Australian Barista Census reveals what keeps baristas up at night

Australian Barista Census

Almond Breeze Barista Blend and have released their first Australian Barista Census (ABC), an in-depth study of what worries baristas and how Australia’s coffee scene is setting the pace globally.

Eighty-two per cent of Australian baristas work in an independent café. Almond Breeze says this reflects Australian’s coffee cultural difference to the United States, where 60 per cent of consumers visit a branded coffee shop at least once a month.

Perhaps due to cultural divide, 84 per cent of baristas surveyed said they’d rather work in Australia than anywhere else in the world.

Almond Breeze says since the Australian Census officially recognised barista as a vocation in 2006, the occupation has seen a meteoric rise increasing by 72 per cent from 2011 to 2016.

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Australia boasts a thriving coffee scene which adds 3100 baristas a year to the national roster. Estimated to total around 40,000 individuals, the barista serves more than four in five Australians, 84 per cent, a week.

Within the qualitative research, baristas enforced that the Australian market is a global leader: “To be a great barista in Australia, you have to be willing to change with the times and try new things.”

Almond Breeze says embracing new ideas is what Australia does best, with 96 per cent of cafés offering alternative milks and the other four per cent happy to consider it. Sixty-five per cent offer a discount for bringing a reusable cup and 56 per cent use recyclable takeaway cups.

However, automation poses a threat to some Australian baristas, with 40 per cent admitting to being wary of technology.

The ABC also found that 20 per cent of baristas are unsure how to access more training. There was a general consensus that courses available were training baristas to become “cooks and not chefs”.

Baristas felt there is a need to support this workforce in more ways than training. Fifty-five per cent feel stressed or overwhelmed due to the fast-paced environment and repetitive strain injuries are thought about by 51 per cent of baristas.

Thirty-five per cent worry about the lack of work cover for any injuries they may sustain, and the top challenge barista’s reported is low pay.

“What has become apparent is the clear need for external forces to support the barista and our independent café scene so Australia can continue to push the boundaries of coffee,” says Michael McNulty, Almond Breeze Country Manager for Australia and New Zealand.

“With no deep heritage in coffee ourselves, Australians are borrowing the best practices from around the world and creating a super scene to be proud of.”

There remains good news for the industry, as a whole with 79 per cent of baristas feeling valued in their work and almost three quarters, 73 per cent, seeing their future in the industry.

“We are thrilled to be supporting Australia’s 10th fastest growing job by launching to provide our barista workforce the information, the training and the support they need to continue to push the industry forward,” Michael says.

The research also explored the customer’s relationship with their barista. Barista Guilt is a figment of Aussie coffee lovers’ imagination as only 13 per cent of Australian baristas get offended if a regular customer goes to another café

Seventy-two per cent of baristas say they don’t judge customers for “special orders”, even though the Australian barista’s beverage of choice is the classic long black.

According to Almond Breeze Barista Blend, customers have a huge impact on their barista’s day, with two thirds, 66 per cent, saying their customers make their day interesting and over three quarters, 76 per cent, admitting to feeling a sense of pride when customers compliment their coffee expertise.

Baristas love impacting their customers’ day too, with 96 per cent saying they like having a positive impact on people’s day.

The results of the first Australian Barista Census were released to coincide with the inaugural National Barista Day, which took place on 1 March 2019 and saw Celeste Norris of Good 2 Go café on Melbourne’s Hosier Lane named Australia’s Barista of Choice.

For more information and to download the Australian Barista Census e-book in full, visit

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