There is no such thing as coffee in Australia. At least, not as Americans know it. There are lattes and cappuccinos and mochas and a plethora of other espresso-based drinks, but there is no plain old coffee. There are no pots full of pre-made coffee waiting on warmers in gas stations and diners – no two dollar endless cups of coffee with breakfast. Australians demand far more of the humble Arabica bean. So before you travel to the land down under, here is a quick guide to ordering your favorite hot beverage.
Short black coffee is espresso, plain and simple. Order a short black coffee, and you will receive a coffee cup full of rich, bitter espresso. Don’t expect to be able to add cream to it; that is another drink order entirely.
If you find yourself longing for an American style cup of black coffee then this is your best bet. It is essentially an Americana, meaning that it is espresso with hot water added to it to thin it out.
This will be your drink of choice if you take your coffee with cream. A flat white is espresso with steamed milk in it. I know that sounds like a latte. It basically is, except that there should be no foam in a flat white. A latte has a little bit of foam on the top.
Okay, this isn’t coffee, but I felt that it is worth mentioning that milkshakes are also different in Australia. A milkshake here is just milk shaken with flavor. There is no ice cream involved. If you are craving the classic American dessert then you will need to order a thick shake.
Now you can walk into any coffee shop in Australia and order with confidence. And I’ll admit it, the coffee is delicious. Sometimes, though, I miss the cheap, easy coffee of the US of A.