The Antipodes.


(Holidailies Day #29-4.)

Oh dear, the Holidailies record just gets worse and worse. Yesterday, I got home and knit and watched television and did my best not to learn anything, which is not exactly what I intended to do with my time this month. Well, knitting yes, shutting off my brain completely not so much.

Ever heard of a flat white? I had a couple of years ago, but didn’t know what it was, really. In the UK, ordering a white coffee is fairly usual – it just means a very milky coffee, sometimes made from fresh coffee, more often (in my experience) made from instant swill. A flat white has microfoam and is pretty fancy. It’s started popping up all over Ottawa (we tend to be behind the curve – we still have cupcake shops aplenty, for crying out loud) in the more discerning coffee shops, as well as chains.

Anyway, the flat white is just a wee taste (pun not intended, but somehow still appreciated, so, thanks, brain) of Australian café culture. I had an inkling of its existence from a comedian acquaintance who said that the best cafés in the world are in Melbourne. I don’t automatically associate Australians with coffee (and, indeed, per capita, they drink about 1/5th as much as the average Canadian), but those who drink coffee take it hella seriously.

TIL: To the point that almost all attempts at Starbucks franchises there have failed.

Now, I am not a huge fan of Starbucks, but I will go there in a pinch (usually in airport situations, or if I’ve missed a bus and it’s too cold to wait outside and there’s a Starbucks right there). Their drip coffee is not fantastic, a lot of their speciality beverages are too sweet for me (even half-syruped), and everything feels far too expensive. Years ago, in Sassy maybe(?), someone referred to there being a ‘hint of boiled tire’ in every cup; I have never fully disagreed with this sentiment.

Still, along with my snootitute fair trade dark roasts, I have been known to drink McDonald’s coffee quite joyfully and love diner mud (go Mother Parker’s), so maybe it’s just not my thing. But I hope my plebian tastes don’t prevent my partaking of a flat white (and some kind of breakfast…pie? Australians are big on pies, right?) somewhere in the Southern Hemisphere.

One thought on “The Antipodes.

  1. It’s definitely not a fancy hipster thing here. All coffee is pretty much espresso(we don’t really do the drip filter thing) so a flat white is just your basic coffee. I prefer mine skinny but will be happy to shout you one of any variety if you ever make it down under. Not a breakfast pie though. We take our cafe breakfasts as seriously as we take our coffee.

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