Daily Archives: June 23, 2008

Important information for International Pilgrims to Melbourne

On Coffee.

Melbourne is the Coffee centre of the world. Yes, it is true. We make the best coffee anywhere. Or at least we did until Starbuck’s invaded. (And, for those who have had the benefit, I make a fairly decent cuppa here in the Ecumenical and Interfaith office with my Krups machine – ask those who have had the experience – with nice little halal bikkies to go with it).

Marco Vervoost has found an interesting note on Wikipedia about Australian Coffee:

Flat white
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A flat white is a coffee beverage served in Australia and New Zealand, prepared with espresso and milk. The drink is generally made with an ⅓ espresso and ⅔ steamed milk. The volumised milk is prepared by folding the top layer into the lower layers [1].

A flat white is the same as a properly made North American Cafe Latte, but differs from a Starbucks style latte in the preparation of the milk. Australian lattes and flat whites are usually served in 215-240ml cups, making them stronger than some lattes in other countries.

While this is right about the strength of the coffee (isn’t that the main point after taste?), it is wrong in its description of a “flat white”. What this article describes is, in fact, also called a “latte” here in Oz. A “flat white” is espresso coffee with steam volumised milk added, but in proportions closer to 2/3 coffee and 1/3 milk. It is a glorified example of what most people would simply call “a white coffee”, ie. coffee with milk. NOT milk with coffee (that’s a “latte”).

And for you Yankees and Canadians: forget about asking for a “coffee with cream” here in Melbourne. It won’t work. You will just get a funny look. Ask for a “flat white” and you will get something close to what you are looking for. Only better.

PS. And if you like even less milk in your coffee, go for a “macchiato


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"I have a mustard seed, and I’m not afraid to use it": Spengler on the "threat" Christianity poses to Islam

I’m still here, and still battling my bad neck, so that’s why there isn’t much blogging going on.

Today I read this interesting opinion piece by Spengler: “The Pope, the President and the Politics of Faith”.

I just love his line on Pope Benedict’s “threat” to the world: “I have a mustard seed, and I’m not afraid to use it.” You can just imagine the Holy Father striding into town and saying “Go ahead, make my day.”

But I was somewhat surprised at one of his opening remarks:

Muslims suspect that the pope wants to convert them, a threat they never have had to confront in Islam’s 1,500-year history.

What does he mean by that? Surely we, as Christians, have been “threatening” to convert Muslims for centuries?

But Spengler, as always, thinks a little differently from received opinion. His point is that

For the first time, perhaps, since the time of Mohammed, large parts of the Islamic world are vulnerable to Christian efforts to convert them, for tens of millions of Muslims now dwell as minorities in predominantly Christian countries. The Muslim migration to Europe is a double-edged sword. Eventually this migration may lead to a Muslim Europe, but it also puts large numbers of Muslims within reach of Christian missionaries for the first time in history.

He concludes his essay with:

Islam is in danger for the first time since its founding. The evangelical Christianity to which George W Bush adheres and the emerging Asian church are competitors with whom it never had to reckon in the past. The European Church may be weak, but no weaker, perhaps, than in the 8th century after the depopulation of Europe and the fall of Rome. An evangelizing European Church might yet repopulate Europe with new Christians as it did more than a millennium ago.

Yes, it just might. Even yet.


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