The cappucino is making a comeback. In one state it’s in the top coffee spot

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 12th December 2018

THE latte still reigns supreme as the country’s most popular coffee drink despite total sales decreasing from 43 per cent to 33 percent since 2016, says an annual report published today on Australia’s $8 billion coffee industry.

Hipster favourite, the flat white, remained a staple claiming 24 per cent of coffee sold, but the big mover has been the resurgence of the cappuccino. Sales jumped from 12 per cent to 19 per cent showing that foam is back – especially in New South Wales where it landed the top spot.

The figures come from innovative point-of-purchase payments company Square and Specialty Coffee Association and their crunching of the data from the millions of cups of coffee sold on the Square platform across hundreds of outlets nationwide.

  • The latte holds strong as the best-seller across the country at 33% of total cups sold
  • Resurgent cappuccino sales have spiked from 12% to 19% since 2016
  • For the third straight year, the cheapest coffee brews can be found in New South Wales

Can’t matcha that

Matcha-infused coffee led the march of flavour-infused coffee sales with an incredible 80% upturn. For the tea drinkers, Chai was again the most popular order, followed closely by matcha, English breakfast and earl grey.

Non-dairy milk alternatives are becoming ever more popular in cafes. While soy remained the most popular choice, nut-based alternatives are gaining momentum with almond, coconut, macadamia and cashew milk rounding out the top five most popular.


The 2018 Square Australian Coffee Report shows us that prices across the board were up only a few cents from 2017. Other key findings showed:

Coffee drinkers in the Northern Territory (NT) spend on average $1 more on their beverages than consumers in New South Wales

  • Australians still spend more on the sweeter flavours of mocha and chai
  • The cheapest coffee in each state is still the traditional long black — the only coffee that costs less than $4 on average
  • The majority of consumers (54%) choose to pay with card over cash

Also in Australian Food News

National average prices for coffee in Australia:

Name 2018 2017 2016
Latte $4.18 $4.12 $3.83
Flat white $4.13 $4.06 $3.83
Cappuccino $4.14 $4.10 $3.76
Long black $3.89 $3.83 $3.47
Chai $4.57 $4.39
Hot chocolate $4.19 $4.14


Coffee experts say that over the past year specialty coffee has seen an increase in filter or batch brew, which is basically black coffee – a trend tipped to continue.

When it comes to coffee prices, customers are very savvy spenders especially in a coffee culture like Melbourne’s, but they’re willing to pay more for a better product.

Specialty coffee is like a craft beer, where customers are willing to pay more for a uniquely sourced product that is rare and has been crafted well.

This year tap-and-go payments became more popular among customers.

Customers used to use spare change for coffee but now they’re moving cashless. The benefit here is speed and convenience, particularly during peak times when taking card payments helps serve more customers more quickly.