Around the world with our baristas: Australia
Why Sydney is not Starbuck's realm
Arriving in Sydney, I expected to see Starbucks on every street corner, the way you do in most of the world’s big cities. To my great surprise, it was a little over a month before I spotted a Starbucks!!! In fact, the giant seems to have been sidelined by small independent coffeehouses, for a number of reasons.
First, an influx of Italian immigrants in the early 1950s introduced Australia to the art of coffee, and that heritage is central to the unique coffee culture that still lives on in the country. Visiting various coffeehouses in Australia, I soon noticed that the baristas there are passionately dedicated to their art. They take the time to make every coffee with care, and their patrons matter to them.
Second, Aussies are known for their laid-back attitude, and it seems independent coffeehouses meet their needs better than a giant like Starbucks. Australians love to socialize over a good cuppa, be it with friends, coworkers or relatives. They like to take their time and relax while sipping a fine coffee.
Third, Australians are increasingly knowledgeable about coffee culture. There are lots of “cupping” events (kind of like wine-tasting but for coffee) offered by independent roasting houses.
My best finds
I don’t need to tell you that where coffeehouses are concerned, Australia is a gold mine. Here are my two favourite spots in Sydney to enjoy a good coffee (and munch on a little snack).
Bare Naked Bowl
Shop 1, 145 Macpherson St,, Bronte, Sydney, NSW 2024
2/41 Market Lane, Manly, Sydney, NSW 2095
This superfood café is known for its açai bowls, which are a treat for eyes and palate alike. I fell in love with this coffeehouse the first time I walked in. However busy it may be (and it’s busy every day), the employees make sure every patron is satisfied. They offer fresh-roasted single-origin coffees and, let me tell you, they are absolutely delectable. Sipping a great coffee and eating a smoothie bowl by the seaside -- it doesn’t get better than this!
2/136 Wairoa Ave, Bondi Beach, Sydney, NSW 2026
Considered one of the best places to brunch, Harry’s is an absolute must next time you’re visiting Bondi Beach! The atmosphere is warm, the food is colourful and the coffees are beyond delicious. Definitely worth the trip if you want to savour a cold drip or a flat white under the sun!