Long macchiato: the quest begins.

What does a lifelong tea drinker do when she discovers, while on holidays on the opposite side of the world, that the most perfect coffee she’s ever had is a long macchiato, the one and only coffee that she, a former cafe owner and not-half-bad barista, never even knew existed?

We’re about to find out.

A little background:

Ana grew up drinking black tea. Not black as in the variety of tea but black as in no milk. She always ordered it black and was always asked if she wanted milk. She first visited Croatia in 1993, the land of the espresso and cigarette as breakfast. She neither smoked nor drank coffee, she didn’t even drink alcohol and was therefore deemed anti social and very strange indeed. It wasn’t until many years later when she decided to buy a cafe that she figured she needed to better understand the coffee game. No matter how hard she tried she just couldn’t like the milky varieties that were so popular in Australia {flat white, latte, cappuccino, et al}, while the short sharp black options like espresso, ristretto, and macchiato were only rarely used as a late afternoon pick me up. She settled on drinking mocha’s when she felt like a coffee and went back to mostly drinking tea.

Then a couple of months ago, back in Croatia for the first time as a coffee drinker, at their very first cafe stop upon arrival she asked her husband to order her a small cappuccino while she ducked off to buy some phone credit, and was very annoyed when she arrived back at the table to learn that he had mistakenly ordered her a veliki macchiato, or long macchiato.

Her annoyance soon disappeared when she took a sip of the best coffee she had ever had: not too strong, sharp, or bitter, not too much milk, a tiny bit of foam, and no chocolate sprinkles. THIS was what she had always wanted her coffee to taste like.

Behold: the long macchiato

Ok, now back to the present.

Having already messaged one local barista on Instagram that I’d love a long mac on my return home I am nonetheless not sure what I’m going to get. According to the classic coffee definitions it’s a doppio {double} espresso with a little hot milk and a scant bit of foam. Sounds simple enough but I’m still not convinced that the long mac’s in Croatia were based on a double shot, they tasted far too weak. I suspect that they were closer to a long black, i.e. a shot of espresso with a bit of hot water, but can you imagine ordering that every day: “I’ll have a small long black with some hot milk and just a tiny bit of foam please” without sounding like a complete coffee wanker?

Luckily for me I took a chance on the pod coffee machine I have at home that I have never actually used for myself but rather for my husband and visitors and what I concocted was pretty near perfect. Spying a box of “macchiato latte” pods in the supermarket, I figured I’d adjust the amount of the latte pod and hey presto! I made a long mac!

Despite the pods obviously being intended for a much milkier coffee I let the coffee pod go for a smidgeon longer, then added the milk pod for about five seconds or so, until I liked the look of it.

There are eight coffees in a box, and at $8.50 a box that just over a dollar a cup for coffee that’s surprisingly good.

Tomorrow morning I’m having a cafe breakfast with my daughter, and I think I’ll start with a double shot with some hot milk, and I’ll definitely start somewhere where I know the barista and know that they’ll happy to play around with it a bit.

And did I mention that every coffee I had in Croatia was in a proper cup and now I don’t think I’ll like takeaway cups anymore?

The quest continues, so stay tuned.

-Ana.

  1. I hate Croatian coffee. I always order a veliki makiato but I can’t handle the milk they use. It’s always long life/trajno mlijeko. The taste is so strong to my palate.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    1. The weird thing is that the quality of the coffee and milk is average, and yet it’s the exact coffee fix I like! To be honest the pods I’ve been having at home have been spot on.

      Like

      Reply

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