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Grown Men Ordering Takeaway Piccolos Proves Why Australia’s Cafe Culture Will Never Match Europe’s

Sit down. Be humble…

When you order a takeaway coffee in Spain it is served in a polystyrene cup that cracks at the slightest squeeze. This typically comes with a lid you have to remove completely each time you want to take a sip (or a hole for yet another item of plastic—a straw—to fit through) before you can drink your cafe con leche.

If you ask for takeaway toast, it will come wrapped in aluminium foil. Or, if you are in a small town, in a cafe ill equipped to satisfy your desire to eat while you walk, they might serve it in a plastic tupperware.

In short: the experience is so unwieldy that the concept of “takeaway” is so uncommon that no-one asks for it except tourists. And then they complain that it is wasteful…

The irony is that European cafe culture is more environmentally friendly than Australia or America’s. People sit down to eat or drink, they leave, their tazas get washed up. Simple.

They also return to the office refreshed, having taken a much needed mental break, rather than trying to half-work half-eat at their desks, which has been shown to reduce productivity.

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In Australia and America, however, much as we pride ourselves on our $40, occasionally used keep cups, bamboo straws and sustainable beard oil, we have a habit of ordering coffee in takeaway cups. Let’s be honest: it’s more convenient than a keep cup, doesn’t require cleaning, and keeps your coffee warmer for longer.

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The worst offenders? Grown men who order takeaway Piccolos (a tiny coffee, designed to be served on the counter of a cafe or bar and knocked back in a few seconds, or sipped leisurely over 5 minutes while you chat with your mates), walk down the street with it, finish it off in a few gulps, and leave it on the nearest window sill.

 

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If a man does not have the sauce, then he is lost. But the same man can be lost in the sauce. #midtownuniform 📷: @saumaya

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Not only is this slightly antithetical to our “green” values, but it is a symptom of a larger problem: our non existent cafe culture. Instead of socialising while we sip our daily dose of black (or brown) gold, we stress down the street with it, or sup it mindlessly at our desks.

And on the odd occasion we brave the “have here” option, unless it’s a weekend, it’s often a regrettable choice—as you have to fight for elbow room between “entrepreneurs” pretending to look busy on their laptops (whilst browsing Facebook) and hipsters drinking their third pumpkin spice latte of the day.

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While you may argue this is a frothy stereotype—much like a burnt Cappuccino—you can’t deny the bitter truth underneath. So maybe instead of focussing on expensive keep cups and vilifying plastic, we should focus on making the most sustainable solution—a mug and saucer—a better experience?

RELATED: Middle Aged Men In Lycra Prove Why Cycling Will Never Be Cool In Australia 

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  • Nick Gye

    Agree completely. Takeaway coffee is – to exaggerate a tad – an abomination. If you’re that desperate that you can’t sit down for 5 minutes then get a red bull

  • Simon Hallgath-Jolly

    What a load of rubbish. We have the best coffee in the world (which you have written yourself in another article linked below), and we know how to enjoy it. Is it even possible to buy a pumpkin spice latte in Australia? I suspect this article was written for America, and you stuck Australia in there for a few extras clicks. I live in an inner city suburb of Sydney, and our cafe culture is magnificent. We have numerous cafes where people eat and drink in all the time. There might be more takeaway in the city because rents are much higher, and the cafes are often smaller, but that’ll be the same in many countries. Besides, there’s nothing wrong with getting a takeaway so you can get on with your day. It doesn’t mean you don’t savour your coffee. I get a takeaway every morning in a Keep Cup that I’ve now used a thousand times, and I savour every drop. I also eat in for lunch there every day too. How about you write about real stuff instead of just click bait headlines.

  • Brad Warland

    Some of us start work at a sparrows fart every day. We’re often there when the cafes open. I have no choice but to take mine away, in a keep cup, usually drinking it on my commute. Afternoon and weekend coffees are made at home on our espresso machine, as good as any cafe coffee with the right beans. We don’t all have the luxury of a late start, a local cafe in walking distance nor a desk to sit at. Coffee isn’t just about hipsters or inner city snobs.

  • Brad Warland

    Red Bull is the only abomination in your rant.

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