The price of a cup of coffee could hit $7 in Warrnambool sooner than in Melbourne.
That's the prediction from Cafe Owners and Barista Association of Australia president David Parnham.
He said a range of factors, including the high cost of shipping, the rising cost of coffee due to issues like frost in countries like Brazil and rising fuel prices would likely force cafe owners to pass on costs.
"A cup of coffee could reach $7 by the end of the year and it will probably be worse in regional areas," Mr Parnham said. "It will get there faster because of the tyranny of distance."
Mr Parnham urged customers to be understanding if the price of a cup of coffee increases.
"You don't know what the owner is going through - the business owner has been holding those prices now for more than nine months," he said.
Mr Parnham said it had been a very challenging time for cafe owners, who had been affected by COVID-19 lockdowns, staff shortages and rising product costs.
Gateway Better Bake owner Ben Singh said the cost of a number of products had increased significantly.
He said he was trying to keep the cost of a medium cup of coffee at $4.50, but it was becoming increasingly difficult.
"It's very hard for small businesses," Mr Singh said. "The price of everything seems to be going up."
Mr Singh said the rising costs come on the back of a difficult two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He opened the business in June 2020 and was hit with COVID-19 lockdowns from the start.
"It's been a tough time," he said. "I don't want to put the price of a cup of coffee up, but I'll have to have a look into everything (the costs)."
A number of readers shared their views on the predicted price rise on The Standard's Facebook page. They were asked whether they would pay $7 for a cup.
"No, cheaper to have one at home - who can afford the fuel to go and buy one," Dianne Burke said.
"No. Not daily it will become a treat at that price," Caroline McKew said.
"Roasters and cafes have been absorbing slowly rising prices for ages. There has been a steep increase in the last couple of years with climate, COVID, etc, and like every other thing in the world, we can't not pass that cost on to the consumer anymore, especially coming off the back of mandates, space restrictions, etc, when there's also rising electricity costs, wages, rent, etc. $7 is high, but most places these days are selling a 16oz coffee for $6, so it's not out of reach. It costs money to make something, so I don't know why it's so confusing to some people that it costs them to buy it," Casey Owen said.
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