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Kookaburra Coffee Shop: Blending Australian and American Culture for a Unique Coffee Experience

By Kelly Church

Kookaburra Coffee Shop is bringing a new twist to coffee and pie in St. Augustine, FL. The Aussie-American espresso bar is founded on ethically sourcing coffee beans and serving with "a smile and some flair." The owners had the idea of opening the storefront to celebrate their different upbringings with origins rooted in Australia and Colorado. Owner Spencer Hooker says the combination of cultures is apparent in Kookaburra.

"My mother is an Aussie, and the Aussie culture and spirit had a huge impact on my childhood and adolescence," Hooker says. "Megan is native to Colorado, and that sort of relaxed, nature-oriented lifestyle meshed well with mine. Our coffee shop provides a venue in which we can put our spin and personalities into our offerings and our customer service."

Coffee is sourced from Bold!Bean out of Jacksonville, who Hooker calls "one of the best roasters in Florida." All coffee beans roasted are of single-origin. Kookaburra orders weekly, ensuring that their coffee beans are fresh and they're serving the best possible coffee and espresso. Hooker insists the baristas working at Kookaburra are "rigorously trained" and to keep everyone's skills as fresh as the beans they're using, Kookaburra offers continuing education sessions multiple times per month.

Popular coffee drinks include the Honey Badger Latté, a blend of honey, cinnamon, vanilla, espresso and milk. Their Hot Aussie is a simple and "velvety smooth" latté with house made vanilla and cream. For Pumpkin Spice Latté lovers, there's a Kookaburra Coffee Shop alternative, the Somethin Pumpkin, a blend of natural pumpkin puree house made vanilla spice and cream. During the warmer months of the year, the Aussie Iced Coffee, a blend of vanilla and cream, is a favorite amongst customers.

Kookaburra Coffee Shop also sells authentic Australian pies. Pulling from Australian culture, pies served are savory in nature, filled with meat and vegetables. Hooker calls the pies a "quintessential part of the Aussie experience." In Australia, establishments that sell pies often sell espresso as well, so Hooker brought the combination to the United States.

At Kookaburra Coffee Shop, Hooker and other staff members encourage customers to come sip, munch and play. They work hard to create an atmosphere that is welcoming, exciting and very unique to other coffee shops.

"We wanted to create an environment that was, to us, a rarity in the specialty coffee scene: an incredible product coupled with world-class customer service," Hooker says. "That's what sets The Kookaburra apart."

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