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Cost difference between short and long black.

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  • Cost difference between short and long black.

    Hi all,
    I've never worked in a cafe but would like to appeal to anyone who has to shed some light on a niggling query. It's not a big deal but would like any insight anyone has.

    Recently I have realised that at some cafes (in Syd) are charging different amounts ($0.30 - 0.50 difference) for their short and long blacks. I've tried asking why this is but their responses have been underwhelming.

    For the record the order has always been a small takeaway LB or a have in SB.

    The only thing I could attribute it to is the extra cup and potentially the cup size difference=cost difference being passed onto the consumer but for the long black hasn't always come in the 2 cups so not 100% on it.

    I have started to prefer the LB as it isn't as potent and helps me find the flavours of the coffee but not super keen on the price difference when i could rock up with my cup and hot water in tow and ask for a SB.

    The best answer I've been given is that it's due to the extra water but i find this hard to believe.

    Cheers
    Col

  • #2
    In addition to the extra water you have to add the electrical power to heat it to 100 C in the boiler. Water does take quite a bit of power to boil it. Gone are the days of cheap electricity.

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    • #3
      Isn't a long black based on a double and a short black is a single? Often 30c or so difference between a single and a double shot.

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      • #4
        If the LB is priced above a SB but below a latte then that makes sense to me.

        Obviously the milk costs quite a bit, along with the time to steam, so the latte should cost more.

        And arguably there's more effort in producing a LB than a SB.

        My gripe with cafes is when they charge the same for a LB as a latte, that just doesn't make sense to me.

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        • #5
          Since when was a long black a double shot ? ..or needed 2 cups ?
          ..maybe if you ask for a large one ?
          as for the cost of the extra water !...really ?
          in reality, a good short black is probably harder to make as extra attention is needed to ensure a quality result. The shot doesn't hide any mistakes, whilst a LB will at least dilute a problem !

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          • #6
            Originally posted by blend52 View Post
            Since when was a long black a double shot ?
            In Melbourne at least, since pretty much always!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by blend52 View Post
              Since when was a long black a double shot ? !
              Perhaps this is the reason why the majority of cafe's around OZ serve such a crappy short black, a cappuccino cup 3/4 full of hot water with 30mls of espresso floating on top ------YUK.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
                In Melbourne at least, since pretty much always!
                Really ?... And is a short black also a double shot ?
                i only ever use a single for a LB , unless someone asks for a strong one.
                and no, a LB should not be in a cappachino cup,...let alone 2 cups !
                120 ml or so of water.
                if you are getting a double shot, then yes, you can expect to pay more.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by blend52 View Post
                  Really ?... And is a short black also a double shot ?
                  i only ever use a single for a LB , unless someone asks for a strong one.
                  and no, a LB should not be in a cappachino cup,...let alone 2 cups !
                  120 ml or so of water.
                  if you are getting a double shot, then yes, you can expect to pay more.
                  An espresso is a single shot, a doppio espresso a double and a long black is a drink peculiar to the Antipodes, ask for one in Italy and they will think you've gone stark raving mad.

                  According to Wikipedia, and I agree "A long black is made by pouring a double-shot of espresso or ristretto over hot water.

                  Long black - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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                  • #10
                    I often drink Long Blacks and for me the ideal is a single shot over no more than 100ml of water in a smaller cup.
                    I prefer the single shot/smaller cup because when doing coffee with friends we often do three cups over a couple of hours and after three shots I'm bouncing off the ceiling.
                    If they only have big cups - 200ml+ - then I certainly want two shots in it.

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                    • #11
                      i guess it depends who you chose as the reference.
                      Oxford english dictionary has..
                      Definition of long black in English:

                      noun

                      Australian /NZ A type of coffee made by adding a shot of espresso to hot water:
                      and some would say it should be a double ristretto !
                      Either way, its the ratio of water to coffee that is key to success

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                      • #12
                        ah there seems to be some confusion about the two cups. What I meant was for a take away most places i have bought a LB from provide a second take cup in which the first one sits. This provides an insulative barrier and stops the scolding coffe from burning your hands before you burn your mouth.

                        I hadn't thought about the extra shot...but fair call if that is the case. I always make doubles at home. So do they change baskets or just dump half a shot?

                        I did see one place today (charges the same for milk based and long blacks) increase the price by .50 for each size increase...

                        Thanks for the responses.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Col3 View Post
                          I hadn't thought about the extra shot...but fair call if that is the case. I always make doubles at home. So do they change baskets or just dump half a shot?
                          No cafe in their right mind would swap baskets, they'll pour a double and either dump half of it (cup under one spout of two-spout PF) or they'll stick the next person's cup under the other spout.

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