Eggnog lattes, coffee cups bigger than your head, iced peppermint white chocolate mochas: for most Australians, these Starbucks staples are simply things we've seen Americans post online—things we're not even sure really exist.

Australia is home to a mere 23 Starbucks stores. This is puny compared to the whopping 11,962 (and counting) US locations. How can such a prominent franchise have done so poorly in this massive coffee market? Why have so many Starbucks locations in Australia been forced to close their doors? We wanted to find out.

The Coffee

Australians are raised on three things: cricket, John Williamson songs, and strong, pure espresso. We like our coffee in the form of a flat white, a cappuccino, or a long black—we're not really into drip coffee like Americans. So when Starbucks opened its doors to Australia, offering the same basic coffee formula as American stores use, Aussies all over the country cringed. 

Australians also aren't used to adding flavours to their coffee. Coffee is coffee-flavoured—isn't that enough? Just the idea of pumping a sugar-filled, cinnamon-flavoured syrup into a fresh, hot, delicious latte is enough to send most Aussies running for the hills (admittedly, though, I am a sucker for a cheeky pumpkin spice latte every now and then).

The Atmosphere

Throughout my time living in the US, I noticed that there are tons of food and drink chains there. Not only that, but also every chain looks exactly the samewhether you're in Los Angeles or Rhode Island. That's not something you often find in Australia.

Rather, we prefer to support independently-owned coffee shops. Every café has its own distinct, unique feel and look. It's exciting to discover a new café and experience a new atmosphere. There's something almost disconcerting about walking into a Starbucks store when it looks the same as every other Starbucks store—it's a very commercial, forced atmosphere.

Wham, Bam, No Thank You Ma'am

Starbucks started as a single store in Seattle in the 1970s. It didn't expand beyond that one shop until the 1990s. America was slowly introduced to Starbucks, allowing the chain to get a feel for what worked for its customers and what didn't. In turn, that led to Starbucks becoming overwhelmingly popular in the States.

Australia, on the other hand, was bombarded with Starbucks stores—84 of them, to be specific. The stores all opened within the space of about a year. They didn't give themselves a chance to ease into Australian culture, nor did they allow for any growing room. Things that were popular in America simply didn't translate over to Australia, and ultimately, Starbucks were forced to shut down 61 of their Aussie locations.

Sorry, Starbucks. It's not you—it's us. We just weren't a good fit. We're sure you'll find someone else who loves you just the way you are.