Showing all posts tagged: coffee

NSW bans a bevy of single-use plastic items from 1 June 2022

4 May 2022

Big changes are coming up for people who buy takeaway food and beverages in NSW.

Lightweight plastic bags, single-use plastic straws, stirrers and cutlery, single-use plastic bowls and plates, expanded polystyrene food service items, and single-use plastic cotton buds and microbeads in certain personal care products, are among single-use items the NSW Government is banning from Wednesday 1 June 2022.

It’s all part of the NSW Government’s plan to phase out single-use plastics and reduce the harmful impact these items have on our environment. These bans apply to all businesses, organisations and anyone holding an activity for charitable, sporting, education or community purposes in NSW.

Takeaway coffee cups, along with their profligate plastic lids — of which Australia chews through one billion of per year — look to remain for the time being, but it is the NSW Government’s intention to do away with these by 2025.

The City of Sydney has put together a guide to assist consumers to find reusable alternatives.


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Coffee at $7 a cup? One of many price rises coming

21 March 2022


Crop shortages in Brazil, the rising price of oil, and surging freight costs, could see a cup of coffee setting you back as much as seven-dollars by the end the year, says David Parnham, of the Cafe Owners and Baristas Association of Australia. Speaking to the ABC, Parnham said the price of a cup of coffee was long overdue for an adjustment, having remained relatively stable for some years:

The pain will be felt from the cities to the outback, but Mr Parnham said the increase was well overdue, with the average $4 price for a standard latte, cappuccino and flat white remaining stable for years. “The reality is it should be $6-7. It’s just that cafes are holding back on passing that pricing on per cup to the consumer,” he said.

How things have changed. About four years ago a well-run cafe’s cost to produce a cup of coffee was less than a third of the price they charged. To maintain a profit of at least two-dollars per cup, based on a selling price of say six-dollars (can you imagine it?), means the cost of making that cuppa will have risen to four-dollars.

The markup on coffee is higher than most food items. In fact, it’s only rivalled by the markup on craft beer. An average cup of coffee costs less than a dollar to produce, yet it usually sells for around $3.50. Other items on the menu have a much smaller profit margin. Coffee sales alone should constitute 25-35% of your gross.

The average price of a coffee in the areas I’m in and out of is about $4.50. They might have been about $3 ten years ago, and price rises to date — at the cafes I frequent — have usually been in twenty to fifty cent increments, maybe every few years. To think we might be seeing possibly two one-dollar increases in the next nine months is incredible.

We’re a nation of coffee devotees, but I wonder at what point cafe customers might decide a cup of coffee costs too much, and decide to look at alternatives, or simply cut back their consumption. I’m all for small businesses making a go of it, I’m one myself, but I think cafes will need to tread carefully — somehow — when it comes to passing on costs.


Bondi says: break up with the cup

3 December 2021

Bondi BYO cup week, 1 to 10 December, 2021

BYO Cup Week is an initiative by bru coffee, a cafe at Sydney’s Bondi Beach, and Australian journalist and blogger Sarah Wilson, to bring about a reduction in the use of disposable takeaway coffee cups. Between now – 1 December actually – and Friday 10 December 2021, coffee drinkers across Sydney are being urged to switch to re-usable cups, sometimes known as keep-cups, for their caffeine fix. Contrary to what many of us might think, disposable coffee cups are an environmental nuisance:

Although disposable cups look like they are made of paper and recyclable, the majority contain plastics that don’t break down and are damaging to the environment. According to the NSW Environment Protection Authority, 1 billion disposable coffee cups end up in landfill sites across Australia each year. It is estimated that Bondi contributes 75,000 cups a week to that annual total.


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Low quantity harvests in NSW may force coffee prices up

5 November 2021

Last month I noted that severe frosts had affected coffee bean harvests in Brazil, which is likely to result in price rises as supply is reduced. Now some Australian coffee producers in northern NSW have run into harvest problems, a lack of available labour being one issue. I’d say this is partly occasioned by COVID lockdowns and travel restrictions, as many farm workers and fruit pickers are backpacking travellers. Long story short, be prepared to pay more for coffee imminently.


Coffee prices are on the rise

6 October 2021

International Coffee Day was last Friday, 1 October 2021, but with it came word that coffee prices are on the rise, and may even double in the next year. While increases are hopefully welcome news to some bean growers who have been struggling with low margins, consumers can expect to pay more for a cuppa in the near future. The current catalyst for rising prices are lower than usual yields on coffee farms in Brazil, one of the world’s largest producers. As a result of severe droughts and then frosts, Arabica harvests may be their lowest in twelve years.



Sophisticated Australian coffee culture sinks Starbucks

30 July 2008

While it’s of little help to the seven-hundred Australian Starbucks employees who are looking for new jobs today, you’d think any established coffee franchise would undertake some reasonably comprehensive market research before opening no less than eighty-four cafes.

This where some stores are in fairly close proximity to each other, and further, were opened in quick succession, particularly in a country which already has an entrenched coffee culture.

Associate Professor Nick Wailes, a strategic management expert at the University of Sydney, said Starbucks had failed to understand the Australian market. “Starbucks’ original success had a lot to do with the fact that it introduced European coffee culture to a market that didn’t have this tradition. Australia has a fantastic and rich coffee culture and companies like Starbucks really struggle to compete with that.” The president of Starbucks Asia Pacific, John Culver, admitted: “I think what we’ve seen is that Australia has a very sophisticated coffee culture.”

Originally published Wednesday 30 July 2008.


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