Little Collins Cafe: Aussie Coffee Break in NYC

Little Colins Cafe: Aussie brew in the Big Apple!

Little Collins Cafe: Aussie brew in the Big Apple!

Fans of this blog probably already know how much I love the land down under.  From the people, the animals, the sports fans, and the food, I am very fond of Australia.  And lately, I’ve noticed how New York City has been embracing the flavors and tastes of this exotic land.  From the meat pies at the Tuck Shop in lower Manhattan, to the dishes and vibe at The Australian NYC in Midtown.  Now, I am happy to find yet another Aussie oasis in the Big Apple.  Little Collins Cafe in Midtown, on Lexington Avenue provides both native New Yorkers and Aussie ex-pats with one of the most popular brews from Australia, and I am not talking about beer.

Coffee, believe it or not, is an important part of Australia’s culinary world.  While most Americans still conjure up images of shrimp on the barby with a side of cold beer, it is this hot beverage that Australians are particularly fond of.  In the mid-20th century, a new wave of Italian and Greek immigrants came halfway around the world from war torn Europe in search of greener pastures.  They found it in places like Sydney and Melbourne, where the Australian continent was only too happy to welcome in a new crop of citizens, looking to add to their still growing population.  The lush farmland in the bush, the year-round warm weather, along with the miles of coastal space was reminiscent of the Mediterranean landscape.  The European transplants brought with them something to add to Australia’s menus: coffee!  Since then, Australia has been a coffee capital, on par with the cafes of Paris and the five-star restaurants in Rome.  Not to mention that Australia has close access to some of the biggest coffee producing regions in the world like Indonesia and Hawaii.  But understand that coffee in Australia is NOTHING like American coffee, meaning that they do not serve iced coffee, or add any flavors (Salted caramel and roasted pecan?  Cookie Dough?  Really?  C’mon!).

"Who ordered the flat white and ANZAC?"

“Who ordered the flat white and ANZAC?”

This tiny hole-in-the-wall near New York’s Citicorp Building has recently become the hot new place for a hot, new style of java!  Little Collins gets its name from a famous street in Melbourne where one can find some of the finest coffee bars and restaurants in the city.  First off, ordering coffee in Australia does take a little practice.  There is a specific lingo to know when placing your order:

Espresso: AKA short black. Single 30ml shot of espresso.  A double espresso is two 30ml shots together.

Ristretto: Similar to an espresso but a restricted shot of only 15ml.  It is a very rich short drink.

Short Macchiatto: Espresso with a dollop of froth.

Long Black: Hot water then a double espresso

Americano: Upside down long black (Double espresso then hot water)

Long Macchiatto: Ask the cafe; there are two variations.  One is similar to a long black, but with less hot water and froth on top. The other is like a short macchiatto but with a bit more froth and a bit of milk.

Cappuccino: 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk, 1/3 froth

Latte: Same amount of espresso as cappuccino, but less froth – approximately 1cm. Served in a glass generally.

Flat White: Same amount of espresso as cappuccino and latte, but with between 0-5 ml of froth.

Note: All three drinks above are very similar, only difference is the amount of froth.

Half Latte/Piccolo Latte: These drinks are similar or the same, but may vary depending on the cafe. Same as a latte but with less milk, to make it a stronger coffee with a bit of froth but not too much.

Affogatto: Scoop of ice cream and espresso

Iced Latte: Generally means cold espresso, milk and ice cubes.

Iced Coffee: Generally means cold epsresso, milk and ice cream.  Cream optional.  And a rather decadent treat, if I do say so myself!

"May I Take Your Order, Mate?"

“May I Take Your Order, Mate?”

See?  Hope you paid attention, because there will be a pop quiz!  In addition to the fine brew, the cafe also offers a variety of sandwiches and sweets.  To really add to authenticity, you can even get vegemite on toast (which is nicknamed, not surprisingly “the convict”).  Of course, American taste buds may not be able to handle the foreign taste of Australia’s most famous food.  For breakfast, or “brekkie”, sample some homemade pastries or eggs on toast.  For lunch, I recommend their prime rib served warm on a ciabatta roll with a creamy chipotle dressing.

"May I Take Your Order, Mate?"

“Brekkie, Mate?”

I would strongly recommend a nice, hot flat white and ANZAC biscuit.  The former is Australia’s take on a latte, while the latter is a crunchy cookie that is a staple of Australian desserts.  ANZAC’s get their name from the Australia New Zealand Armed Corps; the biscuit was a staple of Aussie soldier rations during World War II.  After the war, the snack made its way into civilian hands, and became a favorite food of the Aussies.  The taste is reminiscent of a crunchy oatmeal cookie, with hints of coconut, cinnamon, and brown sugar.  In other words: YUMMO!

Flat White

Flat White

ANZAC Biscuit: Up Close and Personal

ANZAC Biscuit: Up Close and Personal


The next time you’re hankering for a cup of joe, but you are thousands of miles from the land of kangaroos and koalas, hop into Little Collins Cafe and sip some of the best coffee this side of Melbourne and Sydney!

Rabbitohs, Flat White, and ANZAC's: Three icons of Australia!

Rabbitohs, Flat White, and ANZAC’s: Three icons of Australia!


667 Lexington Street

New York, NY 10022

(212) 308-1969



About admin

I am a graduate of Stony Brook University, and I have a degree in History. I am an avid traveler, with an extensive knowledge of geography, a passion for photography, and a knowledge of animals too. I enjoy pop music of the 1980's, fine dining, movies, baseball, basketball, and rugby.
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4 Responses to Little Collins Cafe: Aussie Coffee Break in NYC

  1. Nicole says:

    Fantastic! My perhaps only complaint of NY is the coffee, so glad to know I can get quality coffee next time I go! Thanks Jared!

  2. Alisoun Brewster says:

    You will have to take me next time I’m in NY–looks YUMMY!!!

  3. Sean Fitz-Gerald says:

    That was a great read, mate. If I were to America, NY would be the first place I’d go to for this place. Would love to try The Sweet Uncle Fred! Sounds so good.

  4. Sean Fitz-Gerald says:

    That was a great read, mate. If I were to America, NY would be the first place I’d go to for this place. Would love to try The Sweet Uncle Fred! Sounds so good.

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