Of the value we bestow on black liquids, oil will always be king, but here in Australia, coffee has been elevated to unseen heights of royalty. On any given district road in Northern Sydney, a person may find 3-4 coffee shops on the same intersection and all of them are brimming with patrons.
Starbucks maybe the standard of coffee in the United States, but down here even Starbucks has been closing shops at unprecedented rates after failing to cut a share of the market. After opening a flood of stores in 2000 in its quest for world domination, the chain ended up keeping only 23 out of 84 locations (source).
Australia and New Zealand have their own ways of naming drinks and here are a few terms any coffee drinker will need to acquaint themselves with:
Long Black: shots espresso over hot water with no milk or sugar
Flat White: a shot of espresso over hot water with steamed milk (similar to latte)
Cappuccino: espresso, hot milk, and steamed-milk froth
Affogato: scoops of ice cream or gelato topped by a shot of espresso
(left) caffe latte (right) affogato
All of this is to give a little context to my first cup of coffee ever. When in Rome…right? I opted for a cafe latte, which was not too bitter or too sweet. I did not need to add excessive sugar which was a plus. A good introductory drink I think when venturing into the realm of caffeine.
My first experience with coffee was great and the location of the coffee house overlooking the Sydney Opera House was quite memorable. Fortunately, I do not think I’ll be chasing the dragon with regards to this caffeinated black ooze. It’s tasty…but good enough to drink 3-4 times a day? A curious mystery I’ll happily leave unsolved.