Coffee translator

For years now, the µGnome has been committed to searching and sourcing the finest coffee suitable for consuming without the spoiling effect of either milk or sugar. In Brasil he discovered União, then Santa Clara and managed to keep in a modest supply for personal consumption with the help of friends and colleagues. Sadly, that source of fine coffee has all but dried up.

More recent travels in Europe, particularly in Italy have instilled an appreciation of Italian coffee-making methods, particularly espresso in its various forms (single, double & affogato, to name but three). The problem now is to understand what people in foreign parts mean when they speak of ‘coffee’. While he’s yet to experience coffee at the ends of the earth (see conference programme), the µGnome belives that a standard coffee vocabulary may be emerging, even in Manhattan where coffee is going through a bit of a local renaissance. Until the language has a fully standardised, vocabularly, grammar and spelling here are a few pointers in the form of a translation guide for the coffee-drinker abroad. WARNING: terms, descriptions and illustrations may change according to recent experience. To avoid future disappointment, please send your best coffee experiences to the µGnome.

Australia Brasil Italy UK USA
Long black Americano* Americano* Black coffee Americano
Short black Cafezinho Espresso Espresso Espresso
Flat white NA NA White coffee Latte
Cappucino Cappucino Cappucino Cappucino Cappucino
         Mocha (1)
NA = not available        Cortado (2)
*  may work        


  1. Mocha is almost the same in Manhattan as Australia, but use the local pronunciation:  moakuh, instead of moccer.
  2. A cortado is a small milky coffee with a bit of froth on top described as “a bit like a macciato with finely textured milk and the espresso shining through”.




: the coffee shop at the end of the universe? This is an excellent corner coffee shop in South Philadelphia, where coffee is served properly with a bit of ceremony and a lot of love to students and other local people. Their coffees are worth a bit of a trek.


  1. RT @micrognome157: Coffee translator, An essential survival guide.

  2. RT @CdrHBiscuitIII: RT @micrognome157: Coffee translator, An essential survival guide.

  3. Whar about the mycology of coffee? Weren’t studies showing fungi were contributing to the flavour of a region’s coffee? Thar being said, no amount of fungal contaminarion will redeem the instant in micro.

  4. RT @CdrHBiscuitIII: RT @micrognome157: Coffee translator, An essential survival guide.

  5. Go here for the best description I’ve seen of what different coffees in Aust mean!

  6. I found the ultimate cup of coffee in Newark,NJ. It was an all nite little C-store in the Port Authority… the only time coffee tasted liked it smelt. I came back 6 months later…. it was gone! I felt like Sean Connery in ‘Medicine Man’… the secret is lost forever.

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