For the most part, I'd say Australians are a fairly laidback bunch of people. But if you ever wanted to boil our blood or hear us mouth off, our trigger is actually a very simple one: Simply pour us a cup of American coffee.
This is exactly what Reddit user u/mostdefintley discovered, when they posted a callout, asking for "an average Australian's take on coffee here in the US."
Here are some of the best (or most scathing) responses:
1. "American coffee is famously terrible in Australia, it's watery, boiling hot and the flavour is often burnt. To put it into perspective, McDonald's invented McCafe for the Australian market because of how picky we are about coffee — and it has slowly spread out from there."
2. "I am no coffee aficionado, but friends tell me coffee in the States is either very weak like the buckets of brown swill you get at Starbucks, or burned from over brewing. Australians love coffee, but Starbucks opened 87 stores in Australia and then had to close 61 of them to cut losses because they couldn't compete with decent coffee made in cafes."
3. "American coffee is indeed famously terrible. Probably because it’s rooted in diner culture, which is just not conducive to carefully made foodstuffs. Our coffee culture blossomed out of the huge wave of Italian and other European immigration that happened post WW2. It’s much more about the quality of the drink, rather than the convenience."
4. "Even convenience store coffee, AKA 7-Eleven, is good compared to American coffee."
5. "Worst coffee I’ve ever had. It’s no wonder that flavoured coffees, syrups, and heavy creams are so big in the US, considering that their regular unadulterated coffee tastes like dirt."
6. "I was actually shocked at how bad coffee was in the US, even at expensive hipster coffee places (the sort of places that make you tap on the screen to tip the guy that just turned the screen to you). Strong, thick espresso just doesn’t seem to be what the US is after and drip coffee just tastes somehow too weak and too acidic at the same time."
7. "American coffee is by far the worst coffee I've ever had, even the more hipster cafes in the US with proper baristas have average coffee at best."
9. "Your coffee tastes like dirty gutter water. No wonder you put cream in it. Even instant. I don’t know how you mess that up...But holy shit, you guys know how to do cinnamon buns. Most delicious things I’ve tasted."
10. "Having worked in the US, your average coffee is complete shit. There's a reason Starbucks failed in Australia. Also, your mainstream cheese and chocolate also suck balls. Dunno why Americans have problems with the 3 Cs."
11. "It was the difference of a few years which caused Aussie coffee culture to bloom — and the complete lack of coffee culture in the US. The earlier wave of southern European immigration to specifically East Coast USA happened before the invention of the espresso machine. So, those immigrants opened diners with drip coffee. The later wave to Australia brought espresso with them. So Melbourne cafes are technically caffes. I miss them terribly."
12. "I had Starbucks once. It tasted like a hot cup of water with a hint of coffee flavour and sour milk. I almost turned around to return it, but took it as a lesson learned instead."
13. "I'm not a coffee drinker, but there are a few factors in play — water quality, using creamer for white coffee (just don't), quality of the blend and method of brewing. If you only have access to hard water out of the tap, you're going to be in trouble for good coffee."
14. "Sorry to tell you, but your coffee is the worst I’ve tasted in the world. Even with every second coffee shop in NY seemingly now being owned or managed by Aussies, the coffee is still terrible."
15. "Ask for a flat white in the US and you will get nothing but a blank stare. And don't dare think you can explain it as black coffee with milk. You will be met with a curt, 'Do you mean cream?'"
16. "After years of American TV, I realised Americans walk around with their massive coffee cups with warm milk and a dash of brown water. It's unbelievable that they can even call it coffee."
17. "Most coffee in the US tastes to me like burned newspaper (I presume that's why Starbucks wants to put all those ludicrous syrups in it — to mask the actual taste of the coffee). Good coffee doesn't need sugar, or syrups or anything like that; it has subtle flavours (including a sweetness) of its own."
18. "Literally trash. Also I asked for an iced coffee and I got black coffee over ice, like what the fuck bro?"
19. "I traveled to the USA once and had a terrible time getting a good coffee. My observation was American coffee is largely drip filtered and watery. It tastes like it's been sitting on a hot plate for too long, losing the aroma and often burning it. Australia was very fortunate to get its coffee culture from Italian immigrants and is generally fresh shots of espresso from medium roasted beans combined with fresh steamed milk."