I’ve already written about my experiences with Australian prices. When I first arrived, I spent hours walking down supermarket aisles, monitoring, comparing in my head, how much each product costs in various stores.
Although it’s waned over the last few months, the habit has stayed with me.
That’s why when I heard a small cup of flat white with almond milk and an extra shot costs $5.20, I had a hard time masking my bitch face. I swallowed the anger that rose to my lips and smiled instead. Thank you for such unfairness.
$5.20 isn’t a lot of money, I admit. But it’s still a lot for a not-so-great coffee in a not-so-big-enough cup. And yet, I’ve noticed that it’s the standard in most places in Canberra.
Imagine my surprise when I arrived in Melbourne.
For $4.50, I got a much bigger cup of more satisfying coffee. And I fell in love with Melbourne. Well, not just because of the coffee, but it sure helped.
That said, even in Melbourne, alternative milks and extra shots of espresso cost an additional 50 cents each. Some places dare go even further and charge anything between 80 cents and a dollar.
And that’s on top of the standard price of a coffee.
I couldn’t comprehend the reasoning behind it. I don’t even think there is a reasoning. Of course, almond milk is more expensive than regular cow’s milk, but that doesn’t justify charging extra over a commodity I didn’t ask for.
I could, for the sake of an argument, dissect the price points of each element that goes into a flat white and evaluate the fairness of the price. But that’ll get me nowhere.
So I chose to rant here instead.
In all honesty though, this elevated coffee prices has made me appreciate it more than ever. Now getting a coffee outside is special. It’s not the kind of pick-me-up you associate with takeaway cups and Hollywood heroins in a rush. Coffee means proper coffee, and that means treating it with the respect it deserves—savouring every sip as it travels down my throat.