Dallas is getting a jolt of Aussie caffeine culture with the arrival of LDU Coffee. The shop is an export of Perth, Western Australia via brothers Adam and Mark Lowes. The Lowes previously owned a coffee shop in their hometown before relocating to Texas last summer.
The pair had friends and family in Houston – where many Australians are drawn to the oil and gas industry – as well as Dallas, but they ultimately settled in North Texas.
“Not to add fuel to the Dallas-Houston fire, but I just much preferred Dallas. It was a more familiar city,” Adam Lowes says.
The way that Americans drink coffee, though, wasn’t so familiar. Lowes found that people here tend to either drive-thru places like Starbucks, or, on the other end of the spectrum, use coffee shops as a workspace for the day.
“Those are quite two extremes for me. Coffee culture back home is always about a bit of noise, a bit of conversation and a bit of movement,” Lowes says. “We definitely felt like the way we did that back home would be well received here, because Texans and Australians seem quite similar.”
LDU has a casual, cozy environment, but it’s probably not somewhere you’re going to bring your laptop and set up shop – that’s the point. It aims to make coffee runs a fun, socially engaging part of your day.
The other thing that sets Australian coffee apart from its American counterpart is, of course, the drink itself. Australians, like Italians, enjoy espresso and lattes rather than brewed coffee.
The menu at LDU is short and straightforward. There are a few items that may sound unfamiliar, but they’re all just variations of espresso drinks (the long black is like an intense Americano; the flat white is like a latte; the magic man is like a cortado).
“Australians, we have a tendency to shorten and abbreviate everything. Even our name, we just shorten everything. We keep [the menu] short and sweet,” Lowes says.
As for the meaning of LDU, Lowes explains it’s simply “three letters we liked as a name that definitely don’t mean Land Down Under as a few people have suggested!”
LDU Coffee is now open 7 days a week at 2650 N Fitzhugh Ave.