It’s slowly getting out around the world that Australians are obsessed by coffee, and Australians make very good coffee. What’s slightly confounding, I think to all concerned, is that Australian coffee is so good because it’s Australian. The Australians created it… a version of coffee called a ‘flat white’ with the same principles used to make a ‘latte’ or ‘cappucino’. Wikipedia says it was invented in the 1970s but do we trust wikipedia?
In any case, the Sydney Moving Company has a very good explanation of how coffee is different in Australian than in the USA. If you haven’t tried one, go for it. Order a flat white or latte, both are similar. You don’t have to put on an Aussie accent to do it. Starbucks apparently has introduced an Aussie Flat White in the USA as of January 2015. If you’ve tried it, please tell us what it’s like in the comments!
I thought that when Australians (or those of us who’ve adopted Australia as home) complained about not getting good coffee overseas, it was saying that we can’t find a latte or flat white like in Oz.
But my pal Peter, who lives in Madrid (and is Australian), reminded me that Australians make black coffee differently too! The Long Black is a double espresso, poured over hot water, is also known as an Americano, is and is often not easily found in Europe.
Caitlin, the daughter of a friend of my better half, told me about the Coffee(In)Touch Guides. As an app for the phone which comes in versions for London, NYC and Paris, it’s been a bit of a saviour over the last four months. Though admittedly, we’ve ended up at the chains Costa and Starbucks more times than I’d foreseen. Through the app, a few that we’ve discovered include: La Caféothèque on Rue de l’Hotel de Ville, near the Seine in the 4th. It runs coffee tasting and appreciation nights, has nice sweets, and a homey atmosphere in a maze of four interconnected rooms. We were directed to Café Craft on Rue des Vinaigriers in the 10th, right next to Canal St Martin, an interesting set-up where people can come and work on computers and treat it as a casual workspace or office. We were served delicious coffees by… an Australian.
Boot Café up in the 3rd, close to Boulevard du Temple is tiny and charming. The rather adorable American barista was signing along to hip Americana music while we all politely figured out how to sit and stand in the small space. The photos in this post are mostly from here.
Finally, the last is not only not the least, but my favourite. Coutume Café, half-owned by an Australian, was not far from where I stayed for a month in the 7th arrondissement and everytime I went, it made me happy. It’s fun, hip and modern, the most of all the ones I’ve mentioned here; the staff are great and I became friendly with them, and they serve delicious pastries in the morning; if you’re lucky, there’s a selection of three. They do a roaring trade in brunch on the weekends too, and have just set up a demonstration station in the back of the cafe with various coffee apparatuses and supplies. After I moved from the 7th to Beaubourg, I’ve only occasionally managed to stop off for a coffee on my way to work, savour the taste, and feel glad to not settle for the horrible coffee at work. I’ll miss them the most when I’m gone.