From latte art videos on Facebook to not-so-witty quotes on T-shirts, coffee is an indisputable aspect of our everyday lives. Every frappy hour is national news, and liking the taste of coffee is viewed as a mark of adulthood. I don’t claim to be a coffee expert that can easily discern between single-origin coffees and blends. However, I love coffee because of how much it has to offer in regards to its taste, variety, effect and experience. For the rest of the quarter, I will be embarking on an in-depth exploration of coffee from all aspects, and hopefully become more coffee-cultured.
You enter a coffee shop and scan all the choices on the menu while waiting in line. You still have a “new year, new me” mantra so you consider adding some spice into your life by switching up your everyday order of an iced mocha to a cappuccino – but what exactly is a cappuccino? Just as you pull out your phone to consult Google, you’re already at the front of the line, leaving you hastily ordering your usual to play it safe.
If you’re confused by all of the different types of drinks on coffee shop menus, whether it be at Kerckhoff Coffeehouse or Blue Bottle, this article’s for you. Here’s how to navigate the language of specialty coffee drinks.
Espresso can be consumed as is, but it is also the foundation of many coffee drinks, which are aptly called espresso-based drinks. A shot of espresso is one ounce, and is made using finely ground espresso beans, hot water and pressure. This results in a concentrated liquid with an intense flavor, allowing it to be used to make other drinks. Espresso beans are usually dark roasted beans, which are very oily and have a full body flavor.
Some of the most common espresso-based drinks are the caffe latte, cappuccino, flat white, macchiato and Americano, in the order of containing the most amount of milk to the least.
Although the term latte has become synonymous with coffee, they’re not the same. The literal translation of caffe latte is “coffee milk.” Appropriately, lattes contain the most milk out of these espresso-based drinks, giving them a mild and mellow taste. A latte consists of two-thirds milk, one-third espresso and a layer of foamed milk.
A cappuccino has less milk than a latte. It is made up of one-third milk, one-third espresso and one-third foamed milk. This gives it a stronger coffee taste than a latte, especially since these three layers are separated, whereas the milk and espresso in a latte are mixed.
Out of these drinks, a flat white is probably the most unknown and also the most complicated. It originated in Australia and New Zealand, and is somewhat similar to a latte. However, a flat white consists of two shots of espresso with micro-foamed milk. The espresso and milk are poured in together, which gives it a different texture than that of a latte. Lastly, it is supposed to be 5.5 ounces.
At Starbucks, a macchiato is an aesthetically pleasing drink with a clear separation of espresso and milk, and an ample amount of caramel. However, if you go to less corporate coffee shop, don’t be surprised when your macchiato comes in a tiny cup. Macchiato literally means “marked,” so a macchiato is an espresso shot marked with foamed milk, thus only containing a little amount of milk as opposed to the Starbucks version.
An Americano consists of only espresso and hot water. Many may find a straight espresso shot to be too overpowering and strong, but diluting it with hot water creates a drink that has a better taste than normal drip coffee. Because of the espresso, Americanos have a richer taste and are less bitter. This is a good option for those who are lactose-intolerant or calorie conscious.
The next time you find yourself at Northern Lights or the Westwood Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, you can make a more informed decision and discover your new go-to order.
Michelle Lin is a Daily Bruin Quad contributor. She writes about everything, but especially likes lifestyle and informative pieces.
Deep among the streams and Kauri trees of rural south Auckland, New Zealand’s newest and most alternative school is in session. The weather is fine so a bout of fishing is in order, followed by lunch cooked on an open fire. Homework and classes? Indefinitely dismissed.
“We are called a school but we look nothing like any school out there,” says Joey Moncarz, co-founder and head teacher at Deep Green Bush School, which is in term two of its inaugural year.
“We don’t do things like telling kids it is time to write or learn maths. When they are interested in doing it, they do it.”
Moncarz is an ex-mainstream teacher. After five, frustrating years in mainstream schools in New Zealand he quit to found Deep Green Bush school, which has a roll of eight, and no classroom walls, time-out chairs or tests.
Concerned that mainstream schools were not preparing children for the global problems of the future – such as climate change –Moncarz envisioned a radically different kind of education, rooted in the primal skills of hunting, gathering and survival.
If the weather allows, pupils spend the majority of their day outdoors, exploring the New Zealand bush, learning to fish and hunt, trapping possums (which are considered a pest) and learning about the flora and fauna of their home.
The more traditional school skills, such as reading, writing and arithmetic, are acquired at their own pace, after they begin showing an interest in them. Not, says Moncarz, when the teacher dictates it is time to learn.
“We don’t have what you’d traditionally consider problem kids,” says Moncarz .
“Our parents saw their kids were unhappy and stressed in mainstream education and they started questioning; is it normal or right for kids to come home stressed and unhappy? Having taught in a mainstream school, I’d say most kids are stressed and unhappy.”
Bush school is registered with the Ministry of Education as an independent school, and therefore does not have to abide by the standard New Zealand curriculum, although it is subject to ministerial oversight.
Loosely inspired by the Sudbury Valley School in the US, which in turn was inspired by A.S Neill’s Summerhill school in the UK, since launching in January Moncarz has been fielding requests from around New Zealand and abroad to open chapters of Bush School in places as far afield as China and Europe.
Dr David Berg, a senior lecturer in education at the University of Otago, says there is a growing precedent for alternative “bush” schools worldwide, especially in Scandinavia, where some kindergarten children go ice-fishing during the school day.
However he says educators need to be careful that children are offered the full-range of skills required to get by and find employment in the modern world.
“Lots of people feel there is a disconnect with nature and the outdoors and people value that and are drawn to it,” says Dr Berg.
“In a modern society to be successful there are a range of skills to be developed and perhaps only some of those can be developed outside.”
Cathy Wylie Chief Researcher at theNew Zealand Council for Educational Research said: “Deep Green Bush school is an outlier in terms of NZ schools.
“We’ve certainly had some private schools set up by parents and teachers that have drawn inspiration from schools like Summerhill, but nothing that has designed its programme and pedagogy in such a focused way around hunting and gathering.”
Moncarz insists that the school isn’t an “experiment” in education, and is based on two millions years of evidence of how parents have raised their kids, at one with nature.
“We don’t want to be one of a kind, we want to replace mainstream schools,” Moncarz.
“We are using the same wisdom parents have used to teach their kids for millions of years. Locking kids in a classroom and forcing them to learn just causes a lot of problems.”