Thanks to the large number of Italian immigrants who migrated to Australia after World War II, the continent is home to a thriving coffee cafe culture—one that is slowly making inroads in the U.S.
Meanwhile, American coffee giant Starbucks attempted a major Australian play in 2000, before shuttering scores of under-performing stores just a couple of years later. As of today, the chain has just 27 coffee houses in Sydney, Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Melbourne. (Gloria Jean’s, in comparison, has more than 400 Australian units.)
Experts say Starbucks was viewed as “too arrogant” when it arrived in Australia.
“The Americans assumed that Australians would fall in love with an American brand, and that just didn’t happen. Australians are not anti-American, but they are anti-arrogant American brands,” business professor Paul Patterson told the Australian news site news.com.au.
Americans, however, are embracing Australian (and, occasionally, New Zealand) chains as part of the growth of third-wave coffee here. Australian coffee shops are known not only for the drinks, but for their robust food menus. Here’s a look at several concepts that are bringing Australian coffee house classics like “flat whites” and “short blacks” to the U.S.