Melbourne’s prominent coffee culture has been blamed for the alleged demise of the iconic “tradie’s breakfast”: a sausage roll and a carton of flavoured milk. While scientific evidence is yet to be tabled, anecdotal evidence suggests that most tradies now opt for takeaway coffees on and around worksites.

Watsonia resident Brendan Ferguson says he’s noticed more and more tradies climbing out of their utes while nursing hot coffees in takeaway cups. He said, “I’m not a tradie myself, but just from driving around Melbourne in the last year or so they all seem to be getting into the coffee scene. It troubles me a little, to be honest. If the traditional tradie’s breakfast now includes a coffee instead of a Big M, what does that say about our society?”

Digging a little deeper into the issue, we interviewed half a dozen convenience store employees across the Diamond Valley. One said, “Our Big M sales are definitely down, and it’s been concerning management for a while now. Flavoured milk used to be a big chunk of our range, but now it’s shrinking by the month. Meanwhile, that dodgy coffee machine in the corner of the store seems to be dominating. I’d rather we sold more flavoured milk, at least I don’t have to clean any machine for that.”

The tradies we interviewed about the situation seemed reluctant to fully open up about their choice of morning beverage. On multiple occasions we were told there was nothing to talk about which, obviously, means there’s is probably plenty to talk about. One tradie, who requested strict anonymity, eventually said, “Is too much to ask that we can have nice things too? I mean, most of us earn more money than you nerdy white-collared coffee drinkers, so why should I be forced to down 600ml of sugared milk every morning just because it’s tradition?”

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