Tuesday 25 September 2007

Moccha, Latte, Flat White, Cino.. it's all the same

Now this one is for the coffee wankers.

I used to be part of the coffee elite, when I walked Lambton Quay from Parliament, along the city walk, and up Woodward Lane to the Terrace. Those where the days you had three, four, maybe even four coffees in a day.

It was mad, but the self-imposed stress of corporate life made it all normal.

I've studied coffee and who has what. I reckon the Post's politico Damon Guppy (his friends call him Yuppy... actually, I made that bit up), is a Flat White kinda guy. Whereas Margo would probably be a Soy Latte kinda chick.

You see, I've moved on from star signs, I now match people up against their coffee of choice and the traits that go with it. I mean, Taurus, Capricorn and Virgo are so last season.

This arvo I grabbed a [not telling] cuppa from the fab Dolce & Caffe on Shields Street. The girls there certainly know a Barista from a Barrister. I knows there's an art in coffee. You only have to chat to a suit, usually visiting Cairns for something unrelated to tropical Queensland at the Convention Centre, to hear their take on all things coffee. "Coffee is way better in Sydney," said Simon, sporting a tie and a briefcase I chatted to outside Dolce. "I think it's not really appreciated up here in this climate" he went on to analyse.

I mean to say, are there really a bunch of coffee wanker elite out there in Cairns? Do people really care it it's too hot? Too cold? If the beans were crushed or squished?

Well, one visit to Edge Hill and you may as well have taken a $169 Virgin Blue trip to Sydders.

Edge Hill has become so coffee-ied, there's talk of a name change to Caffeine Hill.

Even our famous marketer Andrew Griffiths moved his business from Lake Street's Corporate Tower to Edgehill just for the coffee selection. "It was a huge decision, but at the end of the day, our staff were not performing up to standard without good coffee within easy reach," says Andrew, who never consented to this interview. "You'd better not be recording this phone call Michael?"
Edge Hill resident and prominent local writer, Tony Hillier, is often spotted at Biscotti's, soaking up the atmosphere.

Meanwhile, Mayor Byrne and Councillor Blake frequent the corner cafe at Five Ways, across the road. Mind you, never at the same table. Maybe it's that Alan is a Mocha and Kev's a Fat White? Anyway, I really think they should kiss and make up, as they'd make a lovely couple.

An Edge Hill cafe was where our Mayor managed the city evacuation from on the day of our tsunami, or as someone in Woree would say, salami.

Did you know that, depending on the type of coffee and preparation, the caffeine content of a single cup is, on average, about 207 milliliters — or in a single shot of espresso, about 60 mL. And I knew you'd ask, so here's what a caffeine molecule looks like:-

And now for some coffee tips that you never thought you'd find on CairnsBlog...

  • When shopping for perfume, take some coffee with you in your bag and have a good sniff in between smelling each perfume to refresh your nose!
  • Sprinkle spent coffee grounds around the base of your garden plants and it will stop snails and slugs from munching them!
  • A mixture of coffee grounds and sugar, fed to a pot plant and watered regularly, will revive houseplants that have turned yellow in winter.
  • Some of the world's most powerful business, including Lloyds of London and the New York Stock Exchange, started life as a coffee houses.
  • In 2001 Brazil produced a scented postage stamp to promote its coffee - the smell should last between 3 and 5 years.
  • Vincent Van Gogh was a big frequenter of the café society and famously said “I have tried to show the café as a place where one can go mad.”
  • Pope Clement VIII loved coffee and authorised its use.
  • Revolutions have been planned in coffee houses, namely the French and the American Revolutions.
  • At the end of the 16th century records show there were at least 500 cafes in Istanbul alone. The first European cafes were opened by immigrants from Asia around 1650.
  • A coffee tree has a lifespan of about 50 to 70 years.
  • The coffee cherries turn from yellow to orange and then bright red, 6 - 8 months after flowering
  • When it is in bloom, the coffee tree is covered with 30,000 white flowers which begin to develop into fruit after 24 - 36 hours
  • A coffee tree can flower eight times in any one year - depending on rainfall
  • There are 900 different flavours of arabica. Complex and very volatile, they deteriorate if exposed to air and light
  • The aromas in coffee develop at the 10th minute of roasting
  • Coffee increases in volume during roasting by 18.60%
  • When coffee first appeared in Africa, it was used as a type of religious intoxicant

Coffee is the second most widely used product in the world after oil, and is worth about $49 billion per year to the producing countries. 1,400 million cups per day are consumed and is the world's second most popular drink after water. So don't say I didn't tell you anything useful today.

Finally, here's some of my coffee "star sign" recipes:-

  • Caffè Latte: Impressionable, silly, never commit, always thinking about the weekend
  • Cappuccino : Quick on your feet, dedicated, always honest, but forgetful
  • Caribbean : Distant, disorganised, travel freak, skitzo, always catching colds
  • Espresso : Manic, plans of grandeur, ego-driven, below average height
  • European: Ruler of most, full of it, smart, sexy, verbose, blogger
  • Instant: Southern suburbs, newly-wed, bikie-type, hug boots, tradie
  • Mocha: Weak, misses dates, hugs trees, fantasy for lingerie, adores children in restraints
  • Irish : foreign, issues with past, distant mother, oppressive father, sexually ambiguous
  • Viennese : sexually confused, doesn't return calls, problem child, closet nudist
  • Iced Coffee: Loner, dislikes cats and dogs, collects stamps, likes telemarketers

And I could sign off without plugging the incredible Coffee Works in Mareeba. That's a visit work making if you have a free afternoon.

Now... tell me where your favorite coffee place of choice is....


chook said...

We are coffee professors because we have a cafe on the Coromandel and have fun guessing what coffees certain people are going to order. We use organic milk and don't do trim, much to the consternation of city people visiting the beach who ask for a trim flat white and a piece of cheesecake which has a zillion calories. We need tee shirts with "if you order trim you can't have cake" printed on them.
While waiting for a tour at 'coffee works' recently we ordered coffees from the pretty young things in charge of two large machines and had the two worst coffees on our trip. We cancelled the tour.
Nice coffee next to the Art Gallery in Cairns though.

Anonymous said...

chook - i want one of those t-shirts, i say eat drink and be merry. but i still want one of those t-shirts. shane

Anonymous said...

Is that latte sipping Tony Hillier the twin brother of Tony Killier whose image features in the pages of yesterday's 'Ken's Post'?

Anonymous said...

Actually, Damon Guppy is known to his mates as The Gupster and is a beer-swilling, cigarette-smoking kind of guy.

Anonymous said...

Tell Damon not to forget his jumper.