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Thread: Coffee beverage names - why bother?

  1. #1
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    Coffee beverage names - why bother?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I've given up using common names of coffee beverages on the rare occasion I do visit a cafe. I've found that (in WA at least) if using the typical common names as listed on menus/chalkboards, don't expect to get what you're after.

    Case in point in WA is ordering an espresso macchiato (or any variation thereof). Why would I want it "topped up" into a 200ml cup?; which would result in it no longer being macchiato'd' (stained), but rather it would be inondato'd' (flooded), or dare I say inquinato'd' (polluted).

    Perhaps it's my expectations that are the issue, but I've done away with common names, and now just describe exactly what I'm after in terms of # of shots, and amount of milk. Can't go wrong that way.

    Wondering if others have similar experience?
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    I've noticed that in Australia outside of sydney and Melbourne, it's quite common for places to oversize coffees as their standard size.

    Eg: lattes the size of buckets and cappuccinos the size of soup bowls.

    To you and me this might be anathema, but the country punters seem to love it.

    Maybe your mac was an example of this.

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by herzog View Post
    To you and me this might be anathema,
    Why would you feel this way, does it make you feel superior to those who live in country area's?

    Do I detect an inference that those who live outside the city limits are hicks and don't know any better? surely not.

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    Just pointing out that I've observed different tastes and different coffee culture in the country.

    Surely you've noticed the sizing thing?

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    Senior Member GrahamK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by herzog View Post
    I've noticed that in Australia outside of sydney and Melbourne, it's quite common for places to oversize coffees as their standard size.
    So not really traveled much outside Melb & Sydney I take it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by herzog View Post
    Just pointing out that I've observed different tastes and different coffee culture in the country.

    Surely you've noticed the sizing thing?
    Can't comment on geography but it's fair to say there is a style of coffee prevalent in the chains that's quite different to what you get in a speciality coffee shop - Over-roasted coffee that's then over-diluted with over-heated milk in an over-sized cup with an overpriced bill. I'm over it

    However clearly there is a market for it, namely folks who are in a Cafe mainly for a social and aren't really as ocd about their coffee. The long weak drink suits this occasion and drinker well. It's a similar story with mainstream beer

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    Chain stores do not over roast their coffee. The reason it tastes crap is because the person behind the machine has no clue. Also, most of the time the coffee is stale.

    There is nothing wrong with a large coffee, be it FW, latte or whatever, as long as the correct amount of espresso is used.
    A lot of people find a 190ml cup to be too small, and actually want a decent volume of beverage to enjoy. As long as the ratio of espresso to milk is fine, why should the drink be any different from an industry standard 190ml?

    As to WA, don't you know that is almost another country these days. People in WA don't like taking orders from Eastern bosses, and they all know what is best.

    If you like your beverage to be made in a certain way, there is nothing wrong in having a polite conversation with the person making it, to ensure you get what YOU expect.

    And yes, each region does have its own idiosyncrasies.

    Try finding fruchocs in QLD.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bosco_Lever View Post
    Chain stores do not over roast their coffee. The reason it tastes crap is because the person behind the machine has no clue. Also, most of the time the coffee is stale.

    There is nothing wrong with a large coffee, be it FW, latte or whatever, as long as the correct amount of espresso is used.
    A lot of people find a 190ml cup to be too small, and actually want a decent volume of beverage to enjoy. As long as the ratio of espresso to milk is fine, why should the drink be any different from an industry standard 190ml?

    As to WA, don't you know that is almost another country these days. People in WA don't like taking orders from Eastern bosses, and they all know what is best.

    If you like your beverage to be made in a certain way, there is nothing wrong in having a polite conversation with the person making it, to ensure you get what YOU expect.

    And yes, each region does have its own idiosyncrasies.

    Try finding fruchocs in QLD.
    Agreed. No reason not to explain what you'd like in the hope of a rough approximation.

    Nevertheless charbux didn't earn a reputation without plenty of carbon and even in Victoria it's pretty obvious when the mob near us is roasting French roast (...call the fire brigade).
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    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Why would you feel this way, does it make you feel superior to those who live in country area's?

    Do I detect an inference that those who live outside the city limits are hicks and don't know any better? surely not.
    Nah, he was just trying to bait you country blokes into using the grocer's apostrophe, Yelta

    But seriously, I don't think I've noticed the size thing when in the country. I'd certainly say that the average quality of what I've bought in rural areas hasn't been great relative to what I get at home, but.......when I'm at home (or in other cities) I know which places to avoid....information which I do not typically have in smaller locales.

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    FWIW, my experience is that even the Syd / Melb mobs have massive variations in size.

    After (far too) much travelling, I just look at the cups they are using and adjust my order to suit. A really essential skill in the US (now there are truly bucket sized serves at some places).

    Mind you, most cafes have to pass the smell / stale / cleanliness test before I would order any coffee, so 90% do not even get to the starting stall.

    TampIt
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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Morning Barry,

    Yep, I tend to agree, have not really noticed the size thing.

    What I have noticed over the past few years is that its becoming much easier to find a reasonable espresso in many country areas, sure you still get the odd dud, usually using your powers of observation give a pretty good clue as to what to expect.

    Australia is not the coffee waste land it once was.

    PS
    Hope my omission of the dreaded apostrophe in this post has calmed you down a little, no guarantees for the future though, I may well reoffend.
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    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by herzog View Post
    I've noticed that in Australia outside of sydney and Melbourne, it's quite common for places to oversize coffees as their standard size.

