Lesson

Coffee in Australia

Coffee’s a big thing in Australia. Not many people realise this until they get here and quite often they get shocked. They show up and they’re like, “Wow! There’s a lot of coffee and the quality of the coffee is really good and Aussies are obsessed with their coffee!”. So, I thought that I would do the Aussie English fact today on the history of coffee and some interesting coffee facts in Australia. Okay.

So, where does the love of coffee come from in Australia?

Obviously, British people who settled Australia in the late 1700s were obsessed with tea. So, they didn’t bring coffee with them. It actually wasn’t until the late 1920s that Australia got espresso coffee, and previous to that, they only had filter coffee, which you might know from the US. So, espresso coffee only arrived in the 1920s. The first commercial espresso machine was actually installed in Cafe Florentino, which is on Bourke Street in Melbourne in the year 1928, so ninety years ago. (It) seems like a long time, but compared to, say, places like Europe, we haven’t had coffee very long.

However, espresso coffee was still pretty niche until the 1950s when the Aussies really started to appreciate the bean. after World War II, two major things occurred which kicked off the coffee culture in Australia. Firstly, the Australian government lifted controls on the import of coffee. And secondly, the Australian government began a new immigration program, which brought in a heap of non-British European migrants. So, this is where we got a load of people from Greece and Italy, and these people were espresso-loving migrants. They loved espressos.

So, Italian style coffee lounges soon began popping up all over the shop in Australia, and by the 70s and 80s and then into the 90s, coffee culture really started to ramp up as coffee shops began to fill laneways, street corners, shopping centres, and other places all around Australia.

So, why is Aussie coffee so good?

There’s several reasons for the great quality of Australian coffee. Firstly, Aussie cafe owners use quality coffee beans. So, they sourced these from all over the world, they get them here, and then they bake the coffee beans themselves, and then they use espresso-based methods to create the coffee instead of, say, filter-based methods, like in places like the USA. Beans are also ground fresh-to-order, which gives the resulting coffee its full and flavourful taste. They’re ground just before the coffee is made. And then lastly Aussie barristers are highly trained, so they have to undergo practical barista training when they learn to master the art of making the perfect cuppa.

And as a side note, I think it’s a great profession to get into if you are a migrant coming to Australia and you want to get a job in, say, hospitality, working in cafes, getting trained up as a qualified barista is it going to lead you to always having a job, because cafes and restaurants always need good barristers.

So, a few more facts about coffee. Unlike in the US, 95% of coffee shops in Australia are owned by Australians independently, so they’re not owned by really big franchises. In fact, as an Australian, I specifically avoid big franchises when I want to get good coffee. So, I pretty much never go to Starbucks unless I‘m in a bust and I really need my caffeine kick.

American-owned Starbucks tried to enter the Australian coffee market opening 84 stores Countrywide in the year 2000, but after only eight years, 61 of these stores were closed and that was because they couldn’t live up to the high-quality coffee standards of the average Aussie.

The most popular coffee in Australia is the cappuccino, which is sold on average 50,000 times every 30 minutes during the day.

A few more interesting facts.

Beethoven needed a precise 60 beans in one cup of his daily grind.

The coffee taste for the coffee company Costa–bit of a tongue twister that–has his tongue insured for 10 million pounds. Jesus!

The average Australian spends $494.59, nearly $500, every single year on coffee.

And the best time of day to consume coffee is between 9:30am and 11:30am, because your cortisol hormone, the one that regulates your metabolism and immune system, has plummeted in levels and caffeine causes it to rise in the morning.

So, that’s it for today, guys. I would love to know if you are a coffee fan yourself, and if so, what’s your favourite kind of coffee? For me, it’s definitely a medium sized cap with no sugar, a medium sized cappuccino.


Vocabulary:

ST – Something

SO – Someone

SW – Somewhere

A barrister – a person whose profession is to make coffee
A big franchise – a large corporation, i.e. McDonalds, Starbucks, KFC, etc.
A caffeine kick – the high you get from drinking ST with caffeine in it
A cap – (Australian slang) a cappuccino
A coffee fan – a person who likes coffee
A cuppa – a cup of coffee or tea
A heap of ST – many of ST
A laneway – an alley or thin street, usually in cities between buildings
A load of ST – many of ST
A migrant – SO who has moved to a new country or place to live
A tongue twister – a difficult to say phrase with many similar sounding words
All over the shop – everywhere
As a side note – used when introducing ST related to what’s just been said
Be obsessed with ST – be completely fixated on or interested in ST
Beethoven – the famous German composer Ludwig van Beethoven
Cortisol hormone – a hormone, which is mainly released at times of stress and has many important functions in your body
Espresso coffee – coffee that is brewed by expressing or forcing out a small amount of nearly boiling water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans
expresso-based methods – methods of making coffee based on expressos
expresso-loving – be really fond of expressos
Filter-based methods – methods of making coffee based on using filters
Flavourful – full of flavour; tasty
Fresh-to-order – (ST that can be) made freshly when ordered
Grind ST – crush ST into powder
In a bust – in a difficult position
independently – in a way that is free from outside control or influence
Install ST – place or fix (equipment or machinery) in position ready for use
Insure ST – arrange for compensation in the event of damage to or loss of (property), or injury to SO, etc.
Jesus! – an exclamation said in shock, surprise, or when impressed
Kick off – begin
Live up to ST – to achieve what is expected, especially high standards.
Master ST – become a master at doing ST
Metabolism – the chemical processes that occur within a living organism in order to maintain life
Niche – referring to products, services, or interests that appeal to a small, specialised section of the population
One’s daily grind – the daily cup of coffee SO has
Plummet – dramatically decrease
Pop up – appear
Previous to that – before that
Quality coffee beans – in this case “quality + ST” means “good quality ST”
Ramp ST up – increase the intensity of ST
Regulate ST – control ST
Say – for example; like; such as
Settle (SW) – move to and occupy new lands (SW)
Source ST – obtain from a particular source.
The bean – the coffee bean; coffee
The immune system – the organs and processes of the body that provide resistance to infection and toxins
The resulting coffee – the coffee that results (from the previously mentioned process)
Undergo ST – experience ST