New Zealand has the best coffee

Bear with me as I go on my coffee rant….

As mentioned before, I was working in a local cafe for several months before leaving Auckland for university (college as the Americans call it). It was a great work experience and my boss provided me with barista training. By the time I left my job, I could make a decent (ranging from averagely decent to good decent) cup of coffee from grinding the beans to extracting the espresso to steaming the milk to pouring the milk. You name it, a cappuchino, latte, flat white, long black, moccachino or hot chocolate. It took me a while to overcome the bitter espresso and the burnt milk but eventually I was happy to have picked up a new skill; although if you were to ask me to make one now, I wouldn’t have high expectations…

While I was overseas, I came to the realisation that coffee in New Zealand is truly of a gold standard. For example, I was shocked at the numerous times where I was served coffee with bubbly milk that was far from the velvety texture it should have been. There were also lattes filled with way too much foam. I would never have dared to serve customers some of the coffees that I was served. Keep in mind I am absolutely not, a coffee snob.  I don’t know a whole lot about the art of coffee making and coffee flavour. But at the risk of sounding like a pretentious customer whining about absurd experiences, I am disappointed by the overall standard of coffees overseas.

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Finding a good cup of coffee is a mission and the filter coffee served at my school cafeteria is very questionable. There are also several differences between coffee culture here and in the states. 90% of the time, cafés serve their coffees in takeout cups regardless of whether I was staying in or taking out. Also, I soon realised after my first few visits to the local coffee shops around my school that often just ‘coffee’ refers to filter coffee and self-serve milk over the counter as opposed to coffee made from the espresso machine with steamed milk. Another thing is that a flat white is almost an unheard of thing in the states. In February this year, I was in New York over the weekend and noticed signs with phrases along the lines of ‘try our new flat white!’ in several coffee shops. Given that flat whites have been around in New Zealand for many many years it was surprising to find that it is only being introduced in America recently.

Since coming back home for a month in my summer break, it sure is great finally drinking a tasty latte. My solitary café visits are reignited!

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There is always more to the story

In this day and age it has become so easy to see into a peephole into the lives of others, be it your friends, family or just acquaintances. Social media such as Facebook and Instagram have permitted us to see what our ‘friends’ are up to, where they are, who they’re with and other trivial aspects. While there definitely are perks to how social media has transformed our modern lives I think a large issue remains on the fact that people now form immediate judgements and assumptions on what they see on these social platforms.

Within seconds of looking at someone’s online profile, we tend arrive at an opinion on what social circle a person is in, their relationship status, how many ‘friends’ or ‘followers’ they have, how popular they are judging from the number of likes on a certain photo. It is so easy to have this image and reputation of a person from a cursory gander at their profile regardless of how well we actually know them in reality. But I believe in many cases, we are mistaken. Or certainly what we think we know is not the entire book. We see a page or two but never the full chapter and definitely not the whole story.

Recently, a few conversations I’ve had with friends have proved to me that we are often very wrong in our superficial judgements of others. Or at least, I have been. I am sure I am not alone when I say that I can name at least a few other people who seem to lead the ‘perfect’ life. Of course this isn’t the case. No one’s life is perfect no matter how close to perfection it seems. Yes, some people may appear to have the good life, some people are veiled by facades and some people just seem to always get the short end of the stick. But circumstances are so much more complicated than one -word summaries. 

Someone surrounded by countless friends can be incredibly lonely. Someone sitting by themself in a public place can be perfectly content. That person who always gets the most likes on Facebook can be especially insecure. The person who is showered with gifts can feel strangely empty. My point is, to really understand another person you have to go much deeper than the surface layer in social media. We often forget that Facebook or instagram is just a highlight reel. We put what we want others to see but in fact there are infinitely more moments and often not very pretty ones than the single snap shared.

I guess my point to this ramble is that there are very few people on this planet that truly understand and know us for who we really are.Things and people are very rarely as what they seem to be. Heck, many people don’t even know who they are until much later in life. Although, you could be reading this and thinking I’m completely wrong. I am just an 18-year-old girl who spends way too much time over analysing everything right? Right.