The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe

Brewing Barista-style

When my cousin went to Europe in December last year, she had expected to find coffee-heaven. She thought Europe would have the best coffee at its disposal, that coffee in Europe would be exquisite. Instead it was more like something that looked like coffee, vaguely smelled like it too. It was bitter, and brown, but coffee?

Just after we arrived in Harrietville, there was a news item about two Australian girls that opened a coffee shop in Paris. They, too, came to Europe with high coffeexpectations and were disappointed. So they took matters into their own hands, bought themselves a coffee machine, rented a little place in downtown Paris, and set up some chairs and tables. Et voilĂ , their very own Australian coffeeswith a view of le tour Eiffel! (Ok, I admit I might have made that last bit up.)

On another occasion not too long ago, a typical Australian family walked into my place work. I say typical, because dad was born in Croatia, mom in Australia, sonny boy was born here too, but raised in the States. “Would you like a large coffee?” I asked them after they placed their order. I pointed at the largest of the two cups displayed on the till. They laughed; large coffees in Australia are small coffees in America.

They had some more stuff to get off their chest, like how horrible those American coffees taste. I was surprised. After all, the most famous coffee shop chain in the world is American. (You know which one I mean, right? It’s in all the movies. It’s where people meet the love of their lives just by standing in line. You know it’s meant to be when the person in front of you orders the exact same S*******s coffee as you do… e.g. skinny caramel mochaccino extra cream extra strong no sugar – something perfectly normal like that.)

Now as for me, I am not necessarily blown away by Australian coffees. They taste just like coffee to me – mind you, that’s a good thing – and I do like myself a caramel cappuccino from the coffeeshop-we-won’t-mention. On the other hand I wouldn’t taste the different between a homebrew and Nespresso.

In Australian coffee shops, all coffees are freshly made, even the beans are mostly grinded as you order. They say they are brewing their own coffee, and the person that makes that special brown beverage is a barista. I don’t think this would happen in your average Dutch cafe, but it does bring me to my point of critique: it takes forever. When I order a takeaway coffee, it is safe to say I have somewhere to be, and I don’t want to be waiting ten minutes for my coffee.

But honestly, that is the only bad thing I have to say about it, because even at Macca’s you can order a soy milk half strength extra sugar piccolo latte in a mug.

Now you tell me what it is that I want!


the coffee machine


ALL of the equipment needed


champion barista Sid frothing the milk (soy, skinny, regular, whatever)


4 thoughts on “Brewing Barista-style

  1. Pingback: A Drink With Mates | oui depuis

  2. Hoi JANA en ANTON Hebben ze in Australie ook ILLY koffie ? Die vind ik hier in Europa het lekkerst, de Italiaanse. Maar je kunt die lang niet overal krijgen, helaas. Ik weet niet of nicht Reg die wel eens gedronken heeft ? Bv in Luxemburg of Duitsland ? Leuk te horen dat Macdonalds voortaan (februari 2014 ?) MACCA gaat heten ! Onderweg in 2004 met Sabine was het vaak de enige eet- en drinktent, die we op een lange dag in de Outback tegen kwamen. Dan ben je er toch blij mee, in zo’n geval van ‘nood’. En toen hadden ze daar ook al ‘gezonde salade’s’, naast de hamburgers !

    vriendelijke groet,

    Mieke-Nelie v/d Heijden

    • Hoi tante,
      Ik ben benieuwd of dat nog steeds zo is! Over een week of twee vertrekken Anton en ik op avontuur met Anna en Brian. We gaan via Uluru en Alice Springs naar Darwin en Kakadu en dan naar de oostkust.
      Groetjes van ons allebei!

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