'Coffee shaming' is on the rise in Aussie cafes, according to new survey

We're a nation of coffee shamers
We're a nation of coffee shamers Photo: Shutterstock

If you've ever cringed with embarrassment while ordering your friend's almond milk latte with 1.5 sugars, then you're not alone.

According to a new survey, one in five Australians have engaged in some kind of "coffee shaming", with nine per cent of us judging a mate's caffeine hit preference and eight per cent making assumptions about a person purely based on whether they like a flat white or a long black.

The research, commissioned by Sunbeam for International Coffee Day (hello, if you're a parent that's every day), also found that as well as being coffee snobs, we're also a fussy bunch.

Not getting the temperature right tops the list of Crimes Against Coffee, followed by burnt coffee (58 per cent) strength (56 per cent), and foam inconsistencies - the horror!

But whether we like a soy flat white or skim cap, what we don't like is having to wait. For 40 per cent of us, waiting too long for an order also makes for a bad experience, with men and baby boomers the least patient of us all.

According to the research, Aussies consume around 4.6 billions cups of café style coffee  – in and outside of the home – each year. Per person, that's an average of 242 cups. And because we're both coffee enthusiasts and coffee snobs, we're also concerned about coffee etiquette. That means we notice when our mates make a faux pas - and oh boy do we judge them.

For the 67 per cent of Aussies who've suffered an etiquette breach, serving instant coffee tops the list of crimes (42 per cent), followed by offering an "alternative warm beverage" (24 per cent) and asking if a guest would like their untouched drink re-heated (5 per cent).

George Choutis of Roastville says the findings rings true - and that he's no stranger to odd coffee orders. Along with the occasional "strong decaf macchiato" and "half almond, half soy cappuccino," Mr Choutis says he and his staff get the somewhat bizarre "Cappuccino, no choc" all the time.

And while they used to be able to categorise people by their coffee orders, with the emergence of alternative milks (there are six different milks on offer In Roastville,)  Mr Choutis now admits, "I have no idea".

But no matter what milk we order, or whether we'd prefer our barista to "hold the choc", Mr Choutis says one thing is clear - we love our beans. "Café culture has in Australia has gone beyond the morning ritual for caffeine hit," he says. "Cafés have become the new boardroom for the family and office."