Aussie coffee culture goes global

Aussie cafe culture is sweeping the USA, and having an impact around the world.

Jordan Michelman, co-founder of, a US-based coffee news website, told InkWire that many Americans dub as ‘Australian style’ the practice of having food and high-end coffee in the same room.

“In America a typical brunch routine looks something like this; head out to the part of town where you want to eat, grab a good coffee from the nearest good cafe, then go wait in line for brunch at the restaurant,” Michelman said.


La Veen co-owner Jack Liao.

“Table service at a cafe in America is non-existent, so it’s kind of a thrill to have your table bussed at a coffee bar.”

Jack Liao, who co-owns King Street café La Veen Coffee & Kitchen said other nations had their own notions of what made Australian coffee culture unique.

“If you visit China, Japan, Taiwan or Singapore and you see these [metal stools], that’s definitely ‘Australian-style’,” he said.

“There’s a lot of [overseas] cafes these days that are using the quote “flat white” and we’ll know straightaway that’s going to be ‘Australian-style’.

“The unique way of [an] Australian café is, I don’t know, we’re just better at doing espresso, I think.”

Liao said cafes in Australia had always been influenced by its multicultural society and thus his menu could only be described as ‘New Australian’.

Michelman noted that: “Australia is this nation of immigrants and pulls in influences from all around the world to make a cafe culture uniquely yours”.

“The thing that unites all of it is work ethic and cup quality and that may actually be the most distinctive thing of all about Australian coffee culture; people work really hard and have very high quality standards,” he said.

Michelman said the average American would have only known Australia through Crocodile Dundee five years ago but they’re now intrigued by Australian coffee culture.

“Americans are paying closer attention to Australian culture right now than at any time in our two countries’ histories,” he said.

Entrepreneurs who have expanded Australian inspired cafes to the US include Alex Hall of Brunswick Cafe in Brooklyn New York, Chris Timbrell who has opened seven Café Grumpy outlets around New York, and former Hawthorn and St. Kilda AFL player Nick Stone who runs four Bluestone Lane cafes across The Big Apple.

A common menu item is the flat white but another Aussie-founded chain, Toby’s Estate, offers such downunder staples as Vegemite, Tim Tams and lamingtons at their New York and Brooklyn cafes.

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