Shot to the heart as Sydney’s coffee scene overtakes Melbourne’s in global rankings

People can get very passionate about their coffee – especially Melburnians.

People can get very passionate about their coffee – especially Melburnians. Photo: Getty

If you hear the sloshing of a million cups of coffee collectively dropped in outrage across Melbourne, news has spread that the Victorian capital has only barely made a list of the world’s top cities for coffee.

Adding insult to injury, Sydney nabbed a top-three spot.

The rankings are the latest fuel for the fire of Melbourne and Sydney’s battle for the title of Australia’s best capital city (the smaller capitals seem to feel they have less to prove).

While the merits of the cities’ respective art and food scenes could be debated at length, coffee has traditionally been considered an undisputed jewel in Melbourne’s crown.

Apparently, not everyone agrees.

American magazine Food & Wine put together a list of the top 11 “standout cities for coffee around the world” for travellers who can’t go without their morning caffeine hit.

It was part of the magazine’s “Global Tastemakers” series, where more than 180 food and travel journalists vote on their favourites in categories ranging from restaurants to cruises, with a panel of judges having the definitive say on the final winners.

Melbourne ranked 10th, with Food & Wine admitting “no list of best coffee cities would be complete without at least two Australian locations”.

The magazine named the Proud Mary cafe, in the inner-Melbourne suburb of Collingwood, as a standout, largely thanks to its offering exceptional coffee served with a side of education around bean sourcing. Another Collingwood roastery, Acoffee, was also name-checked as having some of Melbourne’s freshest coffee.

But Sydney soared past Melbourne to claim the No.3 spot, with Food & Wine declaring coffee is a “serious business” in the “laid-back beach town”.

In particular, readers were pointed towards inner-city Surry Hills if they wanted to have their pick of cafes, with the flagship outlet of single-origin cafe and roaster Single O mentioned by name.

“Pick up single origin or bean blends along with – what else – an Australian signature flat white,” Food & Wine said.

Ranked at the top of the list was Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen, which was lauded for its quality-over-quantity approach.

Tokyo snagged second place. Food & Wine highlighted the Japanese capital’s range, from “historic shops offering siphon-brewed coffee to modern third-wave cafes experimenting with brewing techniques and flavours”.

This list isn’t the first bruising Melbourne’s coffee pride has suffered; last year, an ACT cafe was voted to have the best flat white in the country.

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