an Australian epidemic: Coffee snobs.

Australia, Coffee guide, Melbourne

Coffee in Australia isn’t the same as it is in the States. What we call  a “medium regular hot coffee” actually doesn’t exist. Anywhere.

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american coffee and a donut. a staple. This extra American because dippin donuts is a clear rip off of dunks.

When i first got here i had to google “how to order coffee in Australia”. My first jetlaggy morning in Melbourne was spent at a little french cafe in Camberwell, a suburb of Melbourne getting coffee and fancy pastries with my host mum and kids. I asked for “just a hot coffee”. With a confused look from the waitress my host mum quickly chimed in “a flat white will do”.

Uh sorry wtf ?

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a flat white coffee and apple danish

but i guess i shouldnt be so cranky…because it was amazing. I usually go for the basic hot coffee with cream and sugar, but this coffee is different. Its light, most likely from all the foamy milk. Its easier to drink, and its always the perfect warm temperature because the milk holds in the heat. No more luke warm stale drip coffee.

But clearly i had some research to do about this coffee thing in Australia. Heres what ive got:

Ordering: Cafes are confusing for a newbie because theres no way to know how to order when you walk in. Sometimes you go to the counter and order, then they give you a number place card, and then they bring it to you. Sometimes you sit down and a waitress comes to your table to take your order.

Heres a guide i found super useful.

-“A Short Black is basically a single shot of espresso served with foam floating on top served in a short glass. Hence the “short” part.

-A Long Black is espresso with water (1/3 parts espresso to 2/3 parts water).

-A Flat White is espresso with steamed milk, very latte-like, I suppose, but with no foam. It’s basically the same as the Long Black but with 2/3 milk instead of water. Weird, right? Don’t order a Long White, that’s where the blank staring comes in.

-A Short Macchiato (Short Mac) is a short black with a dash of cold milk.

– A Long Macchiato (Long Mac) is a double shot of espresso with steamed milk. HUH?

– An Affogato is a shot of espresso poured over a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.

-A Cafe Latte is a shot of espresso that is filled with steamed milk and topped with foam. The Flat White with foam?

-A Cappucino (Cap) is what we’d expect in the states (thank goodness) and same with a Mocha.”

It can be a lot to remember. Most people find one they like and stick with it. Flat white will do for me because here they dont have iced coffee.

Iced Coffee:
Also doesn’t really exist. Any 20 something from america would be bummed whether they fiend a medium iced caramel swirl from dunks or a venti ice lattte from Starbucks. I’m sure most working adults here would find the drink repulsive. In fact, they find a lot of american food repulsive.

Snobbiness (and culture):
Its not even rude of me to call them snobs, Australians know they’re coffee snobs. There is a coffee shop as frequent on the streets as McDonalds and Starbucks. They’re snobs about the flavor and the environment. Cheap gas station coffee or a 2$ dunks isn’t really a “thing” because it breaks their two Cardinal coffee rules.

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Degraves espresso in Melbournes CBD

1st rule: coffee isn’t cheap because cheap cost means cheap taste. Australians don’t even see the point in suffering through a cheap cup of coffee, because for them it’s not about the caffeine buzz that Americans are addicted to. It’s about enjoying it, which leads me to rule number two…

2nd rule: coffee is about savoring, whether it’s in a café with friends or first thing in the morning. It’s not something you multitask. This attitude is super European in the sense that food should be fresh, unique, and enjoyed slowly. It’s one thing that surprised me about Australia. Although it’s so similar to the USA it’s different in this sense that they tend to enjoy their food and drink in smaller, prettier, and more enjoyable quantities.

this article here sums up how australians really view coffee (i think). Emily says herself “I drink tea when I am busy because a good coffee needs a free 10 minutes to really savour”

 coming soon…a review on Melbournes coffee shops and where to get the best coffees!




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