Australian Cultural Exchange: Coffee

Diagon Alley

We began our navigation through a new coffee culture when we had brekkie at the Café Issus found in a way cute alley that totally reminded us of something out of Harry Potter. Melbourne is full of them. Diagon Alley makes total sense now.

Upon looking at the menu, we saw queer coffee choices such as “flat white” and “long black.” What? Maybe some of you are familiar with these terms, but me = not so much. So, when down under, learn what’s up and all. Still took a few tries, though.

“Regular Coffee” = “Espresso.” Again, not so much. At least to this American who enjoys his espresso and his lattes very much so, but after awhile really just wanted a regular g-damn coffee, please!

At Issus, I ordered a macchiato, which I think I confused with an Americano (which I thought still had a bit of milk, but I guess not). Anyway, very good. I adjusted and got over it.

The next morning at Rush Café, the sweet waitress must have totally profiled me and brought be extra hot water and milk. So I guess I created some sort of “white short black.” Or something.

The only place we found “regular” drip/filter coffee was McDonalds. Seriously. Still had to order it “white” but we figured that out. This was in Adelaide, where sometimes all we had time for before hitting the first shows or going on our excursions was a Mickey D’s brekkie (where they also have 24 hour McCafe’s). Very good regular coffee, btw! Yay! Still, a “large” wasn’t large enough. Ernie was like “Are we just caffeine addicted Americans?” The sizes tended to be smaller, especially to non-chain and sit in cafés. You can still get a grande at Starbucks. Which we did and didn’t feel too guilty about (though I didn’t really want to rely on Starbucks the whole time).

By then we’d made our default non “regular” coffee order a flat white, which we grew to love at the Gloria Jean’s in Adelaide. We have a GJ in the South Bend mall and were a little creeped out—but they’re all over Australia. I think they are an Aussie company who happen to be in Indiana—and on the toll road between here and Chicago. The GJ’s in Australia are much shinier. A flat white is a version of sorts of a latte, but smoother, I think. Not as strong maybe? Still was espresso, but also satisfied my “regular” coffee cravings.

By the time we got back home, it was refreshing to order a large pot of refillable coffee at Le Peep (since we didn’t have ANY groceries in the house) and then the next morning at home, the sound and smell of our coffee pot brewing made me think fondly of our glorious adventure, but also made me appreciate my home turf. Our fabulous Sydney friend, Amelia, said she couldn’t get a decent espresso when she was in New York, and totally doesn’t get filter coffee—not strong enough for her. I don’t think I could live in such an espresso dominated coffee culture.

Though again, I guess I’d adjust and get over it. 😛


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