Drink In Australia’s Coffee Culture

They might have an international reputation for being easygoing, but if there is one thing that Australians take very seriously, it’s coffee. The standard of coffee excellence is so high in the cities and towns here, that baristas can earn a nationally accredited degree for their work. Around 95% of all cafes in Oz are independently owned, and it seems that Australians like to keep it that way. In the early 2000s, global coffee powerhouse, Starbucks, tried to expand here, then failed due to fierce homegrown resistance. Australians are on a never-ending quest to find the perfect cup of coffee, and it seems that they just aren’t going to find it at a corporate chain shop. When you visit Australia, you can savour a uniquely brewed cup made from the finest beans, in endless indie cafes. Drink in Australia’s coffee culture, and let a freshly brewed cup energize you on your Australia vacation.

Australia’s passion for coffee is a relatively recent phenomenon. In the 1920s, Russian refugees opened Australia’s first coffee shops and began selling take-home beans. However, the quality of the coffee vastly improved after World War II, when immigrants from Italy brought European-inspired techniques for brewing espressos and lattes, to Australia. Soon, Italian style cafes started opening up, and after a period of expansion during the 1980s, Australia’s coffee culture became one of the most authentic and celebrated in the world. The Italian influence on Australian coffee culture remains strong today, with fine Italian brands like Lavazza, Vittoria, and Segafredo Zanetti, among the most popular Down Under.

Making a Flat White Coffee, Australia
Making a Flat White Australian coffee specialty

On first sip, you’ll notice that Australian coffee is a good deal stronger than North American coffee. Drip coffee with an espresso base is most common here. A must-try Australian invention is the “Flat White”, which consists of a layer of microfoam poured over top of a double espresso. Australian coffee connoisseurs are dedicated to constantly innovating and finessing their craft to keep their ranking among the best in the world. Recent trends in Australian coffee culture have been experimentation with alternative brewing methods, like filter and cold drip, as well as the use of single origin beans and small batch roasts.

Australia’s indie cafe scene is full of hidden gems. To save you time from wandering around, trying to finding the perfect place to enjoy a cup of coffee, Goway offers comprehensive tours to the best and most interesting places in Australian coffee culture. The Food, Wine and Rainforest Tour departs from Cairns and explores the tropical North Queensland Coffee Plantation. Coffee beans are grown, roasted, and dispatched onsite at the plantation. Get off the beaten path to explore this family operation and learn the story behind the flavour.

Gourmet Inner West Food Tour in Sydney, Australia
Gourmet Inner West Food Tour in Sydney

The rich blends and brews are served from Darwin to Sydney, as well as cities, towns and scenic wine regions in between. The Lane and Arcades Tour will take you through the hidden treasures of Melbourne. This walking tour goes through its charming backstreets and stops along the way at delightful and quirky cafes. With an expert guide, you’ll also check out specialty retailers, local designers, and interesting street art and architecture that only insiders know about.

The Gourmet Inner West Food Tour takes you through the trendy “Inner West” area of Sydney to explore an array of flavours — AAA grade meats, exotic herbs and spices, handmade chocolates, cheeses, and of course, gourmet coffee. The tour stops at a coffee house for a fascinating demonstration on how the soothing beverage is made the Australian way. The tour runs from 9am to 1pm, leaving the afternoon free to taste your way through Sydney’s vibrant food and drink culture.

Melbourne Cafes, Australia
Melbourne cafes

Coffee in Australia is a treat to be enjoyed, so whether you decide to take a day tour or not, be sure to make time to relax in a streetside cafe with a book or newspaper, soak up the atmosphere, and sip on a perfect cup of coffee.

Share with friends and family
Meg Boyd
Meg Boyd

Downunder Product and Marketing Manager - Melbourne-born Meg arrived in Canada in January with no winter coat, one suitcase, a one week booking at a youth hostel, and a sight-unseen job offer at Goway Travel. She thought she’d stay for a year – that was 12 years ago! Never one to shy away from adventure, Meg has been in the industry for 23 years and has journeyed extensively through Europe, Asia and North America. Meg’s heart however belongs to the South Pacific, including New Zealand, Fiji, and her native Australia.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Get the latest travel trends & hear about the best deals on vacations around the world.

If you’re a Globetrotter, these are the newsletters for you!

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x