"Sometimes people say you shouldn't make your hobby into your job," says Masahiro Onishi, the 28-year-old owner of Meguro roastery and coffee stand Switch Coffee. "I was concerned about that."

He's recalling the decision he made to move to Australia a few years ago and figure out if his passion for coffee making was a passing fancy or a life calling.

Taking the advice of barista and roaster Toshi Ishiwata, a big name on the Australian coffee scene — "everyone knows Toshi," he says — Onishi bought a one-way ticket to Melbourne in 2010.