A few days into my two week trip to Australia, the jet-lag is gradually starting to relent. Rio is 13 hours behind Melbourne, so my body clock has been trying to sabotage my plans by urging me to wake up and do things at 4am and then crash mid-afternoon. Luckily for me I have a not so secret weapon to beat my endogenous clock into submission.
After a 6 month stint of abstention, I recently decided to come back to the wonderful world of coffee during a trip to Lima. After chatting to a Peruvian coffee farmer and then seeing the fruits of his labour, I wondered why I had stopped drinking coffee in the first place and decided it was time to get back in the game. A couple of weeks later I am reaping the benefits of that decision.
Coffee is a big deal in Melbourne. If you want the coffee ordering process to go smoothly then you will quickly need to learn the meaning of terms such as ‘flat white‘ and ‘long black‘ – just asking for a coffee will result in as exasperated look from your barista (this is the voice of experience speaking…).
These coffee making contraptions were rather intimidating at first, but after a quick lesson I was able to produce something that, to my untrained eye and palette, resembled a decent short black.
Coming from Rio, this is all a bit of a shock for me. Although Brazil produces a third of all the coffee in the world and has been the world’s largest producer for the last 150 years, there are generally far fewer choices on offer in terms of beans and modes of preparation. However, coffee is an integral party of everyday life in Brazil with ‘cafezinhos’ punctuating the days of everyone from builders to high-powered executives.
I guess the truth of it is that you need a large middle class with disposable income to pay for baristas and fancy coffee machines. With Brazil’s economic outlook still looking uncertain, it may be a while longer before I’ll be ordering a flat white with my morning pão de queijo.