This Flat White post is inspired by a chapter with the same title in Lily Brett book Only In New York. I read her book for my Southbank book club. Unfortunately, I have to stop going there because the timing just isn’t working for me. I have been looking for another book club. Please share if you know a book club here in Melbourne, or better yet if you belong to it!
Now, let’s talk about flat white. But first, tell me when and how did you decide whether you are a coffee or a tea person? If someone asks me the very question, I would say I am a tea person without thinking much of it. I grew up drinking black tea every single afternoon. I have drunk tea close to 10,000 all my life and that’s not even uncommon in Indonesia. It’s an Indonesian thing, it’s also our family thing, it’s especially Mama Geek’s thing.
Daily tea drinking has been deeply rooted into my life and I don’t see it is stopping anytime soon, but since I moved to Melbourne, I have been consuming copious amount of coffee (I had three cuppa today an well aware it’s nothing to be proud of).
The realization that I have made coffee a part of my life came recently, when I ordered two flat white; one strong, one weak and a piccolo at Suzie Q, Sydney, without blinking my eyes. Not only I didn’t need to think what coffee do I want that day, I was well versed of others’ preference. It made me pause. Since when am I this person? Who didn’t need time to think what coffee I want for the day (I go through my tea choices carefully every night); who “needs” coffee before they can function in the morning (do I need tea before I can relax at the end of the day too?), who has a favorite coffee joint?
And apparently flat white has been my choice. Well, at least it means I get to tick off two of my geeky Melbourne goals; to find my coffee and coffee shop. But retrospectively flat white and I shared an old love affair.
I found out about the existence of flat white when I first visited Australia in winter, almost three years ago. That too because the small coffee shop in Kings Cross didn’t have hot latte. The owner suggested flat white instead. “It’s just the same*”, he said. I said okay, paid with coins and sipped my first flat white.
I liked the taste of it, but it was nothing special at that time because to be completely honest, I was more into cheap booze (2 bottles of wine for $10 was unheard of in where I came from), also we were on holiday! But even then, I managed to order a flat white here and there, usually during morning to lessen the hangover effect.
The revelation of me liking flat white more than normal came during the last days of our trip, at 1400 above sea level. While wearing rented clothing from head to shoe, I queued for a flat white, in the snow. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is?
I am definitely not reaching my 10,000 flat white anytime soon, if anything I am just about to cross the 100th cup. And I don’t know whether I want to cross the 10,000th. Even thinking about it makes me feel jittery. Time to brew some tea.
How about you, what kind of coffee do you take? Would you try a different kind? Have you tried flat white before?
* I recently got pissed with a barista who insisted that flat white and latte are exactly the same. It’s not!*
** Please help me, I have gone too deep into the caffeinated world. #flatwhite.
Read more: Take the quiz What Type of Coffee Goers Are You? // Korea coffee shops part 1 and part 2 // Coffee shop hunting in Hong Kong // A friendship moment in the coffee shop // Free coffee in Singapore // Alternatives to coffee in Auckland // Charcoal coffee // An open letter to Starbucks //Classroom meeting in the coffee shop // coffee shop cum library // The dingy coffee shop in Ipoh // Beginner’s guide to tea leaf reading // Melbourne tea festival // Kindle, cookie and tea.