz cup.
The world renowned barista answered Men’s Health’s call to break down the Australian coffee culture. As a competitor at the 2013 World Barista Championships, Ward knows coffee, and what it means to his customers, and Australia in general. In his own words, Ward breaks down what each coffee means to an industry expert.
- The cappuccino is a good entry point for anyone looking to ease themselves into coffee. You can enjoy the dusted chocolate froth with a spoon before the coffee flavour hits you. If you're a cappuccino drinker, you have a bit of an indulgent taste so it's likely that you appreciate the finer things in life and might also be inclined to an Espresso Martini on the weekend.
- The flat white is the most popular coffee order in Australia and the balance between the flavour of the coffee and comfort factor of the milk is perfect to start any day. If you order a flat white, you're probably a traditionalist/purist who likes routine and it's no different when it comes to your coffee - it needs to be perfect. I wouldn't want to mess with your coffee order!
- Despite the flack instant coffee has received in the past, it's actually a very quick and easy way to make quality barista style coffee at home. The NESCAFÉ Gold range is my favourite as it has 5 different variants which span the strength spectrum from mild to strong. Those who like to dabble in instant coffee, are intelligent (and often penny saving) people.
- In Australia, a latte is a bit milkier and more diluted than a flat white as the glass tends to be bigger. Just like a cappuccino, a latte is a very approachable drink. If a latte is your go-to, you're likely to be a creature of habit. You're well-rounded, easy-going and just generally a nice person. You are the person loved by all your parent's friends.
- A long black is around 180mLs of water with an espresso (or double espresso) shot poured on top of the water - it's generally a lot hotter than a coffee with milk in it. Long black drinkers tend to be serious and aren't there to mess about. They're hard working, opinionated and always on the go which is probably why they like to sit on a long black all day.
- A piccolo latte is a ristretto shot (15 – 20 ml) topped with a small amount of warm, silky milk. I think it's perfect first thing in the morning. The typical piccolo drinker is health conscious and like all things in small quantities. They can multi-task like nobody else and are total pocket rockets.
- If you're a filter coffee drinker, then you are someone who looks for perfection in the little things, and a nut for small details. You're often seen contemplating the events of the day with your favourite mug in your hand.
- There are over 3000 varieties of tea in the world and also so many ways of preparing tea - just like coffee there's quite an art to it! Tea drinkers tend to usually make a point of letting you know that they are tea drinkers and also tend to be more creative than the normal coffee drinker.