Gordon Smith

Cup of Life/Death: 5 Coffee Abominations from around the Globe

It’s fair to say that baristas the world over can get a bit carried away. Coffee is now implanted in ice cream cones, pie crusts, and inter-generational hubris. Make the pain stop.


Coffee: the brown go-go juice.

Maybe you’re an instant kind of guy who is rightfully proud of your ability to turn what is by all appearances a rough, solid mass of powder into an entirely liquid state. With negligible lumps, too.

Maybe you’re a step above we teaspoon-wielding consumers and have invested in your preferred brand of capsuled coffee contraption, much like your [insert preferred brand of crumbling advertising personality] has.

Maybe you’re a mixer of the two, a coffee “mudblood” as it were, all while watching your bank account plummet under the weight of your takeaway latte habits.

Whatever your preference, chances are you probably aren’t drinking your percolated pal like society’s hippest of the hip. Which is something you should continue to avoid for the rest of your existence on this earth, if only for your health.

Take for example Japan, a country who in this author’s opinion is still very much wearing the training wheels when it comes to its brewing and probably shouldn’t make things too complicated for itself. Across Tokyo, entire businesses are popping up, serving only the finest of coffee, in food’s most delicious and portable form of storage: waffle cones.

The originally named “coffee cone” is exactly what it sounds like: your preferred beverage of choice – as long as that preferred beverage is either coffee or green tea – served in an ice cream cone, complete with an unnerving smile doodled into the milk.

Better still, the cones themselves are then decorated to conical hell and back, smothered in chocolate, sprinkles, whipped cream, and more.

While this does definitely tick the delicious box, it is in essence just a regular coffee in a tastier and much less portable cup.

Head down south – way, way down south – and barista imaginations run wild.


Things aren’t all chocolates and pie crust, however, and just looking at some Australian servings should be enough to remind you how far we as a species have fallen.


Baker and barista Chamnan Ly, from Auckland’s The Tasteful Bakehouse, has birthed the PieFee: a coffee served in a chocolate chip cup and pastry saucer.

If that isn’t enough motivation to book your Air New Zealand flights, seeing just what such a glorious combination looks like should be. Chanman explains in an interview with Lonely Planet that the idea came to him earlier this year and that he never expected it to take off.

“I have always used chocolate to protect the shell for our custard and fruit pies …. I made a couple to trial it out, but didn’t even put it on our menu board. One day, our first PieFee customer, Adam, came in with a few of his friends to try it out. Then, the following week, he came back again with more workmates. I realised it was going somewhere, so I put PieFee on the menu board and started to work on the cups.”

Rome, of course, was not built in a day, and one could not expect such perfection to happen overnight. The PieFee went through several revisions before attaining its final form, in part because of Chanman’s desire to be environmentally friendly and in part to incorporate customer feedback. While once the PieFee had a foil cup surrounding it, it now has its far more edible chocolate chip cup saucer and pastry saucer, with a cinnamon variety also available. The chocolate layer protects the pie crust, Chanman says, which prevents it from melting quickly.

If you’re still not satisfied with your blood sugar levels, Ireland might be your next step.

A small café in Ireland’s County Cork has started serving its coffee inside Easter eggs, with customers able to turn up the dial even further and add cream and marshmallows. Yes, compared to clear favorite PieFee, it seems much less impressive; but if the simple joy of melting a chocolate egg into your latte isn’t enough to make you happy, nothing ever will be.

Plus, you can recreate this at home, presumably also with your one kilo tin of International Roast.

Things aren’t all chocolates and pie crust, however, and just looking at some Australian servings should be enough to remind you how far we as a species have fallen.


Also on The Big Smoke


Melbourne: home of hipsters, trams, and that low bridge you keep hearing about.

Melbourne is said to have some of the world’s best coffee and God knows they’ve tried to sell coffee in that city wherever humanly possible. So, it should come as no surprise to you that the caffeine-hooked deviants that populate that not so big city couldn’t help themselves from reducing your morning beverage into its most unappealing form. Or rather, the components of your morning beverage.

Long before its coffee-coning, pie-filling comrades, a café in Melbourne presented (and presumably, continues to present) what it calls a deconstructed coffee: a cup of milk, a cup of water, a cup of espresso.

So violently offensive to the senses that recipient and writer Jamila Rizvi declared that frankly, “Hipsterism has gone too far.”

But while a deconstructed coffee will almost definitely ruin your drink, you can at least take comfort in the fact that you’re only destroying one thing.

The avolatte, however, brings you no such comfort. Not only does the (allegedly) satirical Millennial creation raise a middle finger to your favorite beverage, it also spits upon any pro-avocado thoughts you’ve ever harbored.

It’s exactly what it sounds like, too: coffee served inside a scooped-out avocado.

While Albert Park’s Truman Café may have originally intended the creation as a joke, that hasn’t stopped actual physical human beings ordering the av-bomination.

With the exception being the infallible and all knowing PieFee, these coffee adaptions serve no purpose other than to bring us as a species further suffering.

If you do ever find yourself wishing your latte just had that little bit extra, seek help immediately. Like many diseases, prevention is easier than cure, and these barista brain snaps are no exception.


Gordon Smith

Journalist by day, cunning linguist by night. A passion for politics, hypnotically involved in human rights. An Australian born with a Japanese tongue, hoping to hold the bigwigs in government to account.

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