Written by Luke Taylor, from the Culture Division.
As the exhaustion-inducing dust settles on yet another club season in the game, a festival of football arrives for a summer of fun. The Women’s World Cup hits the land of Australia and New Zealand soon, two countries that are fully-fledged football nations and who both have a rich coffee history. Australia is the land of flat white and has fully emerged in the culture, with coffee playing a substantial role in everyday life.
During World War II, Italian immigrants landed on the shores of Australia equipped with their stovetop Moka pots that pull espresso in one of the most innovative ways. While most of the world was focused on convenience when it comes to coffee, the Australians looked for quality over convenience. No longer was the perception to drink coffee entirely for the caffeine boost, but more so for the science, and the taste! Australians became mad about their coffee, it’s as simple as that.
Normally, people look to the Italians, Africans or South Americans as the top dog, most-obsessed coffee nations and for the most part, they’re right, but Australia doesn’t mess when it comes to a brew. Giant corp Starbucks tried to venture into the country on their endeavour to have the world enjoying below average coffee and failed at the attempt miserably, with angry Australians metaphorically marching them out as they weren’t interested in settling for anything else than the high quality pours they’ve become accustomed too. Australia stands by the fact that they prepare some of the best coffee in the world, and we’ve seen a worldwide spread of coffee shops owned by Australians, including memorable spots in Paris and New York opening in recent years. They’re fully committed to the culture, and are outright experimental with their brews, approaching it as an entire culinary experience in itself.
Alongside their love for coffee is their love for football. Australia is a footballing nation and there’s no doubt about it, and the women’s team are aiming to go further in the World Cup this summer than they ever have before. The Matildas’ best ever showing at the tournament was when they finished 6th in China in 2007. As co-host, they’ve found themselves drawn Group B, with co-host New Zealand taking the automatic spot in Group A. A definite stroke of luck in New Zealand’s favour, that’s for sure, with Australia drawing Canada, who will be in the drivers’ seat to take top spot in the group. And top spot in group B potentially sets up a excruciatingly tough tie with European Champions, England, who finished fourth place in 2019 and third place in 2015.
Australia will no doubt rely heavily on Sam Kerr, their star striker, who’s going into the tournament on the back of an incredible season with Chelsea, who won the Women’s Super League ahead of Manchester United. Kerr finished the season with a strong 12 goals and 5 assists in the league, playing an integral part in their impressive campaign.
Whether it's football or their coffee, Australians take it seriously. So, move away from the regular stereotypes of big beers and ‘shrimp on the barby’ and instead, get ready for some admirable commitment to specialty coffee and an emerging football culture, too. We’re on the brisk of the 2023 Women’s World Cup, grab a flat white and raise your mug! The caffeine will especially be needed, due to the matches having early kick offs making it perfect for a brew. Will Sam Kerr and co. win the tournament on home soil? Only time will tell!