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Wednesday, 4 April 2012

A good New Zealand or Australian style Flat White is hard enough to come by in New Zealand, close to impossible outside of Australasia- a strong, double shot of espresso coffee, served in a small cup with perfectly textured milk served at a precise temperature.

At home in Auckland I had only two ‘Sarah approved’ coffee locations in the central city - Atomic on my route to work, and Federal and Wolfe which I frequented during work hours. At weekends I ventured toCoffee Supreme in Ponsonby where I paid up to a seemingly extortionate $13NZ for a coffee prepared in front of me using a pour-over method at something resembling a bench in a laboratory.

Now traveling the world on a career break, commencing with the USA, I am rapidly adjusting my expectations and tastes as the Flat White coffee I am accustomed to does not seem to exist outside of New Zealand.

Filter coffee, the style prevalent here went out years ago in my homeland with the rise of the espresso machine. I drink my Flat White’s white but my filter coffee black. I can’t drink filter coffee with milk - it is almost as bad as drinking instant coffee and makes me want to gag. But give me another month and this could become my beverage of choice as my coffee expectations outside of New Zealand sink even lower.

At least for now Starbucks is always a safe choice - a Caramel Macchiato is the same everywhere. In LA I kept myself caffeinated thanks to a Keurig coffee machine in my hostel. These are magnificent and I want to take one home with me - you choose your poison (Decaf, Donut Shop Coffee, Chai Latte, English Breakfast Tea, Hot Chocolate, Green Tea etc.), put a capsule in the machine, press a button to brew and the coffee filters through.

Two years ago on a visit to London a friend took me to Flat White where they promise New Zealand and Australian style coffee and did not fall short in their delivery. My coffee even had a silver fern pattern in the milk on top. There is a definite opportunity here for someone to get a similar chain of cafes going in the states. A friend based in Canada regularly used to tell me to have a Flat White for her as she misses New Zealand Coffee so much. I never realised until recently how deadly serious she was.

Bio: Sarah is from New Zealand and enjoys consuming good coffee and wine, participating in relatively aggressive sports, travelling, and reducing the 'to be read' count on her blog reader. Visit her blog


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