How to Drink Coffee

The first time I ordered a coffee to-go in Melbourne, I asked where the sugar was. The barista sounded surprised and asked how much I wanted and then opened the lid of my cup and put it in for me and I was totally weirded out. Once coffee making is complete, it feels overly intimate for anyone, even the person who made it, to touch it ever again.

Before moving here, it had been 7 years since I last worked in hospitality (5 according to my resume 😉 ). I really missed working with the public while I was in Kazakhstan and so I thought it’d be fun to do barista work while looking for librarian positions (p.s. potential library employers, those resumes are all truthful). I quickly found work at one cafe but they felt I wasn’t up to par and asked if I would focus on waitressing instead.

Well, I had the last laugh because I may be a mediocre barista but I’m an absolute shit waitress. After two weeks of spilling meatball sauce all over myself, telling weirdo dudes, “no, I’m not Swedish,” and trying not to cry when the head chef yelled at me, we had a mutual breakup.

Nevertheless, I learned some things about coffee in Australia.

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I’m unemployed, can you tell?

Types of Coffee

Cappuccino – same as North America except here it’s always served with chocolate powder on top.

Latte – straightforward. Except when to stay, it’s served in a glass.

Flat White – I’d been wondering about this drink for a while since certain Starbucks have started selling them. But according to the cafe I worked at, a flat white and a latte are exactly the same except a flat white is served in a ceramic cup. And perhaps has a bit less foam.

Long Black – basically an americano. With a long black, the shots are poured in after the water so the crema remains on top and vice versa for americano.

Short Black – just an espresso shot.

Macchiato – single espresso shot with a bit of milk.

Piccolo – single espresso shot with a bit of milk. I don’t understand how it’s different than a macchiato except that it’s more fun to say. Though I prefer its informal name of “baby latte.”

Magic – a flat white with only 3/4 of the milk. Ordering a magic is also akin to an announcement that you’re a pretentious douche about coffee.

Drip Coffee – nowhere to be found. Unless it’s some slow-drip French press eye roll style thing.

Flavoured Coffees – Only the standard vanilla, hazelnut, chocolate, and caramel syrups.

Essentially, coffee is real no nonsense in Aus, and things like frapuccinos, gourdian spices, and very large cup sizes are not condoned.

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Taken while I was writing this and realized I didn’t have any photos for the post. How meta. Also that is a subpar heart but an A+ ivy leaf.

Cafe-isms

  • Cafes almost always close by 3 or 4.
  • No Starbucks in sight.
  • It’s “takeaway” not “to go.”
  • Ask for sugar or milk when ordering takeaway.
  • Your name will always be abbreviated, making you feel as though you’re on bff terms with your barista. When I order takeaway, I’m “Bec” not “Rebecca.” It’s a general Australianism to abbreviate everything.
  • I find the milk is never steamed hot enough here and all my lattes are lukewarm. How far I have come, from Kazakhstan’s second world problems (like, having to wait ten minutes for an americano) to the mundane first world problems of the western world.

How to Date in Australia

Dating did not happen in Kazakhstan. Many Kazakhs are quite traditional so most men my age were already married and the single men I encountered were not exactly the Jezebel-reading type.

Most of my colleagues were expats but I have a strict no dating at work policy. This is generally a very easy rule abide by since ladies continue to dominate libraries.

I did go on one date with a local in which he gave me one of the best compliments I’ve ever received, telling me I reminded him of Nala from The Lion King. My favourite compliment of all time goes to my ex-boyfriend for saying, “When I first saw you I thought, ‘Wow! She’s better looking than 80% of people!'”

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I’ve never used online dating apps before but decided to try them out while in Astana. There were about 15 dudes on Tinder and 10 on OkCupid. But! I tried Tinder out while in Japan and used it this summer while travelling in Europe. By which I mean my friends usually took over matches and chats.

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What a good sport.

 I decided to give Tinder a whirl once I’d moved to Melbourne, which happened immediately while my friend and I were bored waiting around the airport.

Tinder automatically uploads your Facebook profile photos, which you can then choose to edit. I mostly left mine as is, including my gem of a 7th grade school photo.

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The most handsome boy in school

If guys on Tinder acknowledge this photo at all, it’s for a larf. But not Australian men.

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It’s okay because it serves both as a great amusement and filter. Though, I found the photo’s upsetting nature especially strange because it’s my impression that dudes in Melbourne seem to be pretty open and fluid about sexuality.

And then I deleted Tinder because I find it all very boring and repetitive.

In conclusion, I don’t actually know how to date here and all I know is my boss at the cafe I worked at for a week said that one of the female customers has a huge crush on me.

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Just all about the boys who are friends