Coffee and the Millennials

Nov 21, 2016

Coffee service in Australia has changed enormously over the last eight years.

The two biggest catalysts driving the change are firstly, the World Barista Championship and secondly, Social Media.

The World Barista Championships (WBC) began in the year 2000 so coffee consuming Millennials obviously have no recollection of a pre–WBC coffee approach. The WBC works for the coffee industry globally, to some extent, like F1 does for the automotive industry. It drives innovation and branding.

In regard to innovation, most of the machine equipment improvements are driven by machine companies competing for the rights to win the WBC machine sponsorship deal. For instance, prospective machines are subjected to a series of trials with a panel of ex-WBC barista competitors. The machines must perform to WBC specifications for brewing temperature stability, pump pressure accuracy and barista ergonomic functionality, among many other things.

This has driven manufacturer exploration of technical aspects like pressure profiling and temperature profiling and all kinds of barista minutiae to satisfy the demands of this new breed of curious millennial baristas. The latest San Remo Opera for example, was actually engineered and designed with input from Sasa Sestic Australia’s latest World Barista champion of 2015. It is much more complex to operate than your average old-school heat-exchange machine which was the industry standard just over ten years ago.

These kind of developments may seem over the horizon for most QSR operators, but with the advent of social media and café review websites like Beanhunter, these trends become mainstream very quickly. It is dangerous for any QSR business to stick their head in the sand and say consumers don’t care about this kind of detail.

Social media not only fuels the proliferation of new machine innovations it also enables new coffee blending and roast styles to gain sway. The average roast profile that was acceptable ten years ago will struggle to fly once it receives a series of bad reviews on social media. This is the reason why many Italian coffee roasters for instance who dominated the Australian market a decade and half ago, are either losing market share or are having to roast their coffee locally.

Again millennial baristas who will not accept coffee that is several months old and that has been shipped half way around the world, are determining these trends and reinforcing their implementation via social media. 

The challenge for QSR companies is to stay up to date with these trends as independent operators are rapidly adopting low-slung sexy looking and very expensive espresso machines, while still making commercially sound investment decisions. There are huge implications for decision making when one espresso machine costs $7,000 versus one that costs $25,000 to produce the same number of cups of coffee. Particularly if you are an operator who needs to keep store establishment costs down.

To keep up with competitors and keep growing coffee sales across a chain of stores requires a lot of attention to detail for a QSR operator, in the same way that millenials are paying attention to their coffee.

To find out more please contact Rob Murrell on 1300 731 377.




Espressology is not your ordinary contract coffee roaster.

It is what we call bespoke, or custom coffee roasting. In the same way that a bespoke tailor creates clothes to professionally reflect your taste and help present you to the world at your best, Espressology creates your perfect coffee roast profiles to best reflect your brand and reputation.

Whether it's your own blend or a single estate specialty origin coffee, you can be confident that your coffee will consistently reflect your great taste to the world. So you can capitalize on a growing coffee customer base and focus on building your business. You don't have to invest millions of dollars to gain access to your very own roasting facility.

We do not have our own coffee brand for cafes. So we don't compete with you.

At Espressology, we ensure consistency of flavour and quality with pinpoint accuracy. We can help you every step of the way in establishing your very own blend that exactly reflects your taste and brand.

Espressology has invested in equipment that will enable your coffee business to grow as much as your vision desires.

Other Articles