Coffee

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.


By accepting a cup of coffee from a man, this woman has consented to give him at least one blowjob.

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.


That, my friends, is a river of coffee. I know, it looks like fecal matter, but it’s not.

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.

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Introduction…What is this? Who am I? Why should you care?

Sydney. Melbourne.

Two cities, separated by 800-odd kilometres. Sydney began as a penal colony, turned into Australia’s first city, and over the course of two centuries, developed into a financial, retail, tourist and media hub. One of the few truly global cities in the world, it is instantly recognisable, and an icon of Australia.

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Among others.

Melbourne started life as a lesser penal colony, then, buoyed by the 1850s Gold Rush, became the largest and wealthiest city in Australia, even serving as the nation’s capital for 26 years. Nowadays, it is known for its sports, culture, gardens, industry, and for consistently ranking as one of the most “livable” cities in the world.

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Where “livability” clearly equates to a confusing mess of geometry and clashing styles.

My story? Having lived in Melbourne for 30 years, I moved with my girlfriend to Sydney for her work. Having previously studied Business, worked as a production manager and a sales rep, I am now changing my life and studying Massage Therapy. Last year, I completed the basic Cert IV, and this year, I’m aiming to finish my Diploma of Remedial Massage. Job-wise, all Australian taxpayers are currently my employers. The hours are great, but the pay sucks.

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And there’s very little chance of a raise.

After moving to Sydney in April this year, I noticed that the two cities are probably 95% alike, but there were a few things that were a little off. Like I’d suddenly moved into the Matrix and was waiting for someone to offer me a blue pill.

There exists quite a rivalry between these two great cities, with Melburnians possibly jealous of Sydney’s prestige, and Sydneysiders not wanting to admit that maybe Melbourne is a better place to live. Whether these, and many other assumptions are true or not means nothing; the media has created and cultivated them so they’re quoted as fact by the A-Current-Affair crowd.

With this blog, I want to highlight these little nuances. I hope to hold a mirror up to society, provide a tongue-in-cheek insight, and re-use tired clichés. Realistically, I merely want to juxtapose the two biggest cities in this country, whilst critiquing Australian culture.

ImageGoogle Images. Fail.

To do this, I propose weekly competitions based on societal criteria. I will analyse and review. I will deconstruct and report. I will guess and make stuff up. This blog is for anyone with an interest in Australian lifestyle. If you’ve been to, or are coming to Australia. If you live in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, or the other ones. If you’ve ever wondered “Which city is better?”, this is the blog for you.

If you have any comments, suggestions for topics, or general complaints please leave them in the comments section or email me: sydvsmelb@gmail.com