John Lethlean, arguably Australia’s most ruthless food critic, doesn’t mind jumping from frying pans into fires.
He has a strict moral code. And – though it may seem old school to those dancing in the worlds of ‘presets’ and ‘influencer marketing’ – he sticks by it admirably.
You would be forgiven for thinking, then, that Mr. Lethlean – being someone who makes a living by critique – would be a snob. But, judging by an image posted to his Instagram back in July, Mr. Lethlean is more a man of the people that we would’ve pegged him for.
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Showing off the storage space offered up by a Vespa scooter John takes a break from critiquing Western Australians’ driving to reveal he’s a drinker of Lazzio coffee (and a keen Negroni fan, too). Now, we’re no coffee snobs, but Lazzio is one of the cheaper brands out there.
Of course, a high price does not always equal higher quality, but for a man of John’s profession, we’d presume he’d spend more on his beans. Lazzio coffee is also sold by Aldi, where a kilo bag (such as John’s) will set you back around $12. Compare that to Sydney-based roaster Mecca, for example, and you’ll need to part with $16 for a 250g bag. A high price to pay for perceived quality.
While most users were in solidarity with his cocktail-to-be of choice, one commenter sided with his taste in caffeine,
“Ahahaha!! I can’t believe you like Lazzio coffee too. Is the most underrated coffee around. It cost nothing and is actually better the many other coffee around. People never believe me when I say that [sic].”
John replied to the above comment,
“This was actually on special, if you can believe that, 11.99. I buy it usually for either 13 or 14, something ridiculous.”
There you have it: high-quality products can be found in unlikely places. Oh, and while there’s a a lot Australians can learn from Europe’s coffee culture, there are some areas where we’re unmatched.
Our sense of responsibility towards our own snobbishness is one (it’s not the bean it’s how you brew it).
Our dogged persistence to create the perfect homebrew, despite the fact many of us go out to get coffee on the weekend anyway, is another.
As is (in most cases) the lack of pretension that often comes with true passion: as the above Lazzio photo shows, even Australia’s ‘foremost tastebud’ shops at Aldi.
Hell, even though our takeaway habits mean we don’t drink coffee in the same meditative state as Parisians (see: the French coffee skill most Australians lack), we’d argue when it comes to the physical quality of coffee per
capita cafe, Australia has overtaken Italy and France (think about it: these days, even in a rural South Coast town or rural NSW holiday spot, you can pretty much always find a decent one).
Big call? Sure. But hey: it’s not a Saturday dose of controversy unless it’s served hot.