Inner-city hipsters are mocked for many sins. But, when you think about it, the absurdity of an unkempt beard and perfectly slicked back hair pales in comparison to the Gilet Wearing Finance Bro trend of ordering Piccolos and Macchiatos in takeaway cups, only to drink them in two gulps.
I was so enraged by this phenomenon in 2018 that I spat out my pumpkin spiced latte, whipped out the laptop, and wrote an article claiming “takeaway Piccolos proves why Australia’s cafe culture will never match Europe’s.”
The thrust of the argument? It’s environmentally rude, and doesn’t give you the same mental break sitting down and sipping for five minutes does.
“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.”
“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?”
Unfortunately, in a hypocritical turn of events, I have recently become everything I so hated. I now drink Piccolos and Macchiatos. Sometimes from a takeaway cup.
Rather than bore you with details of lactose intolerance and a growing boredom with long blacks, soy and oat milk, all I’ll say is that after a brief period of bowing my head in shame, I now revel in bouncing into the office with a tiny cup of liquid gold in my hand.
It would also be easy to blame COVID-19, which for a time meant cafes were unable to service the needs of Keep Cup owners, but the truth is my local hole in the wall started serving Keep Cups again weeks ago.
Much as it pains me to say, it just feels better to drink out of a takeaway cup. Softer on the mouth, no thoughts of how clean my office mug might (or might not) be, no need to wash up. For a time during COVID-19 restrictions, I didn’t even feel bad about it.
Knowing I should move back to my Keep Cup now that restrictions permit it, I asked Katering barista, Max Groh a few questions this morning to assuage my conscience.
He started off by correcting a few of my assumptions about hipsters, saying he doesn’t find convoluted orders annoying.
“People can drink their coffee however they want.”
What grinds his teeth is when people “don’t know their orders” and try to make modifications once the extractors and steam pump have already been set into action.
“I had one guy this morning ask for a Skinny Latte, then at the last minute, after I’d already charged him, he asked if he could change his order to an extra shot. All with a queue of people waiting.”
“It made it kind of awkward.”
When asked about his thoughts on ordering a Piccolo ‘to go’ Max told us, in his opinion, it’s no different to ordering any other drink as a takeaway. In fact, when you think about it, “smaller cups create less waste than larger ones” Max pointed out.
That’s not to say they are better than a Keep Cup, just that my 2018 disdain for takeaway Piccolo drinkers was misplaced.
I’ll cop that.