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Why Are So Many Australians Working in American Coffee?


Australia has given the world so much: Nicole Kidman, the Hemsworth brothers, flat whites, and (some say) avocado toast. At least two of these imports made Australian coffee shops a slow-burn trend of the 2010s — by 2016, a flat white and an avo toast, along with single origin brews, savory dishes (not just pastries), full service, and a clean design aesthetic all became shorthand for this particular style of establishment.

Australian chains like Bluestone Lane — and those Aussie coffee workers themselves — now dot cities like New York and Los Angeles. Earlier this year, Vogue announced that “coffee [had] percolated seamlessly with Australian culture,” suggesting an odd role-reversal where ultra-cultured New York is looking to smaller cities like Melbourne for tips on being cosmopolitan.

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