Sitting at my desk this afternoon and my mind wondered off; dreaming of coffee, as one does at about 3pm on hump day. I was thinking of a comment made recently by a barista at the Mudgee Farmers Markets. My dear friend, Sarah ordered a long black and he quickly remarked, “Long blacks are the way of the future”. Sarah, who is very quick witted responded in an instant, “Long blacks are the past, the present and the future”. It appears that long black drinkers are committed, I thought it would be interesting to discuss this with some long black drinkers and explore why they are so passionate about this type of coffee.
Dreaming of coffee is something I do regularly. Coffee is one of my loves, I owned a cafe for a bit over two years and throughout this period of my life I strived to make the perfect coffee, maybe a little obsessive compulsive. My partner started to dread me ordering coffee out of fear of embarrassment, should I have to pay for a weak, over heated milky mess. It’s always a gamble on holidays. My poor partner.
Now with my coffee passion firmly in context, back to the long blacks. As part of the research for this blog, I have decided to gain an understanding of this commitment to the long black coffee. I thought I’d start by asking my regulars from my cafe days, I still remember what everyone ordered.
The first response was from Sarah, “I love long blacks because they are velvety and bitter all at once. I enjoy
the kick start of the long black. I can taste the true flavour of the coffee, it’s a true grown up drink – and it’s very low in fat”. Well this sounds like a perfectly good reasons to me. I’m all about flavour, freshness and capturing the quality of the coffee beans.
Stu told me that, “The quality of coffee beans has really improved over the last 20 years and barista’s have learnt how to make good coffee, with such full flavour, milk ruins the taste of a good coffee.” He then went on to tell me about a young barista that asked him if he would like milk in his long black. Ooops, some training might be needed there!
I have heard some shocking stories about long blacks made by one long pour of a shot, yuck over extraction. I always make my long blacks in a small cup filled half with hot water and pour the beautiful double shot over the top, I love the smell and butterscotch tones of the crema floating on the top over the water, the good oils extracted so carefully from the freshly ground beans.
I’m in love with the very concept at the moment. It has been some time since my last long black, it might be time to get out to the kitchen and refresh my memory. I’m so impressed with the quality and consistency of the coffee beans from Bill’s Beans inOrange. I used them in my cafe and have since been buying them locally from Short Black in Dubbo. I order them on Monday and have them fresh on Wednesday. I used the Byng Street blend to make this long black. It turned out perfectly with a gorgeous crema as you can see.
The first thing I noticed on tasting it was the full flavour of the coffee, thank you Sarah and Stu, you are so right on the flavour hit. On this first sip, I got a mouth filling and satisfying sip of the crema in all its glory. I think that long blacks will have their time and place in my life in the future. Certainly in the morning as I don’t think I’d sleep after one! It was a really nice change from a flat white, so much sweetness must be added by the milk. Yes, Sarsie, feeling very grown up!
Enjoy your coffee, life is far too short for bad coffee (or wine, or food) my house smells like freshly ground coffee and I’m soaking it up this morning.