    Eg: lattes the size of buckets and cappuccinos the size of soup bowls.
    You need to get out more..... expand your good coffee horizon. :-D

    Generlisations never stack up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bosco_Lever View Post
    There is nothing wrong with a large coffee, be it FW, latte or whatever, as long as the correct amount of espresso is used.
    A lot of people find a 190ml cup to be too small, and actually want a decent volume of beverage to enjoy. As long as the ratio of espresso to milk is fine, why should the drink be any different from an industry standard 190ml?
    But that's the problem. Many times, I've found they do a single shot in 300+ mls of extremely hot milk, resulting in a very weak drink, closer to a milkshake than a coffee.

    I was passing through Orange (NSW) and the place I went for a coffee had two options: "Mug or cup".

    Mug was your typical old school coffee mug (same shape as the large cylindrical ones they sell in novelty shops e.g.: "worlds best dad" etc). The "cup" was like a soup bowl with a handle.

    Went with the mug, and the result was a very weak, very hot coffee.

    Next place I went to was in Bathurst. Not wanting another milkshake I ordered a long black. Again, a very weak, extremely hot drink turned up. Finally ordered a short black - the answer was "we don't have any of the 'little' cups". Yeouch.

    There are some gem cafes in country towns, but the above scenarios are also pretty common. Can be hit and miss. And that's the problem, if you're just passing through an unfamiliar town, you just kinda pick a cafe and it's pot luck. You've sat down, ordered your lunch then you get hit with the "cup or mug" question!

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    This thread seems to have gone a bit off track. My original post was about the various interpretations of what certain types of coffee drinks are, and how they are commonly made.

    For the record, my gripe about the espresso macchiato in my first post relate to my experiences in the capital city only (nothing to do with city vs 'country' areas), and it includes a number of often raved about cafes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mouldy View Post
    This thread seems to have gone a bit off track. My original post was about the various interpretations of what certain types of coffee drinks are, and how they are commonly made.

    For the record, my gripe about the espresso macchiato in my first post relate to my experiences in the capital city only (nothing to do with city vs 'country' areas), and it includes a number of often raved about cafes.
    Perhaps it's partly a problem of what you are asking for. Most places will understand "traditional macchiato" or sometimes "short mac".

    Regardless of where you go, they do tend to have a higher coffee to milk ratio, and are often sadly served in small glasses (which I dislike).

    I tend to adjust my order to ensure I get a drink I like. Ask them which cup they use and how many shots. Then add shots or ask for less milk.

    Or just order an espresso, a babychino and a teaspoon

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrJack View Post
    Perhaps it's partly a problem of what you are asking for. Most places will understand "traditional macchiato" or sometimes "short mac".

    Regardless of where you go, they do tend to have a higher coffee to milk ratio, and are often sadly served in small glasses (which I dislike).

    I tend to adjust my order to ensure I get a drink I like. Ask them which cup they use and how many shots. Then add shots or ask for less milk.

    Or just order an espresso, a babychino and a teaspoon
    Cheers. I wrote espresso macchiato just for clarity and to avoid confusion with the latte macchiato; which admittedly I've not seen much in Aus (mostly a Swiss/ Euro thing) where the milk is stained with espresso rather than vice versa.

    The issues I experienced was when ordering short (or long) mac, regardless of whether I mentioned traditional.

    But I agree, it's best to ask specifics to avoid disappointment.

    I like the tip about the babycino.

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    other threads about coffee names have sort of explained this. there isnt some governing body or even an industry standard for what the various 'coffee orders' are meant to be in exact terms. so many cafes operating in so many cities across the world have diluted these definitiions to the point its just about whatever the hell you want to serve at your joint.
    in light of this some cafes have started to veer away from orders like 'flat white' and 'mac' to orders by cup sizes which more clearly defines volume of milk and coffee.

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    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by herzog View Post
    But that's the problem. Many times, I've found they do a single shot in 300+ mls of extremely hot milk, resulting in a very weak drink, closer to a milkshake than a coffee.

    I was passing through Orange (NSW) and the place I went for a coffee had two options: "Mug or cup".

    Mug was your typical old school coffee mug (same shape as the large cylindrical ones they sell in novelty shops e.g.: "worlds best dad" etc). The "cup" was like a soup bowl with a handle.

    Went with the mug, and the result was a very weak, very hot coffee.

    Next place I went to was in Bathurst. Not wanting another milkshake I ordered a long black. Again, a very weak, extremely hot drink turned up. Finally ordered a short black - the answer was "we don't have any of the 'little' cups". Yeouch.

    There are some gem cafes in country towns, but the above scenarios are also pretty common. Can be hit and miss. And that's the problem, if you're just passing through an unfamiliar town, you just kinda pick a cafe and it's pot luck. You've sat down, ordered your lunch then you get hit with the "cup or mug" question!
    Hey Herzog,

    Perhaps you could use one of the good coffee locator services online when you're passing through a town.

    Orange has it's own resident roaster and a couple of well regarded cafés. Bathurst... I'm not so sure about; bean hunter yields mixed reviews.

    But if your going from Bathurst to Orange via Blayney you might find one of Australia's pre-eminent small batch roasters in Millthorpe. ;-D

    Could be worth a try! :-D



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