How to Order Coffee Like a Local In Melbourne

Melbourne is well known for being a city of very enthusiastic coffee lovers and they do not take their caffeine lightly. With orders being whipped up that sound more complicated than an M. Night Shyamalan plot twist, how’s a girl expected to get her morning coffee fix?

Here’s How to Order Coffee like a Local in Melbourne:

First, know that coffee in Australia is strong.  Like other places around the world Australians take their coffee espresso based, rather than drip.

Secondly, you can’t simply order ” a coffee.” That term is non-existent in Australia.

With that in mind, here are some classic standards to start with.


Long Black

If you want to stick to something closer to what you might be used to in North America, order a Long Black. This is a shot of espresso thinned out with hot water and is as close to a dripped brew as you’re going to come.  Similar to an Americano.

Short Black

A single shot of espresso.


Flat White

A classic Australian coffee order, although this issue is another area of tension between New Zealanders and Australians who both claim its origin. A single shot of espresso with steamy milk and delicious microfoam.  As there is less foam to coffee ratio, this tastes stronger than your classic latte, but the milk seems smoother.


This is an easy go-to if all else fails. Try ordering it  ” skinny” (skim milk) or with an alternative milk which are very popular with locals.


Unique to Melbourne, espresso is stopped half way through and topped with steam milk. The shorter time rewards the drink with less acidity and a smoother taste.


Once you learn the basics Australia is all about customization, so throw in all the extra hot, skinny, half caf, extra foam’s you want.


Want to know what to do in Melbourne once you’ve had all the caffeine you can handle? Check out 13 amazing things to do in Melbourne here.


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  1. Thanks for the coffee tip(s). I’ll be in Australia later this year and was wondering if there were any secrets to ordering coffee there. I just can’t start my day without my morning coffee.
    BTW I read your articles on Melbourne and Mornington Peninsula. Do you have anymore recommendations? I ‘ll be in Australia for nine days and New Zealand for four.

    1. Hi Ashley, thanks for the comment! First of all, congratulations on your exciting upcoming trip! You’re going to love Australia and New Zealand:) Australia is the perfect place to sample some new coffee favourites. I’d recommend asking for a suggestion from the person behind the counter if you’re unsure, Australia is all about customization. When in doubt a tall black is similar to an Americano and you can never go wrong with a flat white for a milky beverage.

      In Mornington I’d recommend staying in an AirBnB or rental accommodations to get more of the local ” Beachy” feel. A car rental will also come in handy here for exploring. Stop into the local tourist information desk (right on the Main Street) to pick up a few maps of the local area.

      If you wanted to stick to the Melbourne area, the Great Ocean Road road is another beautiful area to explore nearby. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful drives in the world.

      As for New Zealand for such a small time frame I would reccommend choosing a home base (perhaps Auckland or Wellington) and exploring by day trips. The North island is very accessible and you can explore pretty far in a day if you have access to a car.

      Have a wonderful trip!

  2. Thanks for your suggestions Rebecca, I will defiantly be doing the Great Ocean Road drive, it sounds wonderful.