Snarky cafe customers cause me to become off-edge enough to spill their fresh cup of joe right in front of them.
Photo Credit: Danijel Zekanovic
Ah, yes, there is nothing like the smell of fresh coffee on a Saturday (also known as my last day of work for the week). After a twenty-seven hour work week alongside school, there is nothing better to walk into than my workplace on my last weekday. Greeting me is the sight of a broken-in espresso machine with coffee grounds strewn like sand on a beach. The cafe holds the dirty cups from customers who came in only four hours ago, and as I am putting my apron on, I take on the line that reaches to the door.
“Hello, sir, how are you?” I say, in my best “I just began my shift–happy Friday” voice.
“A latte in the biggest cup you have with no foam and five sweeteners. Make sure there is no foam. I want a lot of milk,” the man replies to the question using a stern voice.
“Okay, sir, your total is $5.75. Did you want that for here or to-go?” I say in a tone that is barely audible.
“Did you not hear what I said?!? I. Want a big LATTE. In. The. Biggest. Cup. You. Have. ARE YOU NEW?” *the man looks at my co-worker. “IS THIS GIRL NEW?!?!”
And so, ladies and gentlemen, the life of a barista is depicted in the fewest words above.
[vision_pullquote style=”1″ align=””] Treat your barista like you have the leading role in a show on Broadway, and she is merely the backup dancer. [/vision_pullquote]
Just to make things clear, I love it when customers yell at me. And yes, the man stated above was right–if you want no foam in your latte, we do use more milk, because foam actually does not come from milk. It comes from the kindness of customers’ voices.
When your barista asks, “Would you like room for cream and sugar?” you should look to your barista with a face of amusement and make her realize how foolish it was to not realize you are far too mysterious for diluted, creamy, sugary coffee. Silly girl.
The golden request–“Make sure I have a leaf drawn in my latte with foam”–makes baristas want to take more courses on latte art, because, surely, there must be a leaf in a latte, at all times, regardless the circumstance, no matter what!
Make sure you ask your barista to use nonfat milk with only two splashes of whole milk and soy milk foam–it makes for the perfect cafe con leche. Guaranteed. And when your barista calls your name, make sure to make her scream it on the top of her lungs. Make her wait a while–maybe fifteen minutes or so–until she has to remake the latte, because the duration of your phone conversation cooled your otherwise hot beverage.
Overall, treat your barista like she is not the person saving you from falling into a deep slumber with the promise of delicious espresso-infused beverages. Treat your barista like you have the leading role in a show on Broadway, and she is merely the backup dancer.
On a serious note, working in the foodservice industry has made me learn proper etiquette on how to treat the individuals that are in a similar field as I. I no longer use impatient tones toward my baristas or waiters, and I make certain to always leave a hefty tip. Being a barista has made me understand true pressure. One that is caffeine-hungry and reeling.