Australia doesn’t do cappuccinos


Speaking of travel, or lack thereof, here’s something else I was thinking about that we could do in the Before Times.

Coffee was among the first funnels of culture shock I encountered when moving back to Sydney from Singapore. Australians are globally recognised coffee snobs, to the point where dunking on Starbucks is a part of the citizenship test, and anything less than the best is consigned to the same heap as that nasty, granulated instant. It’s lead to a personal struggle between loving single origin brews made by an artisan barista taught in Sydney’s Newtown sporting a fedora and listening to out of tune folk music, and the kopi-o brews I used to have with kaya toast at the foot of HDB blocks or hawker centres.

But that wasn’t the shock.

I prefer to have black coffee most of the time, having weaned myself off sugar in almost everything, and milk in coffee years ago. But occasionally I like to indulge in a bit of a treat, especially on a Friday afternoon like this. For that, I used to turn to a frothy cappuccino.

The problem is, Australians don’t do them. I’m not sure when this started, but Australian baristas will give you a flat white or a latte with chocolate powder on top and call it a cappuccino. It tastes great, and is probably among the best made coffees you’ll have in the world. It’s just not a cappuccino. It’s not even close.

Milk foam is the key to a cappuccino. It’s what makes drinking them fun. The light smattering of chocolate powder over the foam is the same reason why the creamy froth of a Guinness is so iconic and tasty. Sure you’d be getting more liquid beer if you have less foam, but where’s the fun? Where’s the unintentional moustache, I ask you!?

Kiwis are as selective and skilled with their coffee across the pond, I wonder if they do the same thing? It’d be a shame if they did, they have the best dairy in the world.

Author bio and support


Ruben Schade is a technical writer and infrastructure architect in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person. Hi!

The site is powered by Hugo, FreeBSD, and OpenZFS on OrionVM, everyone’s favourite bespoke cloud infrastructure provider.

If you found this post helpful or entertaining, you can shout me a coffee or send a comment. Thanks ☺️.