Posted in Kafevend Blog

Australian coffee

As you might have noticed over the past few weeks, we here at the Kafevend blog have been roaming the globe in search of countries that produce our favourite drinks. So far we have covered Ecuador, Indonesia and Peru. Like the proximity between Ecuador and Peru, today we are going to begin taking a look at Australia which lies relatively close to Indonesia, but it has both a very different culture and industry when it comes to coffee.

An immigration boon

With all the worrying, umm-ing and ahh-ing around immigration these days, perhaps it's worth pointing to one of the benefits of it- in this case, the development of the Australian coffee culture. Australia's relationship with coffee is a fairly new one. It wasn't really until the 1950s- in the aftermath of WW2- that saw coffee being taken up in Australia. One of the most important factors in this uptake were the Greek and Italian immigrants who came to Australia in these years, as they brought with them their love for and expertise with coffee.

The espresso culture prevalent in their countries of origin was quickly adopted by Australia and it has remained that way ever since. Whilst the UK and the USA have experienced similar popularity trends for the espresso , it was primarily as a result of chains such as Costa and Starbucks. The same cannot be said for Australia. The vast majority of coffee drunk outside the home is done so in thousands of independent shops. When Starbucks opened around 80 stores in Australia in 2000, little were they to know that only a quarter of them would be open a few years later. Australians like their coffee as just that- coffee- maybe with a splash of milk or more, but the taste of the coffee shining through is the most important bit!

Making coffee its own

The well known Antipodean contribution to the espresso repertoire is the flat white. Making a distinction between it and other milky coffees such as the latte and cappuccino has troubled some over the years, but it is very much its own drink. Featuring a double shot of espresso in order to pack a punch in a smaller cup, both heated milk and microfoam milk is used in order to create a velvety, silken texture unlike the thick froth found in other milky coffees. The milk and coffee are also mixed together, not featuring as separate layers.

As if just drinking coffee wasn't enough, a few Australians have also taken to growing it. Currently production is very small scale, at just a few hundred tons a year. The coffee doesn't seem too well thought of, as mechanical harvesting, and thus a sun grown monoculture is used. We can only hope that the small scale means that it can easily adopt a more harmonious system in the future!


Australian coffee culture
Coffee growing

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