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Coffee in New Zealand (NZ)

One of the things that I cannot fault in New Zealand is the coffee. At between $2.50 and $4.50 NZD depending on size, New Zealand coffee is not necessarily cheap - but it is very difficult to find a bad cup (well, maybe at breakfast in some of the more traditional hotels…).

What is confusing though, is how they describe it. Would you know what a 'Flat White' or a 'Short Black' was? How would you ask for a 'normal' coffee with a dash of milk? On our trip over here two and a half years ago it took us some while to fathom out how to order our favourite beverage.

So here's a 'Guide to Kiwi Coffee' for non-Kiwis….

Short Black - the traditional Italian Espresso coffee - strong, black and served in small cups.

Long Black - As above, with more hot water added to make it weaker

Filter - 'normal' coffee but no-one seems to sell it!

Long Black with a dash of milk - The closest you'll get to what I was trying to order above!

Flat White - a Short Black with hot milk added. Usually served with a very clever fern leaf 'carved' into the slightly frothy top.

Latte - a Flat White with maybe a bit more hot milk (however, I can't tell the difference!). Served in a glass.

Cappuchino - a Flat White with chocolate sprinkled on the top.

Moccachino - a hot chocolate with a shot of Short Black poured in

Then of course you choose your milk. Ask for the above, and they'll use full-fat milk. If you want your coffee made with skimmed milk, ask for a 'Trim' xxx - 'Trim Flat White', 'Trim Latte' etc. (get the picture?)

Which brings us on to milk.

Full Fat Milk - sold in dark blue cartons.

Lite Milk - Semi Skimmed. Sold in light blue cartons.

Trim Milk - Skimmed - sold in green cartons

Healthy milk - semi-skimmed with extra calcium - sold in orange/yellow cartons.

(Cream doesn't come in single/double etc - it's just cream, and it's cheap. But you can buy cartons of 'specialised' cream such as creme fraiche - more expensive.)

And then of course, there are all the teas. New Zealanders drink as much tea as the Brits - and unlike Australia, you do seem to be able to get a decent cuppa. But even here there are a good few to choose from.

All the 'normal' black teas - English Breakfast, Darjeeling, etc.

Green teas (we do have a large Chinese population in Auckland)

Fruit Teas

Chai Latte - a milky tea with spices. I can remember tasting this for the first time back in Wembley, in the 1970's. One of my Indian friends prepared it when I visited her house. She infused hot milk with a tea bag and spices such as cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. An acquired taste - you'll either love it or hate it!

So when you come to New Zealand, where are the best places to go for your caffeine fix?

There are all the corporates - Starbucks, Esquires, Columbus. They're all as expensive here as in other countries - but you generally know what you're getting.

But Auckland (and most other towns) contains a really good selection of other coffee shops too. Anywhere that sells coffee will generally deliver a good cup. So most Aucklanders have their favourite coffee shops, some of which will also throw a muffin or scone in for free.

My particular favourites are:

Champion Espresso Coffee Shop - Found in the Bank of New Zealand Arcade, at around 129 Queen Street. Get a large coffee and a free muffin or scone for $3.20 NZD. The rest of their wares are pretty good too!

Cafe 66 - under the Gen-I building on Wyndham. Known by the workers, but rarely found by the tourists. Get a hot meal for $5.50 NZD. Ask for a 'small to eat here' - you won't need anything bigger - trust me!

Hollywood Cafe - a small chain. There is one close to the ferry terminal opposite the bus garage, and another on Wyndham opposite AMI insurance. Good coffee, and reasonably priced sandwiches, muffins and other snacks.

And Arts favourite? (I can't believe I'm recommending this!) Macdonalds! Even they serve a damned good Flat White!

Coffee Awards in New Zealand

living_in_new_zealand/coffee.txt · Last modified: 2010/11/05 09:48 by art
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