Coffee originally began being cultivated in 1880, and had continued growth through 1926. However, it was quickly found that Australian coffee quality was poor and sales rapidly declined. This was due to a couple of key things: 1)The types of coffee being grown were not right for the climate (Bourbon, Typica, Arush, Caturra, and Blue Mountain). And 2)Shipping from Australia to other countries typically takes a little longer, and the coffee was arriving stale. For a time, coffee cultivation in Australia came to a halt.
Coffee grown today in Australia is in Nimbin and Lismore in New South Wales, Cape York in North Queensland, and Mareeba on the Atherton Tablelands. Many of these farms are fully mechanized, but there is still a good chunk of smaller farms that utilize hand cultivation. New cultivars have also been developed for use in the regions that work much better: Catuai Rojo, K7, SL14, SL6, Mundo Novo, Catuai Amarillo and Kieperson. When being exported, coffee is now also vacuum sealed, helping retain the coffee’s important freshness. These changes were crucial to Australia regaining success in the coffee market again.
The profiles of Australian coffee generally encompass a mild taste with a light to medium body, crisp and clean aftertaste, and hints of sweet floral and apricots. Sometimes one can even detect apricot or rose hips in the brew.
Key Australian Coffee Profile Notes
Varietals: Catuai Rojo, K7, SL14, SL6, Mundo Novo, Catuai Amarillo and Kieperson
Grow Regions: Nimbin and Lismore in New South Wales, Cape York in North Queensland, and Mareeba on the Atherton Tablelands
Processes: Wet and Dry
General Cup Profile: Light to medium, sweet, clean, sometimes fruity and floral