Australia’s coffee culture is internationally renowned as being pioneering and innovative, even though we are tens of thousands of kilometres away from cities like New York, where coffee culture is so intense.
And yet our isolation is perhaps one reason why coffee in Australia is so fabulous – that the tyranny of distance has worked to instil our independent coffee culture, completely unique to us.
Let’s take a look at some of the best coffee experiences in Australia, where the first European-style espresso machines arrived with Mediterranean immigrants in the aftermath of World War II.
Coffee experiences in Canberra
Lonsdale Street Roasters 7
Featuring 16 blends, Lonsdale Street Roasters has the ideal cup of coffee for every coffee lover. The coffee is roasted locally, and the establishment prides itself on bringing high-quality coffee to the capital. Using a Diedrich roaster with infrared burners, Lonsdale Street Roasters delivers precise even heat and airflow when roasting. This allows them to manipulate heat, air and time to extract the true flavour and character of each origin.
The Cupping Room
A concept café designed to take you on a flavour journey, the Cupping Room is one of those places always bustling with energy; a popular coffee spot in Canberra. Cupping is the process coffee roasters and growers use to judge coffees next to each other without bias. The Cupping Room was designed by the team from ONA coffee (Canberra’s largest speciality coffee roaster) to share its passion with customers. They’ve competed in national and international barista contests and work with farmers all over the world.
Coffee spots in Melbourne
Housed in a heritage-listed powerhouse, Higher Ground is an all-day dining destination located in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD on Little Bourke St, over the road from the Southern Cross train station. It’s a fantastic coffee and food experience, with six connected levels wrapping around the perimetre of the original brick building to create a suite of intimate tiered platforms. It’s much fancier than the average café and features an evocative, inventive, and highly curated menu, giving guests the very best Melbourne has to offer. The coffee menu is incredibly detailed and this is truly a place where coffee lovers gather “religiously.”
This is a place for the serious coffee drinker. Aunty Peg’s is a lovely modern space on Wellington Street in Collingwood. Nolan Hirte, director of Proud Mary Coffee Roasters, envisioned Aunty Peg’s to be a welcoming, inclusive space where you could access excellent coffee, brewed for you by your one-on-one barista. When naming the space, Nolan wanted to honour his Grandma a Scottish woman who was known as Aunty Peg. She was well known for her warm hospitality and incredible home cooking and that’s what Aunty Peg’s café is all about. You can also learn to brew with the baristas, stock up on beans and brew gear at the shop and tour the working roastery.
Coffee experiences around Perth
Grouch and Co
Known as specialty coffee roasters, Grouch and Co is headed up by Renata Taylor – the company prides itself on inclusivity and pushing the boundaries. They roast in small batches, then carefully curate seasonal blends by combining like-minded single origins. Grouch and Co hunts down coffee that excites and inspires, only roasting specialty grade green and dealing with green bean suppliers that can provide a paper trail of everyone along the coffee chain, especially the farmers.
Tiisch features a stunning yet beautiful interior of white walls with indoor plants, giving the café a bright and sophisticated buzz. The business uses Dukes coffee and offers a great filter menu with cold brew, cold drip, batch brew and pour-overs. Espresso drinkers have a choice of several single origins to choose from for their brew. You’ll find honest, uncomplicated but imaginative food, with an emphasis on locally sourced produce.
Yahava Koffee Works
Located in the Swan Valley, Yahava Koffee Works takes visitors through the entire coffee roasting process. Watch as the beans are fired, ground and packaged up for sale in the delightful boutique. Stock up on beans while you’re there – you’ll find a variety to suit everyone’s tastes. While you’re in the area, why not indulge in all the delicacies of WA’s premier foodie region? This fabulous day tour incorporates a visit to Yahava Koffee Works along with a visit to a cheese and chocolate factory, tasting at three stunning wineries and lunch at a local brewery.
Coffee hot spots in Sydney
Artificer is only about the coffee. The Bourke St, Surry Hills coffee shop specialises in the procurement of delicious coffee and focuses on the correlation between selection, roasting and brewing that best represents its unique qualities. This place serves up some of the best coffee in Australia, so regardless of how you like your morning cuppa, you won’t be disappointed.
Single O Cafe Surry Hills
The Single O team was instrumental in what was known as the “third-wave coffee movement” back in 2003 when they first opened. The first home of their roasting is still home to its team of passionate staff peaking on single origins and their Reservoir blend. Single O is a place where you can come for a fabulously well-made coffee, a freshly roasted bag for home and a delicious breakfast or lunch from the seasonal menu. Next to the café is Sideshow, the specialty brew bar.
A perfect morning would involve grabbing a seat on one of the pavement tables and enjoy an hour or two of people watching!
Coffee in South Adelaide
Elementary Coffee is designed as a wholesale coffee company but their bright open-plan warehouse lets you wander between the roasting area and cafe area. You can expect complex black coffees (espresso and filter). Owner Brad Nixon has worked for major coffee companies in Melbourne, including Five Senses and Code Black. He was determined to bring his knowledge to Adelaide and he’s succeeded in helping to establish a unique Adelaide scene.
My Kingdom for a Horse
My Kingdom For A Horse is close to the iconic Adelaide Central Market, and is a bright and breezy place where coffee is roasted on-site, rivalling Melbourne’s top roasters. There’s a team of highly team of experienced baristas running the brew bar, which is fitted with the most up-to-date gadgets for filter coffee and espresso service.
Australian coffee experiences in Tasmania
Villino Coffee Roasters is one of the longest-running roasters of coffee in Australia with two cafes in Hobart. It’s famous for its huge range of just-roasted brews; espresso, cold brew, pour over, cascara tea made from coffee cherry pulp and even a coffee flight (doppio, batch brew and flat white). Villino also has an extensive food menu and, if you’re after take away coffee, you can walk just 20 metres down the road to its “hole in the wall” café, Ecru.
The Stagg is a small family-owned café which focuses on delivering high quality take away coffee and homemade goodies. You can order your coffee white, black, or cold brew, and pick up a sweet or savoury muffin. The owners also run the nearby Atlas Espresso, which is a short stroll down Elizabeth Street towards the water.
Born in Brunswick
North Hobart’s Born in Brunswick is very Melbourne, just as the name suggests. It’s run by ex-Masterchef contestant Con Vailas and his friend Ben Korkmaz, serving single-origin espresso, batch brew and pour-over filter coffee ; representing a great variety of roasters and origins. Floor-to-ceiling windows and skylights let the sun shine on the restaurant’s plant-lined walls, while the menu features Aussie favourites such as avocado toast, hotcakes, and hash browns. The café also pushes the boundaries of cafe food by incorporating native ingredients and foraged herbs…and we can’t wait to return!