Sunday, 13 July 2008

Wellington Coffee

Wellintonians love their coffee. This city has it's own coffee culture, and coffee is different here. For starters, coffee always means espresso drinks. There is only one place that serves drip coffee and that is Starbucks. Also, there are some standard items on a Kiwi menu that you won't see outside of NZ and Australia.

Flat White - very similar to a latte, but in theory the flat white has less foam.
Short Black - this is a shot of espresso
Long Black - a double shot of espresso with hot water. Similar to an Americano (as close as you're going to to get to something resembling drip coffee)

I was not much of a coffee drinker before we moved here, but now I order decaf mochas all the time. What makes them so great? For starters the milk is just better here. The coffee is also consistently good. Cafes get their beans from one of several local roasteries that source their beans from around the world and roast them on site. And since NZ has nothing against Cuba, some of them source beans from there, especially Havana Coffee Works.

revolutionary coffee

Turns out Cuba makes some pretty tasty coffee. I also love that if you order a cappuccino or a mocha (also called a mochaccino here) it will always come with at least one marshmallow. Often the marshmallow is covered in chocolate.

decaf mocha
(this mocha from Mister Bun's came with one regular and one chocolate marshmallow)

Despite, or maybe because of this, mochas aren't made very sweet unless you ask for sugar in them. Which is just the way I like it. Also coffee always and everywhere comes in the same lovely Italian ceramic mugs with brown glaze on the outside. Wellington coffee culture is not about a quick coffee to go. As my copy of "The Best of Wellington" puts it:

"The definitive coffee experience is best had sitting down, drinking from thick, pleasantly warm, tactile Italian crockery, with just the right amount of finely textured milk blended with a short strong shot or two of espresso."

decaf mocha - half full

Despite all this Starbucks does have a presence here, with its tall, vente, and grande, with its super-sweet double caramel latte to go. They are not completely clueless, though. They can't ignore the popularity of the flat white.

starbucks flat white

1 comment:

Café Chick said...

Good coffee and coffee culture is one of the many wonderful things about Wellington, and I'm proud to say that we won't settle for less! Glad we could induct you into the world of 'real' coffee. :-)