Money: Coffee trumps craft beer when it comes to the way Aussies socialise, researcher says - PressFrom - Australia
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MoneyCoffee trumps craft beer when it comes to the way Aussies socialise, researcher says

05:40  11 february  2019
05:40  11 february  2019 Source:   msn.com

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As Australians continue to reach for their daily flat white, one Brisbane social researcher has discovered how cafes have changed the way we socialise .

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Coffee trumps craft beer when it comes to the way Aussies socialise, researcher says© Provided by ABC Business

As Australians continue to reach for their daily flat white, one Brisbane social researcher has discovered how cafes have changed the way we socialise.

Over the past decade the cafe scene has taken over many neighbourhoods, while new business towers and apartment complexes now routinely have coffee shops on the ground floor.

QUT senior lecturer Emma Felton said her project had showed cafe culture was now a firm fixture in Australian living and provided a meeting place for a diverse range of people.

"One of the main drivers is that cities have changed, with more people living in them, and technology has changed the way we live and where we work," Dr Felton said.

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"It's an urban phenomenon, but it's also happening in suburbs and country towns throughout the country and all over the world."

Cafes are even outpacing the craft breweries popping up in many suburbs.

"While craft beer is popular, more of us are bonding over coffee," Dr Felton said.

"The cafe culture is on the rise and it's more about having a social space that doesn't cost much."

Cafes cheaper and faster than the pub

The variety of speciality coffee styles, tastings and the popularity of the barista is prompting more people to choose cafes as their primary place to socialise.

Dr Felton, the author of Filtered: Coffee, the Cafe and the 21st-Century City, said they now provided a location that helped people create community.

"Cafes are safe spaces where you can meet someone and it's not very expensive.

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"You're often only there for 30 minutes.

"I do think there's a correlation with cafes and online dating, because where do you go to meet your Tinder date?"

She added that with the changing face of workplaces, more and more people were undertaking their daily roles in cafes.

"People are now more likely to work at a cafe, to get out of the office and to meet colleagues there.

"More and more people are doing contract work, so [at cafes] people can work by themselves but be around other people."

Has Australia hit peak coffee?

The project came about after Dr Felton noticed how many cafes had appeared in her local neighbourhood.

"The suburb I moved to in Brisbane 20 years ago had no cafes at all — now there are 80 in the area," she said.

"Even though cafes might close, there's always others that open up."

She said after speaking to coffee proprietors, the theory that Australia had hit "peak coffee" was debatable.

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"Nearly 500 billion cups are consumed around the world each year and people continue to experiment with new brews and roasting methods," Dr Felton said.

"Filtered coffee, iced coffee and pour-over coffees are all being tried and tested."

Coffee culture around the world

Dr Felton visited five countries during her research, including China and Japan.

"The rise of cafes in Asian countries is the greatest — cafes in China are growing at a rate of 25 per cent a year and it's changing the way they undertake their day-to-day [life]," she said.

"I assumed that many Asian cultures were tea-drinking cultures, but Japan has a strong coffee tradition that dates to the 19th century.

"Japan was the first in the world to have a coffee chain, which started in 1907."

Norway and Finland were the highest consumers of coffee per capita, she said, followed by the Netherlands.

Australia was relatively low down the list, which Dr Felton said was surprising considering the robust cafe culture.

Coffee bean farmers not cashing in

She added that the popularity of cafes and people's changing social habits had influenced the number of farmers producing coffee beans, although not necessarily raised producer incomes.

"From ethical sourcing of origin beans to the direct trade between roasters and plantations, many proprietors are trying to work with famers to improve their working conditions and standard of living," she said.

"We might pay $4 for a coffee, but that's what the coffee worker earns in a day in coffee-producing nations like Brazil, Vietnam and those in Central America.

"We're still struggling in terms of the disparity between the farmers and the coffee."

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