Mar 3, 2011

Coffee in Australia

The clouds reflects a beautiful red colour when the sun's setting. The clouds are a darkish purple that makes a pretty contrast with the red. I can only see that if I look above my backyard fence at sunset, no wonder I've rarely seen it from my house before.

I was browsing the Australia Travel Guide's culture section last night. I like reading what people from other countries find strange about Australia. Some of them even I don't know and some of those seem ridiculous to me. What I love most about it is that it tells you a lot about what it's like in the country the person came from. The articles about food, customs (like tipping and driving) and comparison of different words for the same thing are the most interesting.

From there I somehow got onto this thread in the FlyerTalk Forum about coffee in Australia. Did you know that Australia's standard of coffee is regarded as being amongst the highest in the world? It is according to one responder. From what I've seen (not just from that page) it seems the general concensus that good coffee is easy to come by in Australia. It's pretty true, a lot of places sell coffee, in the 10 metre corridor at Central station exit, there's two or three shops that sell coffee.

One of the problem for foreigners is that we almost always have expresso coffee and mostly with milk and sugar, and some are not used to it. Americans drink drip coffee, which I think is less bitter, and they drink it black. From what I've read, one of the cons of Australian coffee is that's it's more expensive. We generally pay, what, $2.50-$3.50 for a small coffee, and Americans can get large drips coffee with unlimited refills for $1 ("bottomless cup").

It also seem the consensus from Aussies on those forums that we love our coffee -- but we only like real coffee. This sort of relates back to the random mention ages ago about how there's rarely any Starbucks in Australia. I'll quote a guy from another forum "Starbucks went broke in Aus, because the locals here feel their coffee is crap compared to what the locals serve." I can't say how good or bad Starbucks coffee is, and it might just be a difference of taste, but it's obvious that people in Australia don't like it.

I love coffee, buying one from a shop is a bit of a treat for me. Pity that my stomach has decided that it disagrees with coffee since a few months ago. I'm fine right after I drink it, but a few hours later my stomach feels like giving up it's contents. I've tried both instant and store bought coffee, both are a no-go.

Now I don't dare to drink coffee even if I really really want to. I got a hot chocolate at Town Hall on swimming carnival day and it had a rough chemical after taste. Bleh. I want coffee now...


  1. Hey, thanks for reading the culture section of WhyGo Oz. Hope you enjoyed what I wrote ;)

  2. Great post, and glad to hear I'm not the only one a bit fascinated by the different perspectives on coffee between Australia and North America.

    Personally, I have a bit of a different take (and to be frank, am quite baffled) with the lack of drip coffee in Australia... particularly when you have companies like Merlo, who make fantastic coffee that could be used with drip.

    In any case, I too felt strongly enough to make a post about it, and would love to hear your thoughts!