How has coffee in Australia changed over the past 40 years?
In 2024 la Casa del Caffe will turn 40! Forty years in the Australian coffee industry is a huge milestone, and wonderful journey where we have experienced some incredible changes, not only in the availability and quality of coffee, but in the entire coffee vibe in Australia!
Coffee roasting has undergone significant changes in Australia over the past 40 years. In the 1980s, coffee culture in Australia was still in its infancy, and coffee was primarily consumed in instant form. However, the 1990s saw the emergence of a specialty coffee culture, and coffee roasting began to evolve accordingly.
One of the key changes in coffee roasting over the last 40 years has been the emphasis on quality and consistency. The popularity of specialty coffee has led to changes in the way coffee is roasted and served. Many roasters now roast to highlight the unique flavours and aromas of the coffee beans. This has also led to the addition of manual brewing methods, such as pour-over and Aeropress, which allow the nuances of the coffee to shine through.
Roasters have invested in better equipment, such as computer-controlled roasters, to ensure a more precise and consistent roast. This has allowed roasters to develop unique blends and flavours and given consumers a wide range of choice. In addition, the coffee equipment for cafes such as the espresso machine and grinder technology has progressed significantly over the last 20 years.
Another significant change in coffee roasting in Australia has been the increased focus on sustainability and ethical sourcing. Many roasters now source single estate and microlot coffees, either through importers or directly from farmers, ensuring fair prices and sustainable farming practices.
There has been a significant rise in the number of cafes in Australia over the past 40 years, and cafes are now an important part of the country's social culture. Many cafes now serve high-quality coffee, and alternative coffee brewing techniques such as pour-over and cold brew have become popular. As a result, the Australian consumer has become more aware of the quality of the coffee they drink, and many now prefer to drink coffee made from high-quality beans that have been ethically sourced and roasted by specialty roasters. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2019-20, Australians consumed around 1.4 billion cups of coffee, up from 600 million cups in 1990. This shows a significant increase in coffee consumption over the last few decades.
The coffee market in Australia has become increasingly competitive, with some exceptional local players. This has driven a focus on innovation, quality, and customer experience in the industry.
Overall, the past 40 years have seen significant changes in coffee consumption in Australia, driven by changing consumer preferences, a growing cafe culture, and a focus on quality and innovation.