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Australian-style coffee shop opens in downtown Boston

Posted by Jeremy C. Fox  May 24, 2013 06:12 PM

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Jeremy C. Fox for Boston.com

Owner Todd Moore took a seat at the counter inside Cuppacoffee.

An Australian expatriate has created a tiny slice of home at a busy intersection in downtown Boston, and this weekend he plans to begin inviting locals to join him inside.

Todd Moore came to Boston 15 years ago and has spent much of his time since in corporate jobs, dreaming of someday being his own boss. Inspiration struck when he noticed over several visits home how a thriving new culture of gourmet espresso had taken hold.

“If you’re in an Australian espresso bar, no one has drip coffee, so that was the first immediate difference I saw,” he said in an interview. “I started investigating, going to so many different places in Australia … and I just saw the high-end nature of some of these coffee bars.”

What distinguished the coffee scene there, he said, was the high quality of the coffee served, and the willingness of Australians to seek out good coffee for its own sake.

Few people Down Under own coffeemakers at home, he said, preferring to go out and buy a quality Italian-style espresso by the cup at local, independent shops. Those shops he visited usually do not have large seating areas for lounging, reading, and working on laptops.

The familiar American model epitomized by the Starbucks chain didn’t connect with the Australian market, he said, and wave of store openings by the mega-chain was followed by a wave of closings.

Moore decided he would try bringing the Australian model to the US, and began taking courses in coffee to prepare himself to open his own store, Cuppacoffee, at the corner of Merrimac and New Chardon streets, across from the Edward W. Brooke Courthouse.

To make fellow Aussies happy, Moore will also include a selection of traditional meat and vegetarian pies from New York-based DUB (Down Under Bakery) Pies, sausage and spinach rolls, Vegemite on toast, and pastries such as scones, lamingtons, and anzac cookies.

“I think it’s going to be a real test of how well will it be adopted … by Americans,” Moore said of the meat pies. “I can sell these all day to Australians, South Africans, English — they all know this product. But I want to get the Americans adopting it, and that’s when the pies take off.”

For those who prefer drip coffee to espresso, it will be available, and Moore estimates it should make up about 55 to 60 percent of the coffee sold at Cuppacoffee. To keep the quality high, he’s relying on Hopkinton-based Red Barn Coffee Roasters to supply the beans.

“When I looked at roasters, I went to a lot of these locations for quite some time just to get a handle on the American business,” Moore said, explaining that Red Barn co-founder Mark Verrochi had taught him a lot.

“He was instrumental in giving me that intelligence involved in the marketplace, very different to a lot of other roasters actually, [who just] wanted to sell you beans,” Moore said.

Moore plans a soft opening on Saturday, Sunday, and Memorial Day, with a grand opening celebration on Tuesday, May 28. To celebrate, he will give out mini-pies to the first 300 customers who arrive after noon on Tuesday.

For more information on Cuppacoffee, visit www.trycuppacoffee.com.

Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com.
Follow him on Twitter: @jeremycfox.
Follow Downtown on Twitter: @YTDowntown.

Cuppacoffee exterior.jpg

Jeremy C. Fox for Boston.com

The exterior of the new Cuppacoffee building at the corner of Merrimac and New Chardon streets, across from the Edward W. Brooke Courthouse.

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