FORGET Melbourne - Canberrans are the nations greatest coffee connoisseurs, buying more fresh coffee beans than their interstate counterparts and shunning instant in favour of a fix at their favourite cafe.
Figures from Roy Morgan Research reveal instant coffee just isnt good enough for the majority of people in the ACT, with less than half of Canberrans buying instant coffee in the past four weeks.
The data revealed Canberra is the fresh coffee bean capital, with the number of ACT residents buying beans to brew at home soaring to 37 per cent, compared to 26 per cent across Australia.
Roy Morgan industry communications director Norman Morris said the ACTs palate was becoming increasingly specialist as more people looked for a gourmet experience to kick start their day.
The current state of the coffee market in Australia gives the sense that a growing number of consumers are becoming more discerning when it comes to their coffee and are shifting away from instant coffee in favour of fresh coffee or a barista-made coffee from a cafe, he said.
Numerous chain and franchise stores are also targeting coffee consumer, such as McCafe with its recent campaign touting love your coffee or well replace it.
Itll be interesting to see whether they too detract from instant coffee purchase or whether they draw consumers away from the more premium options.
Canberra-based business Ona Coffee House and Wholesale is banking on Canberrans continuing to crave coffee beans, with founder and director Sasa Sestic in South America sourcing seasonal specialities to bring back to his Fyshwick roasting facility.
Mr Sestic was not keen to be part of the mass production cafe scene, which sells micro-lots of the very best beans to the creme of coffee consumers.
After struggling to find a good, consistent Brazilian coffee to suit our blends I finally decided to go to origin myself in search for some new green-beans, he said.
I was beginning to see potential for some exciting single origins for specialty espresso and stand-out filter coffees.
In the mass market, its a tactic Gloria Jeans has also seized on in a bid to be taken seriously in the Australian coffee market.
As part of a recent revamp, the franchise sourced one of the worlds rarest coffee beans, Lot #5 Norival Favaro Sao Marcos.
Just over 2000kg was produced in the past year and the coffee chain has secured 840kg of it. Many food service franchises have spent 2011 trying to perfect their coffee offering, quashing the stigma that fast coffee isnt good coffee.
McDonalds chief operating officer Helen Nash said crew members now receive barista training.
McCafe will have dedicated baristas, who take great pride in serving coffee of the very high standard our customers expect, she said.