'Deconstructed coffee': It's for snobs, not hipsters, says Melbourne cafe behind beaker brew

Marissa Calligeros
Flat what? The 'deconstructed' coffee in question.
Flat what? The 'deconstructed' coffee in question. Photo: Facebook

The manager of a Melbourne cafe at the centre of a social media storm in a coffee cup says its controversial "deconstructed" brew was aimed at the city's notorious coffee snobs, not hipsters.

Writer Jamila Rizvi shared a photo on Facebook of an unusual coffee she was served at the Abbotsford cafe, which came to the table in three separate beakers on a wooden paddle.

Flat what? The 'deconstructed' coffee in question.
Flat what? The 'deconstructed' coffee in question. Photo: Facebook

"Sorry Melbourne but no. No no no no no," Rizvi wrote on Tuesday.

"I wanted a coffee. Not a science experiment."

Within 48 hours Rizvi's post had received more than 21,000 likes and been viewed more than 2 million times.

Lisa Wearmouth, who manages the cafe within South African furniture store Weylandts that served Rizvi's coffee, rejected claims the deconstructed coffee was a sign "hipsterism" had gone too far.

Wearmouth said the coffee Rizvi ordered was actually a deconstructed long macchiato, not a flat white.


She said she came up with the idea to appease Melbourne's picky coffee drinkers.

"Everyone wants their long macchiato a bit differently," Wearmouth said.

"Generally, people want to choose how much milk they want to put in that coffee. I'm quite a coffee snob myself and I find myself asking for more milk, or more water. If we just put it all on the table, they can choose what they want.

"I don't think its [hipsterism] going too far, just catering for what people want."

Wearmouth rebuffed suggestions the beakers were also too hipster.

"It hasn't got anything to do with being a hipster," she said.

"We've just had beakers for ages. We do quite a few of our coffees in beakers. Our plants on the tables are in beakers. It's just part of our store concept."

She said the response from customers had been overwhelmingly positive.

"We've never had anyone complain. The woman who ordered that coffee said she really enjoyed it," she said.

"If someone came in and asked for it in a cup, we'd have no problem putting it in a cup."

Rizvi said she was bemused to see the photo of her coffee go viral online, even making headlines on the BBC.

Yet, she said it was also a little sad.

"Let's recognise this stuff for what it is – white noise – and not allow it to distract us too much from what actually matters. Enjoy it, laugh at it, make a witty sarcastic comment if you must, and then - move on," she said.