Australia is a proud nation of coffee snobs. I take ownership of this. We know really good coffee, and in fact, we accept nothing less and are very put out if we get a coffee that is not up to scratch. Unfortunately when we travel, we are forced into a position of accepting much inferior coffee, or we turn to a substitute rather than suffer the indignity of an inferior coffee. Unfortunately, on our road trip in the USA, we wrote about 35 Weird And Wonderful Observations About America and Americans, we noted that, in the main, American brewed coffee was not good, as in not good at all.
We can prove that we are coffee snobs
This is how obsessive we are about our coffee. If our favourite barista at our favourite coffee shop is not working that day, we keep on walking. Truth be told, we know her shifts, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. On the other days, we hunt down either new prey or again look for another barista that we know do exceptional coffee.
A coffee shop is dependent upon a good barista. People will say “Maria is on today” and we run there, or “Matt is having a day off”, and we go the other way. Luckily we have a lot of really good baristas around but the competition is fierce, and we as customers are fiercer.
If we are not sitting at a coffee shop, then we can be seen carrying a takeaway coffee. Australians are adept at carrying a coffee in one hand while talking on the mobile with the other.
It takes skill and hard work to be a coffee snob.
How we came to be coffee snobs
Australia started off making a very good brew, which is a cup of tea thanks to our British convicts. It was only when we needed skilled immigrants to help us on projects like the building of dams etc. that we got an influx of Italians and Greeks, and we started to enter the phase of good coffee making and drinking.
Then we got coffee people from Italy, Turkey, and Lebanon, and that is when we entered the world stage of coffee. While we acknowledge that Italians still do really excellent coffee, the question being asked is “Is Australia now the world leader in coffee?” I will put my two cents worth forward and say, yes – we have now taken the crown and with total respect to the Italians, if it were not for them sharing their skills along with other cultures chipping in, then we could not own this crown.
The coffee snobs order:
We are such coffee snobs that this is how an order went the other morning when we were out with friends. You might think that we are pretentious and demanding and you would be totally correct. As I have stated, we are unashamedly coffee snobs.
“a double shot espresso”
“ latte, with almond milk, extra hot, not much froth and in a mug not a glass”
“ a skinny cappuccino in a mug, ¼ inch of foam, hold the chocolate sprinkles” –
“ a long black, double shot, extra hot”
“a skinny chai latte in a cup”
“ a flat white, in a bucket if you have it, extra hot” (that was me)”
“Soy flat white extra hot, in a mug”
“Decaf, flat white, in a mug, extra hot” (like seriously ! – decaf!)
At the table next to ours someone asked for rice milk latte, and another mocha, and they got it.
We like our coffee extra hot, and there are 2 schools of thought on why we have to specify this. One is that there was a court case where a lady was scalded with coffee from a chain restaurant and all places since then, had to serve their coffee at a certain temperature unless it was specifically asked to be extra hot, thereby mitigating the owner from responsibility. The other is that good coffee beans need the milk at a certain temperature and that scalding the milk will ruin the taste. It seems, however, that Australian coffee snobs like their coffee “extra hot”.
After carefully drinking our coffees, we analyse the coffee and the barista’s skills.
They scalded the milk
The beans are not freshly ground
The coffee is not hot enough
Too much froth
Not as good as Maria’s – our barometer for an excellent coffee
Further evidence of our coffee snobbery
Australians are unashamedly coffee snobs. We contend that we have the best coffee in the world. We Australians are demons when it comes to good coffee. So demanding and so skilled at recognizing good coffee, a popular chain who tried to make an impression on the Australian market were not accepted because it was not as good as we could get at our local coffee shops.
Such is our penchant for coffee that most of us own a coffee machine at home. I am talking a real coffee machine AND an Italian Moka machine. Many of we coffee snobs, have not touched an instant coffee in years.
We consider that drip brew or filtered coffee to be an insult upon our intelligence, and as coffee snobs we laugh derisively at people who serve or enjoy this.
The coffee in Australia is ludicrously good. We are a proud nation of coffee snobs, and we do have the right to own the crown.
Wow, I had no idea Australians are coffee snobs! Since my husband is a coffee snob as well, I guess he’ll be very happy when we finally find ourselves in Australia some day 🙂
He will not be disappointed at all. Australia reigns supreme with coffee.
Yes, we unashamedly admit to being coffee snobs, sad but true! Living in Ireland was TOUGH. We found good coffee was hard to find, frustratingly, cafes had all the right equipment but many staff just lacked the skills to make a great cup of coffee. Burnt, boiled, weak are adjectives that come to mind. Now we’re living in France for a while, and even though it is impossible to find a coffee that an Aussie would give a 10/10 we’re more forgiving of the French because they just don’t drink their coffee in the same way that we do. Thank heavens it’s not too difficult to find a decent espresso here, but we won’t bother looking for a ‘regular latte with an extra shot’ 😉
I agree, I tend to forgive some countries like France and the Netherlands for having ordinary coffee. We just happen to have brilliant coffee in Australia.
Great post, I’m certainly guilty of partaking in some bonza Aussie coffee snobbery. I’ve had to taper back my ‘regular’ order and am pining for my favourite baristas and local grinds now that I’m on the road. Some days I would rather brave the world uncaffinated (gasp! The horrors!) than face another below-par coffee. Looking forward to reading more of your blog!
Could not agree more, I will also forego my coffee rather than drink below par. And yes, it hurts.
Oh, those are fightin’ words! We think we know coffee here in Vancouver – some downtown corners have a different coffee shop on each of the four corners!. Of course, Seattle thinks they’re the coffee king. Well the competition doesn’t matter – just so long as there is great coffee around to drink :-).
I think that Canada and Australia are very similar based on the Canadian people that I know, so I am prepared to give Vancouver coffee a try. My shout when I meet you 🙂