Where coffee is king

Austria is a nation of coffee lovers – on average, Austrians spend 356 million Euros (almost CDN $570 million) on coffee per year. In a nation of just over 8 million, that’s a lot of coffee per person per year.

And despite the fact that the world price for coffee beans has more than doubled since 2004, leading to price increases at the consumer level, Austria’s coffee lovers aren’t letting that stop them from enjoying their java.

A spokesperson from Eduscho/Tchibo, Austria’s largest coffee company, stated in a national newspaper that although consumption might be a little more selective than it used to be, overall coffee intake levels haven’t taken a hit.

In fact, there’s a growing boom in coffee pods – single cup espresso packets that require special coffee makers – designed to lure consumers away from the traditional filter coffees that is fueling the demand for espresso. Espresso currently represents about 15% of the total coffee market, but experts feel that this can grow to up to 40% as the new pod systems take hold.

Coffee is much stronger here than what we’re used to in most Canadian coffee shops, except for maybe Starbucks or Second Cup. The cups are also much smaller – I ordered a large coffee with milk today and got a 10 oz. cup. Then again, maybe the jolt from an extra large cup of Austrian coffee would be more than my system could handle…?

From experience, I can safely say there’s a certain comfort to be found in a good cup of coffee, and although an increasing price might make me ratchet down my daily consumption a bit, it would take an awful lot to get me to give up my beloved java completely.

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