Daily grind: how to choose your perfect coffee


Daily grind: how to choose your perfect coffee

Coffee is not as simple as it once used to be. Gone are the days of coffees merely being black with one sugar, when the most complex it got was asking for skim milk instead of full cream.

Fast forward to the present and speaking coffee lingo is like trying to understand baby talk – it barely makes sense! To make things extra confusing, travelling has shown me that the same coffee drink can be called a number of things in different countries. Here’s a quick run-down of coffee types that will help you decide which kind is right for you.

Coffee types

Long black

A long black, or as I have learned from travelling in the US, an Americano, consists of an espresso shot with hot water. This is my go-to coffee and a great option for those that need something dairy-free.

Short black or espresso

An espresso is possibly the easiest and most simple of coffees to order. Basically, it’s one shot of espresso for those who really love the taste of coffee. Another popular type of espresso is that of the martini variety, which I am guilty of loving!


A latte is your go-to coffee if you’re looking for a mix of coffee and milk. You also get a touch of foam on top.


Very similar to a latte, a cappuccino consists of coffee and milk. The only difference the cappuccino has is extra foam to that of a latte and some chocolate powder to top it off.

Flat white

Flat white is also a coffee and milk mix, sans foam or chocolate powder. You’ll notice flat whites are common in Australia and New Zealand, but mention this coffee internationally and you'll get a confused look from the barista.


A macchiato is a small coffee consisting of an espresso shot topped with a small amount of foamed milk.


A piccolo is essentially a mini latte. The espresso-to-milk ratio can get a bit scientific, so we reserve this one for the master coffee drinkers.


A mocha is perfect for those with a slight sweet tooth. It’s a latte with added chocolate flavour, so it's a great option for those who don’t love the taste of coffee (just yet, that is).

Milk types

In addition to particular coffee types, milk types have also evolved over the years. For those who are intolerant to dairy or prefer lighter options, there are plenty of milk choices to go around.

  • Full cream
  • Skim milk
  • Soy milk
  • Almond milk
  • Coconut milk

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