27 May 2010


Caffeine is a hell of a drug. From this article, it provides the following benefits*:
  • Improves cognition, memory, and ability to perform complex tasks
  • Protects against Parkinson's, Alzheimer's diseases, Type II diabetes
  • Prevents brain degeneration, cognitive decline due to aging
  • Makes you happy! Alert! Use excessive exclamation points!
  • Increases aerobic endurance
  • Grants the ability to shoot laser beams out of your pores
  • ANTIOXIDENTS! (I don't know what these are, but word is they're good for you)
My favorite method of obtaining caffeine is also the most common in the United States; coffee. Ignoring the incredibly inanity of the Starbucks ordering system (where sizes are Tall, Large, and Twenty), I can go into any restaurant and ask for a Coffee, and have at least some idea of what they will serve. As a result of this coddling, its taken me a while to get to the naming customs here, and so I've compiled some useful information from my own experience and a little internet research.

Simply asking for a 'Coffee' will likely provoke more questioning from whoever you order from (especially if you try this on the average pedestrian), but you could end up with a Long Black (which is a shot of Espresso with about twice that in water, sort of like a Cafe Americano), a Flat White (Basically a no foam latte), a Cappuccino, or instant coffee. You will almost definitely not get a 'standard' percolated black coffee.

Also available is the Short Black (just an Espresso shot), the Short Macchiato (a Short Black with a dash of cold milk), a Long Macchiato (WILD CARD... usually involves Espresso and some sort of Milk; or could be an Italian adult movie star), the Cold Coffee (iced coffee), and the Iced Coffee (a delicious coffee-milkshake sort of thing) which is my favorite.

If anyone things for a moment that this seems a bit overly complicated, I will merely draw your attention to the Grande Double Light Soy Iced White Chocolate Mocha; which you can actually order at Starbucks without being laughed at from behind the counter**.

*One of these may not be true. Bonus points if you can figure out which one it is!

**Ask the same person for a 'Large Iced Coffee' though and they stare at you like an idiot. Starbucks is silly.

PS: Unrelated to the rest of this post, there was a beautiful rainbow over Sydney this morning, framed perfectly by my balcony. It made me quite happy that I had slept in through my alarm, otherwise I might have missed it.