World Coffee Series: Australia


Favourite instant coffee that you can buy in Australian
The Waka Life Blog

World Coffee Series: Australia

Each country has its own unique coffee culture and drink preferences. After covering the US, South Korea, and Japan, now let's talk about Australia!

We love Australia! After all Aussies are the ones bringing us Google Maps, WiFi, UGG boots, Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, Vegemite, and Australian Iced Coffee! Let's explore the coffee culture in Australia and as a bonus, learn how to make that delicious iced coffee from instant coffee.

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History of Coffee in Australia

Coffee first arrived to Australia in the late 18th century, but didn’t gain popularity until the late 19th century, or specifically, the 1870s. The rise in popularity is contributed to the increase of Parisian coffee shops at that time along with The Temperance Movement. This movement was a protest of drunkenness and anti-social behaviors. Pubs closed by 6 pm and coffee started replacing alcohol. In the 1930s, Italian immigrants brought the espresso to Australia and its popularity grew even more in the 1950s when WWII Europeans immigrants arrived to the country. Since then, coffee consumption has continued to grow while new coffee shops and cafes opened. 

Australian Coffee Culture

The Australian coffee culture is unique in that it was created and shaped by European immigrant families rather than large coffee chains. It's coffee culture is largely based on independent coffee shops and the love to instant coffee, with large coffee chains unable to take hold. According to a 2019 report, there are currently over 20,000 cafes and coffee shops in Australia today. As they are mostly independently owned, every cafe is not made the same. Each coffee shop has its own unique atmosphere and presentation while the owners' personality infused into it.

Unlike the hustle and bustle of US coffee shops, Australian cafes are epitome of socializing. Their laid back culture includes cafes as a place for social gatherings where people converse with others over a cup of delicious coffee!

Instant Coffee in Australia

Along with the popularity of independently owned coffee shops, Australians love instant coffee! It makes up 75% of the annual coffee consumption in Australia and is mainly drank at home and at work office kitchens. Instant coffee is so popular because it is the easiest and quickest way to make coffee without the need of coffeemakers or going to the coffee shop. According to a 2014 research conducted by the Australian's Bureau of Statistics, out of the16.3 million coffee cups drank daily in Australia, about 2 out of 3 were made from instant coffee granules and only 1 out of 3 from coffee grounds. Instant coffee is also more popular with the older generation in comparison to younger adults or teenagers as the best instant coffee being easily made at home too!

Bonus: Australian Iced Coffee Recipe using instant coffee

how to make Australian iced coffee with instant coffee

Australians, who experience summer when the rest of the world is still in its cold dreary winter months, found a way to enjoy an iced coffee together with ice cream! It’s no secret that sipping iced coffee in the summer is the adult equivalent of licking a nice ice cream cone by the pool, as we did so many times as kids. Well, make yours faster with Waka's delicious instant coffee. Want to watch all the steps? Click here.


  • 8 oz. of cold water
  • A splash of hot water (enough to melt the instant coffee faster)
  • 1-2 teaspoons of Waka Instant Coffee (varies based on preferences) or 1 single serve packet
  • 1-2 teaspoons of sugar or sugar alternative (optional)
  • Ice cubes
  • Milk or milk substitute of choice
  • 1 scoop of vanilla ice cream
  • Whipped cream and chocolate shavings (optional)


  1. Pour our premium instant coffee (and sugar if desired) into a tall 8 oz. glass
  2. Add a splash of hot water to melt the instant coffee and stir
  3. Add in ice cubes (about 6 cubes) and stir again
  4. Fill with cold water ¾ of the way and stir the contents
  5. Add preferred amount of milk or milk substitute and stir one last time
  6. Add in a scoop of vanilla ice cream to top (ice cream should fall right into the liquid)
  7. If preferred, add whipped cream and chocolate shavings sprinkled on top of your glass

How They Drink Their Coffee

Australia is one of the 30 leading coffee consuming countries around the world with 75% drinking at least one cup a day and 28% drinking three or more a day. Unlike the preference of drip coffee in the US, Australians prefer espresso and espresso based drinks. This is again largely to to the influence of Italian immigrants and their coffee culture. This trend has lead to a demand for premium espresso-based drinks and most coffee served in Australis's cafes are indeed espresso-based drinks. According to a 2018 coffee report, out of all the cups of coffee sold in cafes that year, the most popular drink was the latte (33%). It is followed by 24% flat white and 19% the cappuccino.

10 Most Unique Cafes in Australia

Café Parterre  📍Woollahra

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Via @cafe_parterre

This cafe has French influenced styling along with a greenhouse, plenty of plants, and chandeliers. It’s rustic, yet clean designs and aesthetics are great for the perfect instagram picture.

Celsius Coffee Co  📍Kirribilli

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Via @celsiuscoffeeco

This is a beautiful brunch spot that has beautiful ocean views. The Celsius Coffee Co literally floats on top of the Sydney Harbor so you can enjoy the view of the sea out the window as you eat brunch and sip your coffee.

Flipboard Cafe  📍Melbourne

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Via Flipboard Cafe 

This is a unique cafe that features wooden decorations and its special design resembles a tetris game. This is definitely a place where you can always discover something new as it features two floors along with outdoor box seating areas for two.

Porch & Parlour  📍Bondi

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Via @porchandparlour

This coffee shop is found in a beachy neighborhood along with the laid back and fun vibes of the beach. Not only do they serve coffee, but they also have a brunch menu and a cocktail menu.

Little Lord  📍Camperdown

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Via @littlelordcafe

This cafe features retro furniture and designs along with their pastel pink walls. Its cozy atmosphere can make you feel right at home. They also have a variety of delicious baked goods for you to enjoy along with your coffee.

Epic Espresso  📍West Perth

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Via @epicespresso

As the name claims, this cafe features the espresso and espresso based drinks. They also have a few sweets and baked goods for you to have along with your coffee.This cafe even features a barista school for anyone that is interested in testing their skills out!

Bread & Circus  📍Alexandria

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Via @breadcircus

This cafe features long communal tables, high ceilings, brick walls, and pastel pink tiled counters. Enjoy brunch and coffee along with the beautiful instagram worthy aesthetic.

Roller Door Cafe  📍West Melbourne

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Via @rollerdoorcafe

This cafe is in an unassuming garden shed-like building. But don’t let the exterior fool you! Although it is a smaller place, is it a great place for coffee and features quick brunch and lunch foods. It also has a small outdoor seating area on the side with plenty of plants and greenery. 

Rudimentary  📍Melbourne

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Via @_rudimentary_

Have you ever had coffee or lunch inside a shipping container? Well, now here’s your chance! The Rudimentary is a cafe made up of large shipping containers and its interior is decorated with a clean modern feel for you to enjoy your coffee while conversing with friends.

Catmosphere  📍Sydney

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Via @catmospheresyd

This is Sydney’s original cat cafe where you can enjoy your coffee along with the company of cats. Catmosphere also partners with rescue groups to take care of displaced cats and find them new homes!

Make the best Australian Iced coffee with our instant coffee. Get it here.

Waka Coffee & Tea