Alana's language of coffee

Alana's language of coffee

Can't start your day without your skinny, double-shot latte? Alana Lowes deciphers the need-to-know lingo being served up by Brisbane's coffee bean kings.

By Alana Lowes | 11th March 2014

I like to think of myself as somewhat of a coffee snob.  I would rather go on a forced coffee detox than drink insipid bitter burnt bad coffee.  I’m not your typical “I only drink skinny soy lattes” kind of girl, I like to mix and match my coffee style with the time of day, whether it is a hot or cold, how much of a “caffeine” hit I need or it could be as simple as what is the best coffee the café serves – but it has to be good, very good coffee.

The Australian coffee landscape has evolved from Neanderthal International Roast guzzlers to the artistic alchemy of a 12 hour cold pressed brew.  But are you up with the language of coffee?  Do you know your Shakerato from your piccolo?

I will assume you are all well versed with the terminology of cappuccinos, flat whites and lattes, so I am here to break down the rest of the lingo.

Shakerato - hailing from the epicenter of fashion, Italy, there is little wonder why this sweet afternoon coffee hit is stylishly shaken over ice.   The barista combines fresh espresso, sweet milk and ice.  The infusion is shaken fresh for you.

Where to get it: Merlo Espresso Bars and Roasting Houses after 12noon

A coffee being poured out of a shaker into a coffee glass

Shaken. Not stirred...

Cold Pressed Brew – Don’t confuse this with an iced coffee.  A cold pressed brew is slowly produced by steeping coffee grounds in cold water for up to 12 hours at a time.   Naturally sweeter, it is generally served like a whisky, on the rocks.

Where to get it: Dandelion & Driftwood Tea & Coffee Crafters, Hendra

Single Origin – Just as the name suggests, this coffee is sourced from one location.  Why? Rather than blending certain flavours, a single origin coffee is a way to get a specific taste.  At the Merlo torresfazione (roasting houses) they select coffees beans from all across the world, each for their own distinct flavour.  They are then roasted to suit their specific flavour profile, think of it as couture coffee.

Where to get it: Most good cafés will serve a single origin option, I love Merlo and Brew in Burnett Lane in the City.

Piccolo Latte – Sometime you just don’t want to drink all that milk, or maybe you are at a weekend brunch and you are onto your second caffeine hit (or third like my husband), then the perfect pick is a Piccolo.  It is basically a baby latte, with a ristretto shot (strong  20-25ml shot) then topped with warm silky milk.  Great for a real coffee hit.

Where to get it: Just about everywhere will serve it, but I will travel across town to Campos in Fortitude Valley to get the extra strong rich flavoured piccolo.


View mag here >

Article by Alana Lowes

Alana Lowes is of MasterChef pedigree, a celebrity cook, has travelled the world co-hosting the television show ‘A Taste of Travel' on Channel Ten and loves to write here, there and everywhere about food and travel.


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