Pellegrini’s Espresso Bar


Best Historical Cafe Australia

Located on Bourke Street in Melbourne, Australia, it is described as an iconic destination and a must-see. It also prides itself on fine food. Established by Italian owners Leo and Vildo Pellegrini in 1954, it was the first espresso bar of its kind in Melbourne and the first to use an actual espresso machine.

Although it was at first frequented by the local Italian community, the crowd then changed to theatre troupes and intellectuals. Today it is a tourist spot to get delicious espresso and Italian delights.

Although most of Australia’s coffee culture pre-dates Pellegrini, it encapsulates Australia coffee history, as it is now one of the world’s leaders in coffee culture and consumption. Café Pellegrini was opened at the height of the Australian coffee era when it became popular throughout Europe. Although Pellegrini is not oldest Australian coffee house, it is the most iconic and captures a time of coffee excellence.

It’s important to go back to the where and how of Australian coffee history. National Geographic reports confirm that coffee came to Australia in 1788 on the first fleet. At the time, Australians were traditional tea drinkers and did not incorporate it into their culture until one hundred years later.

As coffee shop culture became fashionable from the airs of the Parisian coffee houses , a group of women organized the Temperance Movement. This initiative was anti-drunken behaviour as this female-led group forced pubs to close at 6pm which enabled coffee palaces to become a new centre for social gathering.

The coffee palaces were huge building that were eventually turned into hotels as the trend spread to other major cities including Sydney. The First Call Coffee Venue was the first major Sydney coffee house.

By the 1930’s, Espresso was hitting the shelves as it was brought over by Italian immigrants. Although espresso culture was relatively young in Europe, it still boomed with the influx of European immigrants. Australian coffee culture grew steadily over the 70s and 80s as the maturation of coffee started to take hold. Today, Australia is regarded as one of the best coffee producers as Australian Barista, Alan Preston coined the term “flat white” in 1985 which has become a global phenomenon.

With increasing concerns over ethical coffee, a new wave of Australia coffee sourcing and production is emerging has created a close relationship to single origins and specific taste profiles. Coffee cultural has far more to go although progress is extremely promising.

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