Coffee & Tea

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New Zealand Coffee Houses... and definitions of NZ coffees?


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New Zealand Coffee Houses... and definitions of NZ coffees?

ideabaker | Apr 25, 2010 02:48 AM

Hi everyone... I'm an American ex-pat living in New Zealand who makes frequent trips (well, school holidays) to Auckland or Wellington, usually staying in backpackers near Ponsoby/K-Road in Auckland or close to Courtenay Place in Wellington (I work way up in Northland). I use the city bus(Metrolink?) to get around Auckland and Wellington. Never drank coffee back in the states, but had one here and got hooked on coffee nearly straight away. My Kiwi friends say it's because this is "real coffee", and I've gotta believe them! Two questions that I hope someone can help with...

First: there are so many coffee places to choose from in both Auckland and Wellington, that I'm wondering if anyone has suggestions for "must try" coffee houses... not too interested in the sides (pastries, etc.) just wonderful 'real' coffee and perhaps a bit of ambiance... (i.e. no screaming tourists on holiday). Open to any and all suggestions in any case, as I'm willing to hop a bus to wherever I need to go for a great cup of java.

Also, I'm in Dunedin, Christchurch and Queenstown once a year, so suggestions there are welcome! Again, the closer to public transport, (or walking distance in city centres) the better!

Second: I am having a ridiculous lag in figuring out the definitions of the different styles of NZ coffee prep. Even went to a (egads!) Starbucks out of the sheer laziness in trying to sort out the names of the coffees to find that even Starbucks uses the Kiwi coffee lingo. I like a strong regular coffee with a bit of frothed milk on top, so usually end up getting a "flat white"... but frankly it is a bit too weak for my liking and I'd prefer it prepared as is, except with an extra shot of espresso thrown in. Is there a name for that? When I ask for it, I always get the lecture on how a flat white already has a shot of espresso, then I ask for a second shot and confusion erupts... it simply isn't worth the drama, so I just try to enjoy the plain flat white as is, or drink the first one fast, then order a second.

If anyone's a real expert in coffee names here in NZ and wouldn't mind providing a brief overview (i.e. "cheat sheet") of what to expect when ordering the different styles (I can't even remember the names of all of them, just cappuccino, espresso, and flat white!) maybe I'd order other styles. The coffee here is so wonderful, just want to have a sense of what to try!

Thanks in advance for any suggestions or clarifications!

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