Melbourne prides itself on its diverse coffee culture, you’re practically ostracised if you don’t know your long black from your short mac and don’t even consider ordering decaf. But did you know your coffee order is being judged by the staff that serve you? Here’s my guide to ordering coffee in Melbourne. You have been warned.
The skinny latte: You’re most likely a mum who’s just done the school run and needs a pick-me-up before a long day of housework. Ok who am I kidding? You order one skinny latte (usually in a take away cup) but stay for nearly two hours gossiping about the latest drama in the mothers’ group. You also usually pay with 20-cent pieces because ‘I love getting rid of change’. Well that’s funny because we don’t like getting it.
Flat white: Husband of the skinny latte sipper, the bread-winner of the family and the type of person who sits on their iPad during the whole breakfast. Your social skills are so impeccable it just kills me inside.
Three-quarter latte: If it’s your attempt to pay three quarters of the price it isn’t happening, sorry.
Decaf anything: No, just no. Seriously? Drink some ovalteen! I’ve actually had someone come in to order a decaf cappuccino because they ‘need a real boost’. Get out of my face and drink a coke.
Soy chai latte: The new age yoga convert who has also turned veggie after watching Food Inc.. Just a quick note, drinking a weird milky concoction of spices from the Masterfoods range does not make you an earth mother like Miranda Kerr and soy milk does not mean you are saving the world one less methane releasing cow at a time. It just means you’re up to date with the latest fad. And FYI if you gave a chai latte to a person on the streets of Rajasthan they’d have no idea what it is, it’s just some exotic sounding milk drink invented by the West.
Long black: Poor you, you are most likely studying for your Masters you sleep deprived Gen-Y’er. You still live with your parents and when you take a girl out to coffee you try to impress her by your ability to sip on pure black coffee for a solid 20 minutes even though you secretly can’t wait to wolf down a cold four teaspoon heaped Milo when you get home. You also think that ordering such a coffee will help your hip pocket. I love the look on your face when it still costs $3.50. ZING! Also can you please not order extra boiling water to keep it going even further? Move to America and get bottomless cups of filter coffee for US$1.50. Kaching!
Babycino with no chocolate or no marshmallow (in other words, no fun): This poor child is going to grow up in cotton wool, mollycoddled by their germ-fearing, Dettol worshipping parents and will probably never swim in a public pool or play in the sandpit. Live it up now kid because once the almond milk fad hits our shores this may be the last time that cow’s milk touches your palette.
Hot chocolate: When you’re under sixteen it’s adorable and there’s no better feeling than seeing your face when I bring over the glorious steaming mug of chocolately goodness with two expertly chosen pink and white marshmallows. But when you’re over sixteen and you’re not drinking coffee yet I tend to immediately think of you as a Sydneysider with a caffeine intolerance. That’s not a good thing.
Iced coffee: Yeah I know you just want to order the iced coffee for the ice-cream and why shouldn’t you. If only it was acceptable to still devour the pink soup that is a strawberry milkshake when you’re 35. But it’s not and neither is ordering an iced coffee with a swirl of whipped cream and a big red cherry on top but I’ll serve it to you with a knowing smile because I feel your pain. Maybe stop at the local Trampoline when you get home I mean gelato isn’t technically ice-cream is it?
So that’s my quick guide to Melbourne coffee drinkers and their psyches. All I can do is put a smile on my face when I take an order and hope to God that almond milk NEVER comes to Melbourne.
Emer McCarthy is a first year journalism student at Monash University and prefers herbal tea to coffee any day.
Follow her on twitter: @emer_mccarthy