Coffee in Australia – A Land of Extremes


drinking coffeeAhhh the endless search to find a great cup off coffee and a great place to enjoy it. Funny enough, that is my theory on travel (and in fact the migration of people around the globe) — the search for new food… or in this case, beverage.

Australia is a land of extremes — lush tropical regions juxtaposed with desert — and the coffee is the same. The average workplace juice of life or the kind you would have at home, is total $#%$%^%. You might think I am being harsh…. But wait till you have tried it. Freeze dried coffee…how do you say…. Ick? No wonder they have to drink it with milk and two sugars! ACK! I think it is actually capable of stripping the enamel off your teeth. Seriously- you are likely to encounter the instant freeze dried coffee on the road, in work places, and at people’s homes. The Driver Reviver locations generally have this too. Known as a “cuppa”- you generally drink it with at least milk.

The benefits of the “cuppa”- and I am sure the reason for the popularity- is the ease of storage, transport and usage. All good Aussie homes and work places have a “kettle” this is an invention that the Euro’s know about- but sadly us North Americans don’t really have. The kettle boils water almost instantly. Soooo- all you need for a “cuppa” is a teaspoon full of freeze dry and your kettle. Viola! I will also give it- that (I think it is the shock of the taste) it will help keep you awake when you need a shot of emergency caffeine- kind of like bad truck stop coffee in the States.

The flip side of this coffee dichotomy- is that almost every little café and restaurant you go to will make a gorgeous frothy cappuccino. Even in tiny little towns and at restaurants where the primary type of food is fried and kept under a heat lamp- they generally make a good fresh coffee.

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Your guide to types of coffee:

Instant – Instant coffee is commonly called Nescafe’ (a brand).
Flat White – This is the most common and what we in North America would call a latte.
Cappuccino – This is a traditional cappuccino with always a sprinkle of cocoa powder on top.
Latte – The latte is almost the same as a flat white, so I’m not sure why they call it two different things.
Percolator or Drip Coffee – Drip coffee is the traditional American idea of coffee, which is almost non-existent here.
French Press – Obviously, this is the traditional French Press.
Mocha – This is a traditional mocha.

Beware the NesCafe!

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