Australian Coffee Culture

Australian coffee culture is very different to many other countries. Visitors often ask “what is a Long Black or a Flat White”?

The culture has been influenced by the large number of immigrants from Italy and other countries who moved here in the mid 20th Century after the war. Australian coffees are based on high quality espresso which is extracted by an espresso machine, as in Italy.

On the other hand, American style coffee such as you find in Starbucks is also based on espresso but puts a stronger emphasis on milk, additives and various other flavourings.  Starbucks has grown all over the world but the Australian coffee culture didn’t allow its growth here, where thousands of high-quality local coffee shops compete for the best coffee in a market with discerning palates. Australians love their coffee.

Coffee Styles

There are 9 major coffee styles that make up the bulk of the Australian coffee culture:

  1. Short Black/Espresso:

    A straight shot of coffee. The espresso must be very high quality for the coffee to be perfect.
  2. Long Black:

    A double shot of espresso with hot water, similar to an American coffee or “Americano”.
  3. Macchiato:

    A shot of espresso with a small amount of frothed milk. Some cafes may give the option of “one shot” or “double shot”. This coffee is very strong, like a short black.
  4. Cappuccino:

    Equal quantities of coffee and steamed milk, with frothed milk and chocolate powder on top.
  5. Ristretto:

    A shot of espresso with less water.
  6. Piccolo:

    A Ristretto with frothed milk served in a small glass, like a smaller version of a Latte.
  7. Flat White:

    A shot of espresso with steamed hot milk. This coffee can be very milky, similar to an American Latte, and is not so common outside Australia and New Zealand.
  8. Latte:

    A Flat White with a layer of foamed milk. This is the milkiest coffee style of all.
  9. Mocha:

    A Latte with chocolate.

Coffee Preferences

With so many different styles of coffee, how do you choose one. Well, the simple answer is to try them all and choose your favourite, however a recent survey asked people “What do you usually drink at a cafe?”

  1. Latte
  2. Flat White
  3. Tea
  4. Cappuccino
  5. Chai Latte

The top responses were Latte at 25% followed by Flat White at 15%. Of course, some people don’t drink coffee at all. According to this survey, 30% drink tea, Chai Latte or nothing.

These responses need to be taken with caution because our local cafe tells us that their most popular coffee is Cappucino. Age group, region and fashion also play a part in coffee tastes.

Whatever your favourite cup, we hope you enjoy your journey through the Australian coffee culture.