August 9, 2013

New Yorkers finally warm to the humble Aussie flat white

COFFEE junkies can now order an Australian flat white across New York without fear of facing a blank stare and prolonged withdrawal symptoms.

From the Manhattan neighbourhoods of the East Village, TriBeCa, Chelsea, Midtown and Murray Hill and across the East River to Brooklyn’s Williamsburg, Prospect Park and Fort Greene, Australian-owned cafes are changing the way New Yorkers drink coffee.

“Most Americans know what a cappuccino is, and they realise that a flat white is pretty close to the same thing,” said Tyler Schlieman, 25, who has been a barista at Toby’s Estate in Williamsburg since November last year.

Fellow barista Cameron Smith, 22, concurs. “A lot of people have learned what a flat white is – from coming in repeatedly,” he said.

Flat whites – the milky brew whose origins are claimed by Australia and New Zealand – are in the top five sellers of an extensive coffee list, and outsell cappuccinos at Toby’s, which opened its first US branch in January last year.

Co-owner Amber Jacobsen, an Aussie who has lived in the US for six years, said Toby’s was looking for a second space.

New York’s coffee culture has changed significantly over the past five years, but has “seriously ramped up” in the past two years, with the rise of US roasters – such as Portland, Oregon’s Stumptown, San Francisco, California’s Bluebottle, Chicago, Illinois’s Intelligentsia – and local specialty cafes entering the game.

The Chelsea stalwart Grumpy’s – co-owned by an Australian and used in the television series Girls – now has cafes in two Brooklyn neighbourhoods. The well-established Bluebird in the East Village also has Australian heritage. Hugh Jackman is a co-owner at Laughing Man cafe, which opened in TriBeCa in 2011. Milk Bar and Smooch are newer Aussie fixtures in Brooklyn.

The rise of the Australian cafe in New York reflects growing numbers of expats in a city that embraces novelty and a country that loves entrepreneurial flair, says Serafina Maiorano, chief executive of Advance, a body for Australians living and working overseas.

“Australians used to go to the UK as a rite of passage,” she said. “Now there’s a generation of young Aussies wanting to start businesses in the US. We’re seeing it in the coffee industry, in tech, in media, in fashion.”

Ms Maiorano credits the relative ease of acquiring an E-3 visa – available since the free trade agreement between then prime minister John Howard and former US president George W. Bush – as a lure to entrepreneurs to open small businesses.

Starting a cafe on the heels of the GFC crisis made sense, Ms Jacobsen said, because New York “wasn’t a very heavily populated coffee environment” then.

Pie Face opened its fifth New York City store last month, in Hell’s Kitchen. It planned to open four more outlets this year, said marketing manager Tennille Scicluna. “Only when you venture abroad do you realise how advanced our coffee culture in Australia truly is,” she added.


Source: Caroline Jumpertz, The Australian, August 05, 2013

Barista Cameron Smith at Toby’s Estate in Williamsburg. Picture: Caroline Chisholm

Advertisment Advertisment


Business for Sale – Coffee Roaster & Boutique Tea Distributor

Established, well known regional NSW coffee roaster and boutique tea distributor based in Central West NSW. • Includes plant and equipment, stock, established employees with a wealth of knowledge, established customer and par...
by Cafe Culture Mag


Cafe Pulse 2021 – Have Your Say and win!

Complete this survey to receive your free Cafe Industry summary report plus your chance to win some great prizes. Join the 8th Year of the Café Industry study. It takes 20-25 mins to complete to receive your own valued Su...
by Cafe Culture Mag


Mixed Grains Now Available as Part of Speedibake’s Popular Authentic Sourdough Range

By CCDigital  Tip Top Foodservice has expanded its range of authentic sourdough breads to include a sliced Sourdough Mixed Grains loaf, perfect for cafes. The hand-moulded loaf, made from a sourdough culture created over 10 y...
by Cafe Culture Mag



Coffee Machine Technical Service & Installation Specialist needed

By CCDigital  The opportunity you’ve been waiting for! Location: Gold Coast, South East QLDPosition: Full TimeClassification: Trades & Services, Electrician About Us Barista Technology A...
by Cafe Culture Mag


Beancraft Coffee Roasters

We are roasters of beautifully crafted, award-winning coffees. We offer competitively priced single origin and specialty blended coffees for the wholesale consumer.  In addition to our passion for good coffee, our tight-knit t...
by Cafe Culture Mag