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A Traveller’s Guide to Ordering Coffee in Australia

on 21 June 2019 in Dining & Entertainment
Australians love their coffee. As such, you’ll find it dotted on every street corner and available in every form. If you’re new to Australia, you might find the lingo quite confusing.
Planning on ordering coffee while visiting this beautiful country? Here are our tips for ordering coffee the Aussie way.
Common requests

Short Black/Espresso
A 30ml shot of strongly brewed coffee served in a small cup or glass, an espresso (commonly called a short black) should have a thick golden crema on top. The perfect pick me up if you’ve overindulged the night before. If you’re really bad, you might like to order a ‘double shot espresso or short black’.

Long Black
To make a long black, a barista (the person making your coffee) will pour a double shot espresso over some hot water. Served in a larger glass or cup to about half way you can ask for some milk on the side should you wish.

A macchiato is a shot of espresso with a small amount of foamed milk spooned over the top. Simple but delicious.

Flat White
A flat white has very little air incorporated into its milk, meaning it has very little or no froth. It’s made with one shot of espresso unless otherwise asked for.

A latte is similar to a flat white, however, it has around 1cm of milk froth which will settle on top. A skilled barista can also ‘pretty up’ your latte with some artistic latte art on top.

Broken down into ⅓ espresso, ⅓ textured milk and ⅓ froth, a cappuccino is recognised for its frothiness and dusting of chocolate to finish.

A mocha is a latte that has the added sweetness of 30g of chocolate. It’s a cross between a hot chocolate and a coffee - nothing not to love!

A little more advanced

A vienna is essentially a long black coffee with a squirt of whipped cream as a replacement for milk and sugar.

Turmeric latte
Turmeric lattes are one of the hottest new trends in Australia and come with a ton of health benefits. Made from a mixture of cold-pressed turmeric juice and almond, cashew or coconut milk, turmeric lattes are fast becoming an Australian staple.

A Romano is a short black coffee with a twist of lemon. The acidic lemon melds with the coffee to create a beautiful and mellow flavour.

Ristretto roughly translates to “restricted” which means the caffeine is restricted by cutting the shot short. Most shots of coffee run for about 30 seconds, and stopping the shot after 15 seconds gives you all the great flavour of coffee without much of the caffeine.

Milk options
If you like your coffee with milk there are plenty of milk options to choose from in Australia. Skim milk (low fat) and full cream milk are among the most popular, but other common offerings include:

Rice milk
Made from rice, rice milk is a common preference for those avoiding the use of dairy products or those living a vegan lifestyle. It will turn any coffee into a sweet one and is therefore a good alternative to refined sugar and sweeteners.

Almond milk
Almond milk is a popular choice for Australians, vegan or not. Full of flavour, it’s also free of the fat that’s found in cow’s milk.

Soy milk
Another popular choice, soy milk is often requested by those with a lactose intolerance, a condition that can cause stomach pain, bloating and gas. Whilst adding a nice flavour, soy milk can at times curdle when combined with coffee.  

Coconut milk
Coconut milk is made by soaking shredded coconut in water and it can either be made on-site or purchased prepared. A versatile milk, it offers a tasty twist to your regular coffee.

Other things to consider

In Australia, most cafes offer table service, meaning you can find yourself a seat at any table that doesn’t say ‘reserved’ and a staff member will come and take your order. If you’re not planning on sitting in to enjoy your coffee or the menu specifically says to ‘order at the counter’, you should go straight to the counter to order and pay.

Drip coffee
Drip coffee, the kind that freely flows from insulated carafes in most American restaurants and diners, is rarely found in Australia. Instead, coffee Down Under is generally always espresso-based and made to order. With this in mind, don’t just ask for ‘a coffee’. Start by stating whether you want it dine in or takeaway, then choose the size and the style. Specificity is key.

What makes Australian coffee different?
The beauty of coffee in Australia doesn’t just lie in its carefully made-to-order creation, but in its adaptability. Locals are unafraid to ask for customisation and baristas are happy to accommodate your requests - strong, weak, a dollop of foam, topped up with milk, extra hot, not too hot, skinny, sweetened...the list goes on.
Want to perfect your coffee ordering when in Australia? The Strand at Coolangatta has some of the best cafes on the coast and some of the best coffee you will taste during your trip. Pop on into Crema Espresso, Griffith St Larder or The Black Sheep Espresso Baa and see for yourself why coffee is a culture in Australia. Not sure what to order? Chat to the friendly staff at any of the cafes and restaurants at the Strand and they’ll be happy to suggest something based on your preferences.
The Loop > June 2019 > A Traveller’s Guide to Ordering Coffee in Australia