When I was younger, I used to follow my dad to the register at our local café and supervise his order. While most children would longingly glare at the picturesque pastries, creamy carrot cakes and moist, mouth-watering muffins that stood behind the glass counter, I instead would ensure that my dad remembered to change his usual double-shot flat white order to a cappuccino. Why? So that I could indulge in the warm chocolate frothy goodness that sat proudly above the strong coffee beneath. Each spoonful of aerated milk felt like a cloud disintegrating in my mouth, and the mellow hum of espresso that lingered on my tongue excited my taste buds.
Coffee retained its significance throughout my childhood, teenage and adult years. Coffee and Monte Carlo’s on a Sunday morning gathered our family together, and vodka-like shots of espresso during studying breaks provided the much needed energy for a group study session with friends. Indeed long talks over a cuppa enabled me to understand more about Dad’s childhood and laugh with mum over her colourful experiences at work. And since my Yiayia (grandma) maintains that she can conceive ones fate simply from observing the stains that remain after a strong Greek coffee, coffee has been a source of incredible entertainment. Yes, she is the muggle world’s very own Professor Trelawney.
Fellow readers, what I am about to tell you may prompt you to think twice before you order your next cuppa. Indeed, as a well-educated coffee sipper, I believe it is my duty to spill the beans. So… What does your coffee say about you?
These are the unimaginative, no-fuss-type people. Their fridge is stacked with non-branded staples, their cereal of choice is All-Bran, and they smashed their rose-coloured glasses when they finished university. They are practical, and tell you how it is. If you are a flat white drinker, you may find yourself getting rather frustrated when you hear someone order a triple-shot-soy-caramel-latte with an extra dollop of cream and chocolate sprinkles. No. Coffees aren’t desserts. Just no.
You are an indecisive soul and tend to lean towards the risk-free safe pick. You’ve pondered trialling a macchiato, but when your favourite barista (the trusted old Italian that’s been brewing your coffee for the past 7 years) asks you if you’d like the usual, you simply agree.
- Subtype 1: When Latte lovers experiment with riskier options
- Subtype 2: When Latte lovers are lactose intolerant
- Subtype 3: Hipsters
If you find yourself ordering a chai latte, I gather that you are doing so at a classy café located in the trendy inner suburbs or exclusive north shore. You’re decked out in fluorescent Lululemon gear from head to toe because you’ve just come from your daily Pilates class. The Bondi to Bronte walk is your favourite, and you purchase your kale, chia seeds and activated almonds from organic food markets in brown paper bags.
These are for wealthy citizens posing as poverty-stricken hipsters who wish to depict themselves as being unable to afford a full priced coffee because their poetry/postmodern artworks are not generating enough cash. Don’t be fooled. Only those with funds can afford to spend $2.50 on a beverage that takes half a sip to finish.
Skim Piccolo Latte
Watching your waistline?
If you’re ordering a cappuccino, I assume you are intending to enjoy sipping it while seated with friends, after all, who else will remind you to wipe the chocolate remains off the corners of your mouth? Ordering a takeaway cappuccino is a rookie error, since the delectable chocolatety froth (i.e. the ONLY reason to order a cappuccino) annoyingly sticks to the lid. Removing the lid and licking off the froth on the go is a risky move. You may end up looking like a child, or worse, spilling the rest of the contents over your crisp white business shirt before the big board meeting. Tip: opt for a mocha instead to enjoy a risk free hint of chocolate in your espresso.
Either you’re Italian, or you mean business. Especially if you specifically ask for your macchiato to be served in a standard takeaway coffee cup. No foam moustache for me thanks, I’m off to the stock exchange. You haven’t had a proper nights sleep since 1999 and when lunching with associates, you tend to avoid yum cha. After all, chopsticks and shaky hands could lead to disaster and utter embarrassment.
You hate the taste of coffee, but your body craves a pick-me-up that only caffeine can cure. So you improvise. Plus, you can always add more sugar.
Posers deceiving the general population, prompting us believe that they are sipping on a double shot espresso latte. Trust concerns begin to emerge. I’m onto you, softie; I can see those marshmallows resting on your takeaway lid.
I presume individuals who order long blacks have a long day of work ahead of them, and purchase this beverage with the intention of making it last until lunchtime. Either that, or you enjoy the simpler things in life, like watery/horribly diluted coffee. They’re conservative people who are perfectly content drinking a substandard Nescafé blend. They are allergic to pompousness and hipsters, read The Australian, watch ABC, and ALWAYS wear matching socks.
You’re a creative and energetic soul who likes to experiment with their beverage experience. You claim to love coffee, but really you just love ice-cream. Your favourite places to get your ‘coffees’ aren’t really cafés. For example, your ‘cafe’ of choice is Max Brenner. You’re cute, bubbly, take a lot of selfies and/or frequently Instragram your refreshments. #letsfaceit
I must say, I am biased in this area. Tea drinkers are softies with warm, kind hearts. As deep thinkers, you will probably find them reading a second-hand book and pondering the existential questions of life at a low-key cafe. #nextnietschke
Paying prime dollar for what is essentially warmed-up frothy milk with a hint of chocolate? Don’t even get me started.
Puppaccino (ie a babycino for dogs)
We will never be friends.
So that’s my exhaustive list of coffees and their stereotyped sippers. If we decide to grab a coffee together, I will memorise your coffee order. And be warned, I will judge you accordingly.