Raj and Sharon Sidhu quit their steady public-service jobs in Singapore last year to open a cafe there, one of Asia’s most competitive coffee-selling markets. For an edge, they spent a month learning the trade in Sydney, Australia.
“That’s where our gurus are,” Raj said over the telephone from his “House of Commons” coffee bar in Singapore’s vibrant Little India neighborhood. “Everyone who’s got a cafe here is influenced by the coffee movement in Australia. Even our decorations — clocks, scales, rugs, burlap coffee bags — it’s all from Sydney.”
Once stereotyped as a land of meat pie-eaters and Foster’s lager-swillers, Australia has developed a A$4 billion ($3.2 billion) coffee-drinking market that devours more fresh beans per person than any other country. It also has novel brews copied as far away as London and Seattle.