For some reason, coffee is the drink of choice for adults around the world. I don’t really understand it. If I had to choose between coffee and tea, I would choose tea. Green tea, black tea, chai, whatever. But, at some point in humanity, it was decided that coffee would be our master. Not tea, or cocoa, but coffee. In fact, just asking “Do you wanna grab a coffee?” is as good as “Do you wanna chat?” to a mate or “I’d like to fuck you, but I’m not paying for a meal” to a girl.
The worst part of it is the fraud. People claim they like the taste of coffee, but THEY DON’T! They only like it if it’s been diluted by milk, sugar, chocolate, cinnamon, blah blah blah. A simple glance at a Starbucks menu will yield at least infinity varieties of not-quite-coffee. I reckon everyone turns into a hipster when they’re ordering coffee. I’ve never heard anyone go to a cool cafe and say they want “just a coffee”.
Now, I’ll accept that coffee is culture, in the same way that Jerry Springer is quality television. But how much coffee do Aussies drink in comparison to the rest of the world? Well, turns out we’re way down the list, being the 42nd greatest coffee consuming nation. We have an average of 3kg of coffee per person per year, which sounds like a lot, until you consider that Finland consumes FOUR times that figure. Not bad for a country of rude, depressed alcoholics. They need it more.
Back in Australia, we won the highly-coveted “Best Coffee Nation” in 2010 at the World Barista Championships. Impressive. But how does coffee rate in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia’s two most important* cultural cities? *(according to that sentence I just wrote).
According to urbanspoon, there are 1,910 cafes in Melbourne, compared to 1,320 in Sydney. That’s 45% more, in a city with half-a-million people less! Is it the cold weather? Is it the typical Melbourne hipster? I don’t know. And I don’t have any facts to get in the way.
From purely anecdotal evidence, the best places to go for coffee in Sydney include:
Gusto in Coogee, Coffee Alchemy in Marrickville, Reuben Hills in Surry Hills and Campos Coffee in Newtown. In Melbourne, the best places to go for coffee include: everywhere but Starbucks.
Don’t believe me? Well, fuck you! Also, check out which city is number five in the Huffington Post’s “9 Best places to have a cup of coffee“. Or globeinnovator.com’s “world’s 5 greatest coffee cities“…guess which city is the only non-European? And worldhum.com’s “Best Cities to Drink Coffee“? Number four is…Melbourne.
So, despite my earlier rant, I actually DO like coffee. It’s gotta be black with no sugar, and you can only have it once in a while. It’s best with something sweet like baklava or biscotti. And the stronger the better: Turkish, if possible. I don’t know why I hate coffee culture so much. Maybe I’ve been jaded by all the gourmet coffee corporations. More than likely, though, it’s YOU. You with your “I don’t feel like myself until I’ve had a coffee” whinging. You with your “I can’t wake up without a coffee” mentality. I’m sick of your dependencies! But when you do need your fix, you know where to go: Melbourne.