The Deconstructed Coffee That Has Australians in an Uproar

The "deconstructed flat white"—three separate beakers of hot water, milk, and espresso served atop a wooden board—has been widely met with ridicule.
June 2, 2016, 12:00am
Photo via Facebook user Jamila Rizvi

In a world where vomiting the colors of the rainbow onto each and every food item is largely met with mass approval, how can one tell when a food trend goes too far in its quest for fame? That's the questions we're left asking ourselves after hearing of a coffee styling from Australia that spectacularly went up in flames, long before it ever had the chance to take off.

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The current debacle surrounds an unnamed Melbourne café's so-called "deconstructed" coffee. Their "deconstructed flat white"—three separate beakers of hot water, milk, and espresso served atop a wooden board—has been widely met with ridicule.

Places are now selling 'deconstructed' coffee.

This is why ISIS hate us. pic.twitter.com/EH4sOcvh1J — Captain Kidd (@kidd_kong78) June 1, 2016

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Deconstructed coffee ready for tomorrow morning. #twit https://t.co/fc9u5EN2Uj pic.twitter.com/n6bdsovgZL

— Quietly Confident (@jonkudelka) June 1, 2016

It all started when writer Jamila Rizvi went into a coffee shop in Melbourne and ordered a flat white, Australia's own contribution to the haute coffee constellation. What she received was not exactly what she expected. Rizvi posted a photo of the assemblage to Facebook. Her comment speaks for itself:

Sorry Melbourne but no. No no no no no. Hipsterism has gone too far when your coffee comes deconstructed. I just waited almost 20 minutes for an actual cup before realising it would not be forthcoming. I wanted a coffee. Not a science experiment. I prefer to drink my beverages out of crockery and not beakers. Next stage? I'll just get a chopping board with a bunch of actual coffee beans and an upside down hat on it. This must stop, dear Melbourne. This must stop.

The "hipster" accusation has since taken to the wind; the post now has over 20,000 likes and more than 6,000 comments on Facebook. As Rizvi explained to BBC, "More than anything, it was not quite knowing what I was supposed to do. It makes you feel silly if you can't figure out how to drink it."

READ MORE: This Man Wants People to Stop Serving Food on Wooden Boards

The flat white, for the uninitiated, is basically a variation on the cappuccino that was created in Australia. The drink was first introduced by Italian immigrants following World War II.

In the end, Rizvi clarified, "It was an excellent coffee. But it was probably a stronger milk-to-coffee ratio than I'd normally have." Judging from the photo, the milk-to-coffee ratio appears to have been entirely in her own hands. She went on to admit, "I feel so ridiculous saying this."