You’d think that there must be a Starbucks in every urban city in the world. Because Starbucks, right? But get this – there is almost not a single Starbucks branch in the whole of Australia. You read that right.
When Starbucks attempted to expand its doors in the ‘land down under’ in 2000, they failed miserably. The coffee culture in Australia was already thriving, with independent local business trumping global chains and the American coffee franchise just not did not fit the Australians’ taste. In fact, according to research conducted by IBISWorld, almost 95% of all cafes in Australia are locally run.
An Introduction to Australia’s Coffee Culture
Being barista isn’t just a part-time job for the Australians – these people are true artisans of their craft and this is seen as an esteemed profession amongst the locals. Making coffee is an art form in its own, which many natives truly appreciate. It goes beyond ‘hipster’ and pretentious latte art pictures for the gram.
Coffee has been embedded into Australian culture so much so that it runs through their blood – not literally, of course. In fact, it is known as one of the richest and refined coffee cultures in the world.
The coffee culture down under developed in the 20th century – and we have the Italians to thank for this. After the second world war, numerous Italians (and Greeks) migrated to Australia. It was then that the Italians introduced espresso shots and the entire cafe culture altogether to the locals.
Compared to what we know now – ordering takeaway coffees and to-go beverages, Italian coffee culture took on a slower and more relaxed pace. Quite surprisingly, the Australians caught on to it and have embraced the cafe culture and made their own.
Why You Should Give Coffee in Australia a Try
In Australia, local cafes pride themselves with their speciality brews that have moulded the coffee culture into what it is today. The Australians have elevated the Italian’s espresso and added a hint of creativity and their own spin to it. The freshness of the beans and the grind are just some of the things that are crucial in making a good cup of coffee. The meticulousness and passion of these baristas combined are what gives you that perfect blend. Did you know that they were the ones who invented the flat white and long black?
Beyond the coffee, the cafe culture in Australia is an experience in itself. It allows you to slow down for a while and enjoy the time that you have with yourself, or with friends. Australia’s coffee culture allows for both culinary exploration and connection with others and the community. What are you waiting for? Head down under and have yourself a good cuppa.