Long Black, Flat White

It’s not what you think.

Me: Hi, I’d like a cup of coffee please
Guy Across the Counter: Sure. What would you like?
Me: Just a cup of black coffee.
Guy: What’s that?
Me: Um.. You know, coffee beans… Hot water…
Guy: Is that like a Long Black?
Me: A what?
Guy: Or a Flat White?
Me: Huh?

New Zealanders have renamed coffee and there is a cryptic language surrounding it. My experience indicates that they have little interest in explaining it to anyone. I’ve been starred at blankly when trying to decipher a coffee shop menu, and no one seems to ever offer coffee at these places. I’m not entirely sure what the point of this is, except for the entertainment factor of watching my confusion.

I’ve learned that a long black is as close as one gets to coffee: espresso and a bit of hot water in too small of a cup. I ask for cream and this regularly causes confusion. There is never a kiosk offering milk and sugar, so there must be some way of ordering this correctly. I’m afraid I won’t be in the country long enough to figure it out. I see people walking around with big coffee cups and I wonder what is in there and how they managed to get a cup of coffee bigger than 6 ounces. I’m a bit scared to ask, I think it’s a secret.

Comments are closed.