Drinks (on the Rocks)

The Rocks, a neighborhood in Sydney, is one of the best people watching places, particularly with an artisan market every Saturday and Sunday.

When I arrived in Sydney, the first thing I needed was coffee for obvious jet-lag related reasons. But when I stopped at a café, I realized that the hot drink menus were similar to those in Europe, i.e. not at all like a plain ole’ cup of joe.

I started ordering lattes because of a familiarity with the drink. And then I ordered another latte. And another. And another. Until I realized that this was ludicrous. I decided to go on a hunt for “a cup of coffee.”

I heard a few customers order “flat whites,” so I ordered one of those. It tasted like a latte. And indeed that is what a flat white can be: a shot of espresso with microfoam.

So what on Earth is “a cup of coffee” in Australia? Another drink option that I could order is a “long black,” but this too is not a cup of joe. A long black is a double shot of espresso over water. This comes close to a cup of coffee, but espresso is still not drip-brewed like traditional American coffee.

My remaining options include making coffee in my apartment, but I have an irrational fear of coffee machines. I could buy a French Press for making coffee, but would this be a wise investment? I could order cappuccinos instead of lattes, but that’s still a frothy drink. Or I could just come to the understanding that while I’m living abroad, I should embrace the changes, however minute and petty they may be, and live as the locals do. Drinking lattes.

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