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Barista Basics - Articles

The Decline of Tea and the Dethroning of the Flat White - Bean Scene Magazine, Issue 7, 2005

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Appearing in Bean Scene Magazine, Issue 7, 2004


The Decline of Tea and the

Dethroning of the Flat White






Take a sample size of 300,000 cups taken across four cafes over a year in a major Australian city, add the most up-to-date POS software and some keen eyes for analysis and you have one survey that truly reflects Australian coffee drinking today. The results will shock and surprise write David Gee and Matthew Gee.





The Setting


A small café in regional Australia, circa 1980




Granny 1: I’ll have my usual today – a nice hot cuppa!

Granny 2: Mmnn, yes- that sounds good but I’d really like one of those flat whites that people seem to be drinking nowadays. It’ll go nicely with my lamington.

fastforward to…




A small espresso bar in regional Australia, circa 2005




Granny 1: I’d really like one of those caffe lattes that people seem to be drinking nowadays.

Granny 2: Mmnn, yes with that nice creamy layer on the top and little design. It’ll go nicely with my friand. I’ll have skim milk though and I’d better have a decaf today. A shot of crème brulee would be a treat too!





Had we been settled by the Portuguese or the Dutch we might have ended up drinking a host of weird and wonderful beverages (most of them alcoholic) but as we were settled by the good old English, we had no choice but to develop into nation of tea drinkers. International travel and exposure to different cultures through magazines, movies, television and the internet has however opened up our culture to a variety of new hot drinks in the café - to the point where no longer is tea our drink of choice. This article is based on recent survey data taken from a massive sample size and reveals and interesting snapshot of exactly what it is that we are drinking in our cafés today.


No tea please, we’re Australian


We may drink tea at home, but we definitely don’t drink it when we go out. Of coffee and tea drinks taken together, tea accounted for only 2.5% of the total. This means that it would be fair to say that for every hundred people that come in to a typical Australian café, only about 2.5 order a cup of tea!

Café owners whom we have recently spoken to about these results suggest that this is because the perceived value of tea is much less than coffee, given that most people can make a decent cup at home for approximately fifteen cents.



Taking a look at the figures below, it is obvious that whilst the Aussie-invented flat white still ranks highly, no longer is it the most popular coffee.


As a percentage of coffees that were ordered:
29% were cappuccino
28% were flat white
20% were caffe latte
7% were caffe mocha
5.25% were hot chocolate
4% were long black
1% were espresso/sh


And the Coffee Bean Award for most popular coffee drink in Australia goes to…



Effective Barista Training, Tea and Coffee Asia, first quarter 2006
Coffee The Australian Way, Tea and Coffee Asia, fourth quarter 2005
In the End, It's All in the Blend, Bean Scene, Issue 10, 2005
Tools of the Trade, Bean Scene, Issue 10, 2005
The Starters Guide To Coffee, Bean Scene, Issue 9, 2005
Cutting Edge Espresso - Bean Scene Magazine, Issue 8, 2005
Postcards from Seattle - Bean Scene Magazine, Issue 8, 2005
Making Great Coffee At Home - Loreal's Club Matrix Magazine, Issue 2, 2004
Buying a Home Espresso Machine - Loreal's Club Matrix Magazine, Issue 3, 2005
Australians v Italians: Who Makes Better Coffee? - Bean Scene Magazine, Issue 6, 2004
The Decline of Tea and the Dethroning of the Flat White - Bean Scene Magazine, Issue 7, 2005
Coffee Indulgence - Loreals' Club Matrix Magazine, Issue 4, 2005
Coffee Appreciation
How to be a Gun Barista - Bean Scene, Issue 5, 2004
Affogato with a twist of Mocha - Australian Table, May 2004
Hygiene in the Café Environment - Bean Scene, Issue 3, 2004
Grind It, Baby - Eat Drink Magazine, May 2004
Coffee Myths, Dispelled!, Bean Scene, Issue 4, 2004
Coffee Art - Eatdrink Magazine, June 2004
Questions: Hospitality Magazine, May 2004


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