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COFFEE CULTURE - TRAVEL

Australian Coffee and Culture

Australia is known for many things, incredible natural wonders like the Great Barrier Reef, being the surf capital of the entire world and not to mention their reputation for having some of the most dangerous animals on the planet. But those aren’t the only things that this amazing country has to shout about, did you know it’s also home to some of the greatest coffee ever?

Australian coffee is known far and wide for its superior quality, but why is that? Keep reading to find out where it all began, why the quality is on another level and the varieties that originated in this coffee capital.

Australian coffee history

The history of Australian coffee began during the Second World War. As most of Europe was bombed, many had to escape their home countries, including the Italians who couldn’t bear to part with their coffee makers and machines. Due to this, the Italians that migrated to Australia introduced the espresso in all it’s smooth, strong and thick crema’d glory to the country. Unsurprisingly, the people of Australia adored it and cafes across the country were serving proper espresso-based coffee as early as the 1950s.

Australian coffee culture

One of the reasons why Australia’s known for brewing the best cup you’ll ever try is because it’s less about the convenience and more about the quality. Instant, drip and filter coffee never really took off and espresso is most commonly used as a base, only the Australian’s like to get creative with it. They’re known to experiment with beans, blends and even different brewing temperatures, so it’s likely you’ll encounter many interesting flavour experiences across the country.

The land of the independent

Chain coffee shops don’t tend to do well in Australia and a whopping 95% of Australian coffee shops are independently owned. The baristas that prepare the delicious beverages are respected and thought of almost more like chefs, boasting a tremendous amount of skill.

Cup of latte art coffee

All about the latte art

Latte art is extremely commonplace with Australian coffee and it’s not just because it makes your cup look pretty either, it’s also an indicator of excellent flavour. If the milk isn’t perfectly frothed, there’s no way you’ll be able to do latte art, meaning the milk is either burnt, or not smooth enough.

No thanks, sugar

Where you’ll likely be familiar with seeing vanilla and caramel flavoured coffees in chain coffee shops throughout the UK, syrups and flavourings typically aren’t added in Australia. Instead, there’s more of an emphasis on the flavour of the blend and the masterful roasting and brewing techniques.

Busy brunching

Brunch is a big thing in Australia and an incredibly popular pairing with your avocado on toast is a perfectly prepared cup of coffee. Coffee shops are bustling during late morning/midday and it’s not uncommon for you to have to queue to get a seat at the trendiest spots, particularly on the weekend.

Australian coffee types

As Australian baristas love to experiment with different flavours and techniques, it’s no surprise that they’ve developed a fair few Australian coffee types over the years. All are prepared with the classic espresso base, with an emphasis on quality for a delicious coffee experience.

Woman drinking cup of coffee
What is it?

Flat White

Developed in the 1980s, there’s been some controversy over whether this coffee originated in Australia or New Zealand, with many suggesting it came from both countries! Characterised as a single espresso shot with steamed milk and a thin layer of foam, the drink came about as people were looking for an alternative to the cappuccino with less foam, so they began asking for it ‘flat’. With so many requesting it, the beverage became a coffee type in its own right and so, the flat white was born.

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Cup of long black coffee
What is it?

Long Black

Consisting of a double espresso shot and hot water, some consider the long black to just be the Australian take on the americano, but there are some key differences. To make an americano you pour hot water over an espresso, whereas with a long black you pour the espresso over the hot water, ensuring more crema is retained. It’s always served without milk and made to be savoured.

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Two cups of short black coffee
What is it?

Short Black

The short black is essentially just an espresso with no additional water. As it’s not diluted at all this drink possesses a very bold flavour and a wonderfully thick, golden crema on top.

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Cup of latte art coffee
What is it?

Magic

Magic coffee originated in Melbourne and consists of a double ristretto and ¾ silky milk. It was originally thought of as the go to ‘hipster’ coffee but it’s since been gaining in popularity and is considered a staple of the Melbourne coffee scene.

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That’s all you need to know about the masterfully delicious Australian coffee! Want to find out more about the coffee hotspots of the world? Learn about French coffee and the culture that goes with it, next.

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