Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Coffee Obession

By Tony Ilbery

TO SOME COFFEE IS simply part of their morning ritual, to others it's more like a cult religion. Wherever you are positioned on the coffee lover's scale, one thing is the same for everyone - bad coffee is a darn crime.

On the global ranking of good and bad coffee, Australia proudly sits on the medal podium. Which colour medal would be up for hot debate, though we love the colour gold.

Ask anyone in Sydney 'who makes the best coffee?' and everyone has an animated opinion. Locals are so passionate about the highest quality coffee, their favourite barista and local coffee shops, it verges on obsession.

The Australian coffee culture grew from our Italian and Greek immigrants after World War II, so it's all spawned from the humble European 'espresso'. We do not have the North American filtered coffee pots, which was evident in 2000 when Starbucks opened 82 stores in Australia, only to close 61 stores eight years later because they failed to deliver equal quality.

For many travellers, trying to order a coffee in Sydney seems tricky, so here is a simple explanation of Sydney coffees:

Espresso: A single shot of coffee, 30m I with the all-important 'crema' on top, (the aromatic red-brown froth that is naturally formed when air bubbles combine with fine-ground coffee oils) also called short black in Australia.

Macchiato: 30m I espresso shot, 5ml milk and dollop of milk froth, also known as a Mac. The double Mac is the same, but with two espresso shots.

Long Black: 30ml single espresso shot and 60ml hot water. Also called an Americano, as it's the closest to their 'cup of coffee'.

Flat White: 30ml single espresso shot and 160ml hot milk with 5mm of foam.

Cappuccino: 30ml single espresso shot, 150ml hot milk with 15mm of foam and a dusting of chocolate powder on top.

Cafe Latte: Flat White: 30m I single espresso shot with 150ml hot milk and 10mm of foam.

Mocha: 1 teaspoon of chocolate power on the bottom, then add 30m single espresso shot with 150ml hot milk with 15mm of foam and a dusting of chocolate powder on top.

If you are walking around town and looking for a great coffee, simply look for the crowds - a great coffee shop or coffee cart has people standing on the street waiting to order and savoring the dark brown nectar of the gods they just bought.

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