Starbucks' Australian flat white disappoints

Seeking credibility, Starbucks has turned to the Australian flat white so US correspondent and coffee aficionado, Caroline Overington decides to find out; how goes the brew?

Okay, so I had one.
I had an 'Australian flat white' at Starbucks in the US.
Maybe you’re thinking: so what?
Well, the fact that Starbucks, in what might be described as a somewhat desperate effort to gain credibility with serious coffee drinkers, is now offering the so-called 'Australian flat white' is apparently the biggest thing to happen to coffee in America since ... well, since Starbucks.
Every newspaper in the country – the New York Times included – is talking about the fact even the most ordinary Australian coffee is better than anything you can get at Starbucks.
So Starbucks last week announced that it would today start serving the Australian flat white.
It's a bold move: as everyone in the US already knows, Starbucks isn't famous for the quality of its coffee. It's famous for its free WiFi, and the fact that it’s often the only place where you can find a public toilet clean enough to use.
The fact that Starbucks landed on the Australian flat white as the coffee it most wanted to copy won’t surprise Melburnians - but it certainly surprised Americans.
As an article from the Wall Street Journal said: 'Many people think Australia's favourite brew is beer.'
Not so: 'The country is perhaps equally obsessed with coffee.'
'It's not that Australians drink a lot of coffee, but they are known for having really great coffee,' the Journal said. 'The countries European immigrants from countries like Italy and Greece are credited for bringing this coffee culture to Australia's shores.'
Starbucks' decision to introduce the Australian flat white was described by website Vox as deeply ironic because 'Australians have firmly rejected Starbucks. The company opened 84 stores down under in 2000 … today, there are just 24 stores remaining.'
Also, having decided on the Australian flat white as the world's best coffee, Starbucks still had to learn how to make, and to sell, the beverage to Americans.
Each store now has a big sign, explaining the drink.
As all Australians know, a flat white is warm milk with espresso, with foam from the milk sitting not on top, as in a cappuccino, but distributed evenly through the cup.
The Starbucks recipe calls for 'two shots of … a concentrated type of espresso, combined with steamed milk' and the 'way it is poured (will result) in a white dot in the middle.'
Very good!
Although the flat white wasn’t supposed to be available until tomorrow (US time) you could in fact get one today, in Santa Monica.
Bottoms up...
The 'Australian flat white'
So, how was it already?
Well, come on, you already know the answer. It was coffee, made in America. Translation: it was too hot, too runny and it was served in a paper cup. Translation: sorry, Starbucks, but it was terrible. But then, as a Melburnian, I probably would say that, wouldn't I?

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