Its significant, returning to Australia for a year after not seeing the place for 15.5 years that coffee, of all things would be a talking point. But it was.
You see, when I first stepped foot in the US, I was lost completely in the parade of creamers, half and half, 2% milk and cream. That is, the epicurean description of such things. It was astonishing, particularly for a newly married kid not long out of high school. This adventure was laid out in my post, Half and Half - Coffee Tales in America.
But it was an about face, for me. Having become used to coffee frappacinos, affagato style; wet cappuccinos as apposed to other cappuccinos, and hearing other coffee loving consumers ask for concoctions such as half caff, double caff with a shot, caramel macchiatos with cream, soy based caffeinated vanilla bean whatever, with caramel glazed over the top... you get the picture...
I was suddenly plunged into a world of,
"sorry, you want??.. What was that again"
"can you tell me how to make that?"
Australia is very big on Cappuccinos (cappa's), they're everywhere, well, they always have been, but I had not remembered that, served not in those big mug sized to go cups but, cups, on the dainty side. And its the foam that is what makes a good cappucino. The consistancy should apparently be creamy, as opposed to the recent change from a foamy airy type.
Though, while at a shopping center (or mall in the US), the biggest shock came after asking for a macchiato, I received a shot of coffee in a shot cup for $4.00.
This is when I died.
Four dollars for THIS, where is the rest of it? I wondered.
I stood bewildered, particularly at a place I deemed safe as far as American style coffee went, it being an American coffee chain. Even the description of a macchiato, when googled did not mention anything about a shot of espresso in a shot cup.
So of course not being able to let this go without an investigation, while in Brisbane, I sauntered into another of the same chain, and sure enough, it was the same. So rather disappointed that it wasn't a mistake, and truly was served in a shot cup, I decided to give that cafe chain a complete miss for the time being. The question being is, do you get the same thing when asking for an espresso shot? Or is that what this particular chain called it?
Though another Australian cafe chain served macchiatos differently too. It was a coffee, with espresso shot in a tall glass with a wisp of foam on top. Confusing.
What else was confusing in this cafe though, just slightly off the coffee topic, was Lamingtons. All Australians know Lamingtons, and in my mind, a Lamington was not to be messed with, its a time honored tradition, and you always know what you're getting. However at this cafe, on the small label in front of the coconut and chocolate covered cakes was 'Lemingtons' which was strange to me. Years ago, I guess, they wouldn't have messed with a Lamington, so I was unused to this new possibility.
I have to be honest here and wondered if the manager was from New Zealand or if there was lemon in the usual Lamingtons... not to have a go at New Zealanders or anything, (some of my relatives are from NZ), but that's just how New Zealanders pronounce them...
Someone changed the label once and had it spelled correctly.. next time I went in, it was back to Lemingtons. Which was another point, obviously they changed the type of Lamington. I just wanted a Lamington, a regular, usual one. This, was not normal.
But getting back to coffee, after all this, I gave up on macchiatos for awhile.
Then we had the Mocha. Ask for a mocha in Australia, and first you have to curb your pronunciation, its Mock-a, short o rather than long o. Usually you are asked if you want sugar though as sweet as mockas are... we'd get a little chuckle from the Barrista every time. We were secretly doing the same thing.
This may be why Erin was so big on seeking out the nearest Starbucks when in the cities there, a little familiarity. We could get a macchiato in a regular sized cup, and could say Mocha and get away with it. We also felt comfortable enough to say 'to go', rather than 'take away'.
But it did feel a little odd, being back in my own country and realizing how used to American customs I had become.
Though, its always the experience you get when in another country, and just another small aspect that was interesting to scout out while there.
Mocha - Mocka: A very sweet coffee, with milk and chocolate. You will be asked if you want sugar.
Macchiato - who knows what this is actually?
Cappuccino/Cappa - Coffee, milk and a creamy foam served in a nice little tea sized cup. If you have sugar, pour the sugar from the packet into the center of the cup and on foam, watch it sink, and stir carefully so you don't mess up the nice design.
Lamington - special type of cake and chocolate icing technique covered in desiccated coconut
Lemington - a messed with Lamington. One might assume with lemon, could be curd in the middle, could be lemon flavored cake, who knows? But, that's not the point is it?
20 hours ago