Coffee Capital of Australia
Author: Rob Date Posted:29 June 2012
The age old battle has a new field: Where is the Coffee Capital of Australia?
Melbourne and Sydney have been battling it out for cultural supremacy since the time of the Gold Rush, when Melbourne was transformed from a humble port town to an international metropolis. In 1852, British immigrants bought more tickets to Melbourne than to any other destination in the world, including Sydney, and that’s when the battle began. Today, great coffee is synonymous with culture and Sydney and Melbourne are battling it out again: this time for the title of “Coffee Capital of Australia.”
In 1858, Melbourne’s population exceeded Sydney’s and the “second city’s” growth continued to outpace Sydney’s until the turn of the century. Things reached a head when a distinguished British journalist visited Melbourne in 1885 and called it a “marvellous” city. In what Melburnians justifiably considered a childish retort, the Sydney Bulletin responded by calling Melbourne “marvellous Smellboom.”
By the turn of the century, Sydney’s growth began to exceed Melbourne’s. Melbourne fought back by declaring itself the cultural capital of Australia. Not a totally unfounded claim, Melbourne became the first “Hollywood” with the production of the world’s first feature film. The Story of the Kelly Gang was filmed on a property in the suburb of Heidelberg in 1906. An enormous hit, it was still going strong in 1910 when the stodgy establishment in Victoria decided to ban it, saying the film “incited violence.” Sadly, over the years original prints of the film were lost and today only a few out takes can be found.
When Sydney “stole” the 2000 Olympics from Melbourne, it looked like the scales had tipped in Sydney’s favour for good. Not only was Sydney’s population larger than Melbourne’s, it bathed in the limelight of the Olympics while Melburnians had to content themselves with sitting in coffee houses sipping cappuccinos and watching the Olympics on TV. Whether that became the inspiration for Melbourne’s deciding it was the coffee capital of Australia or not is hard to say. At any rate, the latest battle for cultural supremacy in Australia centres around the burning question: “Where is the coffee capital of Australia?”
That’s a question nobody can come up with a definitive answer to. Sydney can boast Australia’s first espresso machine. That arrived in Sydney Harbour in 1952 and was set up on George Street, in the heart of the city. Melbourne trailed by just 2 years, when the Don Camillo restaurant imported an espresso machine from Italy. While Sydney could conceivably boast supremacy sixty years ago, a lot has changed in the intervening years.
Collectively, Australians now spend over 3 billion dollars a year on coffee. The key word there is “collectively.” The Bluepod Coffee Company, exclusive Australian distributors of the world’s best coffee pods and capsule coffee machines, Lavazza, has offices in every Australian capital city and distributes free Lavazza coffee machines to their customers in every corner of the country, including outback towns that may drink more coffee per capita than either Sydney or Melbourne. Bluepod would argue that wherever you are in Australia, if you have a Lavazza espresso machine and an assortment of Bluepod Lavazza coffee pods, you are living in the coffee capital of the country. It could be on a beach in northern Queensland or on a mountaintop in the Snowy Mountains. Wherever you live in Australia, Bluepod can deliver your free coffee machine and supply of perfectly roasted and blended Lavazza coffee pods to your door. Let Melbourne and Sydney argue. All you need to do is enjoy.