Last week I was in Melbourne, Australia, for the first time in my life. I was gladly surprised with the coffee culture there. For a whole week I enjoyed a self-guided coffee tour through the city. With a few recomendations written down in my diary I ventured through the city with changing weather to visit the recomended places and additionally I popped into the places that just looked interesting.
They’re very fond of latte art in Australia!
What makes a coffee place look interesting? The place should somehow catch my attention as for any other customer. Sometimes it is the decoration, sometimes it is the location (at the waterfront or close to a park), sometimes it is their original advertisement refering to coffee. Then, the coffee expert in me kicks in and I start paying attention to other things. Do they offer single origin coffee? Do they mention the brand of coffee, or do they roast the coffee themselves? And, very important, I prefer places that smell like coffee instead of like food.
I had fun in Melbourne. I learned what Melbournians like in coffee: acidity! I tried some very acid coffees in the state-of-the-art coffee places in the city. As much as I appreciate acidity, I prefer my coffee to have a good balance between acidity and bitterness and to have a good body. Overall, Melbourne is a coffee destination: Melbournians appreciate coffee and have an increasing interest in single-origin coffee with properties that make each coffee unique.
Sydney treat: (ice)coffee with macarons
Now I came to Sydney full of curiosity to see the coffee scene here. Guess what? Sydney is also full of coffee lovers! But Melbourne and Sydney are completely different cities. In Melbourne every block in the CBD (commercial business district) has restaurants and coffee places. On the other hand the CBD of Sydney is full of high fashion stores and for the coffee places one has to go to the neighbourhoods just outside the CBD (for instance Woolloomooloo or Potts Point) where there are indeed coffee places in every block.
Some places have just nameless generic coffee but many places have single-origin coffee! Why do I feel this is important? Because coffee blends are specific to a store, so very good blends I may not be able to find anywhere else but in that store. Single-origin coffee can be found anywhere in the world. So if I find the same single-origin coffee somewhere else I can expect it to have the same taste (assuming they roasted it equally).
Next week I’ll be back in The Netherlands, probably still not recovered from the jet lag that for sure I will have. I could then write on coffee served by airline companies….but probably I won’t for obvious reasons.