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Outrage as simple request doubles price of Aussie's coffee: ‘Not even doing as much work’

Aussie comedian Matt Hey found there was a massive difference between the price of a hot and cold coffee.

An Aussie comedian and content creator has shared his shock at being charged an extra $7 for an iced coffee compared to a hot one. A coffee roaster told Yahoo Finance the price difference was “crazy” but there was a reason cold coffees cost more.

Matt Hey, better known as Alright, Hey!, shared he had gone to order an iced mocha from a cafe over the weekend and was told it would be $12.20. When he asked how much a hot mocha would cost, he was told that would only set him back $5.20.

“I’m so sorry. Come again? An extra $7 to have my drink iced. What do you mean?” Hey said in a video shared on TikTok.

Matt Hey
Hey was told the iced coffee had the same number of shots and amount of milk as the hot version. (Source: TikTok)

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The Sydney-based podcaster and DJ said he asked whether there was more coffee in the iced version or more milk but was told they both had two shots of coffee and were both regular sized.

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“So where are you getting the extra f***ing $7 from, mate? Like what do you mean? Where is that coming from?” Hey said.

“You’re not even doing as much work. You don’t have to heat the milk. So why are you charging me $7 extra? For what? You’re mad, love.”

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The price difference means Hey would have had to fork out more than double the amount - 135 per cent more - for an iced mocha compared to its hot counterpart.

While it’s an extreme example, many Aussie coffee drinkers would have also noticed iced coffee prices are generally more expensive than hot ones at their local cafes too - even when you're getting the same amount of milk and coffee. So, what’s the reason behind the price difference?

Alex Ridgway, director of Neighbourhood Coffee Roasters in Brisbane, told Yahoo Finance the cost of ice, along with how iced coffees were served played into the higher prices.

Ridgway currently charges $1.20 extra for an iced latte compared to a hot latte and noted that Hey’s example of a $12.20 iced mocha was “crazy”.

“An ice machine might cost you anywhere from $2,500 up to $5,000 and then you’ve got to maintain, clean and service that appliance,” Ridgway said.

“Just the service alone could quite easily across four years of a lease cost you $3,000 or $4,000 a year just for the service of providing ice.”

Ridgway said buying ice by the bag could also be expensive for businesses, costing around $6 a bag.

“There’s a cost involved with running every part of a small business and I think people take that for granted and forget someone has to pick that bag up or buy that ice machine and own it, maintain, repair it and service it,” Ridgway said.

“Then in Summer, they get hammered so they chew up a lot more electricity than you’d like to think.”

Iced coffee also often comes in larger glasses when dining in, Ridgway noted, which can take longer to clean and polish.

Some experts have argued iced coffees can potentially also interrupt a barista's workflow and slow things down, but Ridgway said this could be more of a problem with the cafe’s design and layout.

“If your ice machine is in the back of the room and you’ve got to go down there and get the ice and come back, yeah it’s going to slow down,” he told Yahoo Finance.

Ridgway said there wasn’t really a reason iced coffees should take longer if the ice was placed in an ergonomic location.

“You don’t have to stretch any milk. You don’t have to heat anything. It’s just ice in a cup, milk on top and then pour the espresso on top,” he said.

There were a few barista’s that weighed in in the comments of Hey’s video, with some defending the higher price for the iced beverage.

“I was a barista in a super busy cafe for a hot minute while I was studying. I love what this woman's done because making iced drinks is a right pain in the clacker,” another said.

Another pointed out that iced coffees often came with extras, which factored into the price: “As a barista this usually includes syrups, ice cream, milk, coffee, whipped cream and chocolate powder that’s only about $2 per ingredient.”

Other Aussies said there was a simple way they would get around paying extra for an iced drink.

“The way I would unapologetically ask for a hot mocha and a cup of ice,” one said.

Replying in the comments, Hey himself said he ended up ordering a hot mocha instead.

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