Everyone loves to go out for a good morning tea. You could be searching for the best deal, the most flavoursome coffee, the finest tea, or the most delicious cake. Or maybe it’s the best table service and comfy seating you’re really after?

Whatever you’re looking for, we’ve just made it a whole lot easier by comparing national Australian cafés to see who’s offering the best discounts — along with the best value — to older Australians. You might be surprised at what we found.

We looked at six national cafés —  yes, there are other national cafes not included on the list but that’s because they didn’t offer a specific discount to older Australians. Keep in mind, you only get the discount mentioned if you show a valid Pensioner Concession Card or Seniors Card to the café staff.

The discounts shown in the table below are available Australia-wide. You may find slight variations on the offers from café to café because it can be up to the franchisee’s discretion how they choose to implement promotions.

CaféDiscount for older Aussies Coffee ratingService & seatingRange of food optionsGluten free & diabetic optionsPricing overall
McDonald’s McCaféFree small coffee, tea, or soft drink with any individual burger or Egg McMuffin purchase (NSW, ACT, QLD) or with any purchase over $3 (SA, VIC, TAS, WA)7/10No table service but designated, comfortable seating 7/108/10
Jamaica Blue 5% off all beverages and food9/10 Best coffee!Comfortable seating and table service9/109/107/10
Donut KingTwo free cinnamon donuts with a warm beverage6/10No table service and no particular seating5/100/107/10
Michel's Patisserie10% off beverages; 5% off food7/10Comfortable seating and table service8/106/107/10
Muffin Break10% off coffee5/10No table service and no designated seating5/102/108/10
The Coffee Club10% off all beverages and food7/10Comfortable seating and table service9/109/107/10

When it comes down to it, the perfect café is a very individual thing and really depends on what you’re looking for. Personally, the result of visiting six different cafés was a little surprising and I certainly found there are some I’ll be returning to more than others.

Note: All the cafés tested offered an alternative to sugar as a sweetener in your beverage — either Equal or Natvia.

McDonalds McCafé
Most people have visited a McDonalds McCafé and they’re often pleasantly surprised. Why? Because the coffee is reasonable, the tea is fine, and the sweet treats offered are varied with some gluten free options. As for the pensioner/senior discount, it varies from state to state but you either get a free coffee or tea if you buy a full-sized burger or egg McMuffin — or if you spend $3 or more.

McCafé doesn’t usually offer table service, and they can be busy and noisy as they attract a large number of families with small children. However, mid-morning during the week is often a little quieter, so this could be a good time to try. The also offer a range of other foods, including salads for those who are diabetic. It’s often easy to park at or near a McDonalds and the pricing is always reasonable.

Jamaica Blue
If you haven’t been to a Jamaica Blue café then you have a nice treat ahead of you. This café chain serves sensational coffee and this could be because they source the coffee beans from “a variety of altitudes, developing a signature blend that’s full-bodied and creamy with a hint of delicate chocolate notes”.

This is what they say on their website and to tell you the truth, their coffee was sensational. They even offer a decaffeinated blend which uses Swiss water and is chemical free.

Most Jamaica Blue stores offer a five per cent discount on everything and they provide their own seating which includes comfortable, blue-velvet covered banquettes. They offer fast table service, and an extremely wide range of delicious food options including low gluten, dairy free, vegetarian, and diabetic-friendly options.

Donut King
The discount for pensioners/seniors at Donut King is quite attractive — two free cinnamon donuts with a warm beverage. You can ask for freshly cooked donuts with your coffee and these go very well together. If you’re after a gluten free option, however, Donut King is not the right place for you —  all of their sweet treats are donuts and they’re all gluten-rich!

As far as other food choices go, they offer a range of hot pasties and toasties which look inviting but again, no gluten free options. It could be quite difficult to get a diabetic option. There’s no table service and no allocated seating so Donut King is more for those who really love donuts.

Michel’s Patisserie
The discount for pensioners/seniors at Michel’s Patisserie is ten per cent off hot beverages and five per cent off food. The coffee is very good and they serve a wide range of sweet treats — some of them gluten free and delicious.

There are lots of other food choices including salads and vegetarian options for those who are diabetic. They provide their own seating and offer efficient table service. There’s quite a bit of choice and the prices are reasonable.

Muffin Break
This is an ideal place to stop for a morning tea — especially if you like muffins! They offer a wide range of muffins including gluten free and low fat options. They also sell savoury items including tartlets, wraps, pasties, triangles, and tarts. But most of these savoury items do not have any gluten free options and it also looked like there were no alternatives for diabetics.

Muffin Break doesn’t offer table service or designated seating but it could be a good option if you love muffins and you like a nice coffee to go with them.

The Coffee Club
The discount for pensioners/seniors at The Coffee Club is ten per cent off all food and beverages — this is quite an attractive offer. If you haven’t been to The Coffee Club before, you have a bit of a treat in store for you: They serve a delicious coffee and offer a wide range of food options including vegetarian choices, healthy options for diabetics, and low-gluten options — and all the eggs used in cooking are cage-free.

The Coffee Club provides fast table service and has their own comfortable seating, including leather banquettes. The pricing is reasonable, given the menu options are extensive and servings are large. This is a great place to meet up with friends and possibly have more than just a snack. Given the ten per cent discount offer, this could make it even more worthwhile.

Where have you found you get the best morning or afternoon tea? What’s more important — the coffee, the seating, or the service?

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