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A Brief History Of Coffee In Australia

In Australia, we know a good cup of coffee. We are not quite the highest coffee drinking country on the planet, yet, but we like to think our taste is the best. So how exactly did we develop such a love for the stuff?

The history of coffee in Australia. It turns out that coffee came to Australia when a lot of exciting new things did, with the First Fleet. We got gunpowder, pants and coffee all at the same time. At least the second two were a good idea.

But it wasn’t the most popular drink around at the time, and probably rightly so as in the beginning it wasn’t grown here, and generally spent months festering at sea on its way to us from Europe. Many people preferred tea, rum and ale at that time over coffee.

In 1880 Australians started growing coffee for themselves, and while we are now very good at roasting it, it is difficult to compete with Italian roasters who have reportedly been honing their superior skills since the early 17th century.

But it grew on us. Australians were still not jumping at the chance to drink coffee, however, for various reported reasons. It was too expensive for many people and at the same not considered good enough for the upper classes who preferred tea.

Coffee was considered to be the drink of working men and criminals.

One of the earliest cafés in Australia is Café Florentino, which opened its doors in Melbourne in 1929. It was owned by an Italian family and the style, food, atmosphere and of course coffee were based on that provided by Italian cafés since the late 1600s. This café is still going strong and is a monument to the devotion to good coffee that Australians have.

It wasn’t until the 1950s that people started to come to their senses (especially smell and taste) and realize coffee’s true potential. This might have been because of the influx of Italian immigrants after the war, who brought with them true espresso coffee. Before this we had been apparently brewing coffee the wrong way, that is the same way we did tea, instead of roasting and grinding the beans the way Italians do.

Interesting facts

  • In the 1980s we possibly invented the flat white (like a lot of things we argue with New Zealand over this one). I’m not sure that this was a good thing; it is the most conservative of coffees, not creative like a cappuccino or exciting like an affogato.
  • We have become a bit famous as one of the few countries where Starbucks has failed to take hold, with most of its start-up shops closing again. Australians love their coffee and are particular about it, and we expected better.

Coffee at home since 1947

For a long time now we have been blessed with coffee at home; the first instant coffee was produced in Australia in 1947. Now it has moved from instant to plunger to brewed and then to the magical countertop machines that are little (and not so little) condensed versions of traditional café coffee makers.

First we ground and brewed and frothed and assembled our morning coffee, now has come the time of the capsule dispenser which does everything for you. And in your little house in the Aussie suburbs, countryside or outback, you can get fresh traditional Italian roasted coffee, made the same way Italians have been doing it for four hundred years.

With Caffe Bonini, you can taste 100% Italian Coffee delivered in Australia. Caffe Bonini beans are perfected through generations of ancient roasters and improved by our coffee Sommeliers. It’s not just any coffee, it’s blended using a secret method perfected in Tuscany. What originated from a small village in Tuscany has spread all over Europe and now to Australia, today Caffe Bonini has over 120 Pausa Caffe shops all over Europe.

You can explore our choices of compatible pods and capsules for your machine. Whether it’s Nespresso, Dolce Gusto, Caffitaly, or Lavazza, our coffee capsules can be used on your machine.

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