I think for us, Australian coffee culture is around espresso coffee, because we’re a land of immigrants. Pre and post WWII there was a huge amount of migration from Western Europe - Italy, Greece, Malta, and they brought their espresso heritage, and that injected coffee into the Australian scene. Australia as part of the Commonwealth had a very big tea culture, and with Italians arriving with their espresso machines, drip coffee wasn’t a part of the landscape.
So for us, most of the innovation is on the espresso side, with a movement towards flat whites, it originated from New Zealand and Australia, and the fact that it’s now recognized by Starbucks and added to the core menu, that’s a testament to the Australian and New Zealand coffee culture.
Our coffee needs to be premium, it needs to taste fantastic, so we spend a lot of time sourcing incredible quality arabica coffee. The quality of machines has to be very premium, we are sourcing from Italian manufacturers, European manufacturers. And a lot of skill goes into making coffee consistently, especially with 3-4 kinds of milk, it’s not like opening a bottle of beer. That’s a core part of being a cafe in Australia.
So I think that’s the biggest one, premium espresso. It’s not made by an automatic machine, the barista has to be skillful and talented, it’s not just pressing a button. It’s a true, respected profession in Australia. I’d love for us to be a part of the movement in educating people on how talented and dedicated premium baristas are. It’s a lot more complicated than people appreciate.