Mug-a-what-o?

The Menu Board

The Menu Board

Ordering is a pain in the ass. I know it, you know it, yet I know a way we can come together for the benefit of the coffee shop.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could read your mind, mood and preference? Yes, because then we wouldn’t have to put up with your funny ways with words. It’s ES- presso not EX-presso, cappuccino not cup-of-cino, and what’s with mugaccino? I know it’s a large cappuccino but please no references to the Australian countryside, I’m from California.

Now since the word is in the dictionary a compromise is in order. I have acknowledged that I know this word, which has been around since 1994. I also will automatically grab a large cup when it is said and proceed to write the letters ‘B-O-G-A’, oops, ‘C-A-P’, and pass it to be made. But at the end of this coffee’s journey, I will call out “large cappuccino” and you will pick it up as if I spoke your language, moving on.

“Hi, can I have a coffee?” The customer asks.

“Um, what kind of coffee?” Says I.

“Blackish, like coffee that’s black,” replies the customer.

“Oh gee, how about a long black?” I ask, without a hint of sarcasm.

“Ok, yeah that,” smiles the customer.

And so on. So this customer wants a long black. A drink also known as an Americano. It was invented by the yanks in Italy during WWII once hot water was added to espresso shots to dilute the bitterness. This customer is most likely an American. But it’s cool they didn’t say decaf Americano so I’m still in the right hemisphere. However, this order could have lacked a few sentences if the customer had taken the time to sort through our menu. Here is a basic overview of the menu, conveniently standardized throughout Melbourne:

Cappuccino – Shot, milk, about 2-3 centimetres of froth, with a fair shake of the chocolate powder on top.

Café Latte – Shot, milk, about 1-2 centimetres of froth, most popular by far in our little establishment.

Flat White – Shot, milk, and a slither of froth, if you’re a coffee art fan, this is the drink for you.

Long Black (Americano) – Espresso and hot water, see above.

Long/Short Macchiato – Espresso with a dollop of milk and froth, the drink if you’re on the run.

Mocha – Just like a cappuccino but with chocolate sauce, if you can’t be bothered with sugar, give it a go, avoid saying mocha-cino.

Short Black – A single shot of espresso, two for a doppio, coffee straight up.

There you go, a simple guide eliminating the complexities. Most coffee makers have heard every variation, laughed, and figured it out. I’ll accept mugaccino into the vernacular, but please next time you are in any coffee shop, take a quick look at the menu, it will make everything move a lot smoother.

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4 Responses to “Mug-a-what-o?”


  1. 1 Daniel August 15, 2009 at 8:37 am

    This reminds me of the ‘white chocolate mocha’ incident. I love it when the customers roll their eyes at your not-a-hit-of-sarcasm after they’ve asked for something oxymoronic.

    Btw, your not-a-hint-of-sarcasm is near perfect. I sure hope those eye-rollers feel guilty afterwards. Keep up the good work 😛

  2. 2 Bill August 17, 2009 at 1:02 am

    I don’t drink coffee. Do you have the same complications with teas? EBT, white, no sugar. Oh, and not too hot I want to drink it now.

    • 3 Meghan August 17, 2009 at 3:04 am

      We do have a similar issue with teas. We supply the brand T2 and therefore house about twelve different types of teas which include green, black and herbal. When someone asks for tea it is exactly like asking for a coffee, there are too many variations, specifics are better. You on the other hand would not have a problem as you specified you want an EBT or English Breakfast Tea, no language barrier there.

  3. 4 melbournegal September 7, 2009 at 2:51 am

    Thefollowing have also been creeping into the coffee ordering lingo:

    Piccollo, Ristrecto, and Baby Cino (i just got a migraine. Well Baby Cino is not new but it is a hate crime.


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