Coffee · New Zealand · Travel

Coffee Break: Christchurch

Both of us have worked in the coffee industry for a number of years. Something we were really excited for, when thinking about working in New Zealand, was to discover the way that coffee is done here. The differences, similarities, likes and dislikes. Here is a breakdown of the basic coffee’s that most kiwi’s drink.

Flat White: Shots of espresso with steamed milk, traditionally made in a tulip cup… which holds just under 6oz of liquid. Key separator: has a minimal amount of micro foam on top.

Cappuccino: Shots of espresso with steamed milk, made in a *gasp* a cappuccino cup… which holds about 6oz of liquid. Key separator: has a thick layer of micro foam, and chocolate or cinnamon sprinkles on top.

Latte: Shots of espresso with steamed milk. Can come in a number of sizes.  Key separator: has medium layer of micro foam, right in between a cappuccino and flat white.

Long Black: Also traditionally made in a tulip cup, hot water topped with shots of espresso.

Short Black: A double shot of espresso.

Macchiato: A double shot of espresso topped with a dollop of foam.

Long Macchiato: Hot water topped with shots of espresso, and a dollop of foam. Made in a demitasse cup… which holds roughly 3oz of liquid.

Mocha: (pronounced here as mock-uh) shots of espresso with chocolate stirred in, steamed milk and chocolate or cinnamon on top.

Fluffy: A demitasse cup filled with foam, often topped with chocolate and accompanied by a marshmallow. A custom drink for a kiddo!

An Americano would be a Long Black in a larger cup.

The oh-so-common drip coffee is not something you will find in a cafe setting. We have come accross a few places that serve will serve a pour over… usually bringing the entire Chemex setup out to you, portioned and dripping.

Adding syrup to your coffee here is incredibly uncommon. Mostly the people who ask are travelers looking for  what they  drink at home. There are some chain cafe’s that offer flavors, but the average cafe you enter will not have them. This means that the drinks listed above are about the extent of selection you have in most of New Zealand.

The two drinks we make the most at our cafe are Flat Whites and Long Blacks.

Definitely a change from what they were at home,  Mochas and Flavored Lattes.

Some things surrounding coffee that we’ve noticed and liked:
– It’s common for a coffee shop to roast their own beans, in-house! Several of the places we’ve visited have their own roasting drum tucked into a corner of the room.

-Most cafe’s offer a menu of made-to-order food items. It is rare to run into a coffee shop that wouldn’t be able to provide you with a variety of lunch items. I.E. Gourmet sandwiches, savory pies, house made salads etc.

-There are not a lot of chain shops. Here we have seen a few….with the rest being unique, local, one-of-a-kind small businesses.

-We have not seen one single drive thru! For coffee at least.

A few other things worth noting… free wifi is a rarity here. If a cafe does have wifi (some don’t have it at all) it is often a timed allowance or data capped. Other places simply charge for access! Also tip jars (or cups) are in maybe one out of every 5 or 6 shops. Tipping is not expected for baristas.

We’re really enjoying being a part of the coffee industry in New Zealand. There is a true appreciation for good coffee, and a laid-back nature that lives in the cafes. The culture cultivated by coffee is why we love being baristas, and it’s been fascinating to explore it in a different country!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s