Coffee lovers at odds as Australians roast American brew in heated online debate: 'Almost undrinkable'

Controversy is brewing on Reddit, with Aussies and Americans duking it out over who's coffee is better.

By and large, we Aussies are a pretty laid back bunch but if you ever want to get a rage a-brewing, then suggest our coffee can't possibly be that much better than American coffee.

That's exactly the debate that's raging on Reddit, with one user stirring the pot by posing the provocative question, "Is Australian coffee really that much better than American coffee?"

Well, excuse us, sir, but the resounding answer is a freshly ground and perfectly poured, "yes."

Close-up of industrial coffee maker dripping coffee into a espresso cup, blurry background
Coffee lovers are at loggerheads on Reddit. Photo: Getty Images

To clarify, the user specified, "I’m not talking about comparing it the average Joe Schmoe coffee you find in diners, offices, fast food, Starbucks, etc. I’m talking about hipster coffee shops in the US."

...Still yes.

As expected, the internet had no shortage of opinions to share, and they were scalding. Essentially, the collective sentiment echoed what many already knew: even the least impressive coffee in Australia trumps American coffee.


One user humorously quipped, "You know coffee is crap abroad when you land back in Sydney and the McDonalds coffee at airport arrivals made by a pimply 16 year old tastes amazing." This sentiment resonated with countless others who unequivocally declared that McDonald's coffee in Australia surpasses even the best served across the pond.

"Even in places like NYC that have some Aussie cafes, it’s nothing compared to a good cup here," another person pointed out, "I’m not Australian so I think I’m impartial. Melbourne coffee is the best in the world."

"I’ve had better $2 coffees from 7/11 in Australia, than I’ve had in the classiest coffee shops in the US," someone else chimed in, with another adding, "US coffee tastes like the ass of a homeless dog that lapped up a proper coffee."


As resounding reviews for the good old Aussie brew poured in, many also shared subpar coffee experiences while travelling in the States.

"I’ve had hipster coffee in the US and the only places I found it on par with even average Aussie coffee is Australian run cafes," one person wrote.

"I was in Boston a few years ago," someone else shared, "there was a cafe that had 'award-winning coffee'. It was burnt to buggery. Two things, the roast was burnt, but they then overheated the water and made it worse."

"My most recent trip to the US I had a few barista made coffees. The best one would be a middling to poor cup in Melbourne. The worst was almost undrinkable," agreed another coffee lover.

One Reddit user elaborated on the flourishing Aussie coffee culture, stating that what truly sets it apart is the prevalence of espresso machines in even the most modest diners, cafes, and even McDonald's. The result is a consistently high standard of coffee that's hard to match in most other countries.

Starbucks coffee is huge in the US. Photo: Getty Images

And just when we thought we couldn't possibly know more about coffee, one user chimed in with an all-important coffee history lesson.

"What makes modern Australia coffee stand out is our understanding of espresso. No other part of the world outside of pure coffee drinking countries in Europe, or the Middle East understand how to pull a good espresso shot. We learned because of Greeks, French, Italians, and Turkish people."

In contrast, the user pointed out that America's coffee evolution took a different route. During World War I and II, American soldiers found European coffee too strong for their liking, leading to a preference for pot-filtered coffee. This historical background culminated in the creation of Cafe Americano, a coffee style born from European roots but filtered through a standard-issue US GI sock. Even today, Italians humorously refer to Cafe Americano as "sock water."

While the majority of voices in this passionate debate strongly favoured Australian coffee, a few dissenters did offer a more tempered perspective. However, even these individuals were not suggesting that coffee down under was inferior; rather, they dared to question whether American coffee might not be as terrible as the discussion seemed to imply.

One commenter, in particular, contemplated, "Maybe my standards are low? Or maybe this is just a stereotype? But I had coffee about 2 dozen times in my recent trip in USA and not once it was bad or undrinkable. Mostly average but occasionally it was good. Can’t lie though when I touched down back in Sydney and grabbed a local coffee it certainly hit different."

Another dissenting voice chimed in, asserting, "Uh, this is a bit exaggerated. I've had awesome coffee in the US. When people are working with good beans and have been trained, what's not to love? And I have had bitter, terrible coffee in Oz. We have to learn where to go where it's reliably good."

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