Your Coffee Dollar

July 24, 2007


It has been a while since I have written a post about coffee, and given that it is the theme I chose for this blog I have been thinking lately that it is about time I did. Luckily someone forwarded me a link to Your Coffee Dollar. In internet terms it is very old (2003) but it shows quite clearly where your the money you spend on your daily latte actually ends up.

Green LA girl has also recently posted her 6-Step Program for the Caffeine Addicted, a great place to start if you are interested in the issue but not sure exactly what that means for your coffee habit. I have linked to her Coffee Crisis Series before and still highly recommend it.

Step 5 of the 6-Step Program is to check out your local indie coffee shop. According to CoffeeGeek it looks like New Zealand and Australia are on track with this one. I knew we liked our espresso here but was fascinated to read that less than 6% of small cafes in Australia and New Zealand are franchised, as compared to over 40% in North America.

What is unique is that, outside Italy, the Australian and New Zealand café markets are the only other 100% espresso-based markets in the world! The US and other countries are dominated by filter style, or brewed, coffee. You cannot give filter coffee away in Australia or New Zealand. Furthermore, the Australian and New Zealand markets are unique in that the espresso based coffees are nearly always served with milk – approximately 98%, compared to 5% milk based coffees in Italy.

Yup, thats me. Latte queen. This also explains why I had enormous difficulty finding good coffee in the USA.

The ratio of espresso machines to population in Australia and New Zealand is approximately 850 people to 1 machine, only bested by Italy. In comparison, in the US, there are roughly 20,000 people per espresso machine.

I have a very tiny, very battered little espresso machine that I was given as a birthday gift by my family over 10 years ago. I’m not sure I could live without it. But I’m not alone in that, it’s really not unusual here to have a home espresso machine. And no cafe owner would dare open the doors without a decent espresso machine and trained barista.

While getting a good cup of coffee in New Zealand has been no problem for years, until recently it has been hard to get fair trade espresso. When I first arrived back in NZ six years ago all I could find were somewhat stale bags of beans from Trade Aid. But now I can get my daily fix of peoples coffee from a cafe around the corner from work, and can buy some pretty good beans at our local supermarket. Trade Aid still sells coffee (I haven’t tried it in years though so couldn’t tell you if it is any better now), but it also has a nationwide list of cafes, restaurants, supermarkets and organic stores who support fair trade. So there is no excuse!

Until we move to Latin America. I’m not sure what I’ll do then. Maybe I’ll have to grow my own.


3 Responses to “Your Coffee Dollar”

  1. Tom Says:

    You will have no problem getting coffee, but you may have to roast your beans the way you like them. This can be done in your oven with a cast iron skillet.

    I read an article about French Pressing coffee releasing cancer causing chemicals. The article maintained that filtered coffee captured these harmful chemicals. Have you heard anything about this? I wish I had bookmarked the article.

  2. coaks Says:

    “You’re so wise. You’re like a miniature Buddha, covered in hair.” – Anchorman

  3. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet
    my newest twitter updates. I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this. Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

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