15 Things Your Barista Wants To Tell You
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15 Things Your Barista Wants To Tell You

Thoughts from those of us running on caffeine and tip jars.

15 Things Your Barista Wants To Tell You

1. I'm making your drink as fast as I can.

When you act impatient or (and please, stop doing this) ask me how long your drink is going to take, it does not make me work faster. If your drink is taking longer than usual, there's always a good reason, like backed up orders or short staff. Why would I waste your time (and mine)?

2. What you drink says a lot about you.

Yes, that chocolate chip frappuccino is delicious. Yes, I am going to assume you are either 14 or that you still have your mom schedule doctor appointments for you. Alternatively, when you order a black coffee, I am going to feel bad that you have lost the joy in your life.

3. Don't get mad when I mess up your name.

Chances are good that I'm 8 hours into a shift and extremely sleep deprived. If I call you Jeff and your name is Josh, it's not because I'm an idiot or that I'm trying to make you mad. My focus was on crafting your drink and wouldn't you rather drink good coffee than having your name spelled correctly?

4. Tip. Please.

Most baristas make minimum wage and rely on tips to make a living. When you tip $0.02 on a $4.98 drink, you may as well not tip at all. While we realize all tips are an added bonus, pocket change is not going to pay rent.

5. I love my regulars.

Nothing brightens my day like a visit from my favorite customers. A friendly face can be enough to turn the longest, most stressful shift around. Making small talk with frequent visitors keeps us sane during the wee hours of the morning. On that note...

6. Stop asking me out.

While getting to know regular customers is one of the best perks of the job, asking me on a date puts me in an uncomfortable situation. Virtually every stand lists fraternizing with customers as a conduct violation and when I have to decline your invite to karaoke night, it just makes things weird for the both of us.

7. If you don't like your drink, tell me.

I've heard from many people that if they don't like their drink or it was simply made wrong, they will refrain from telling their barista. While I understand you may be trying to be polite, I will not get mad if I need to remake your drink. It's my job! If I have done something wrong, let me make it right. My goal is to give you the best experience possible. If that means I have to remake your entire beverage, so be it. I won't take it personally.

8. Know your drink when it's time to order.

While a line is forming and you're at the counter deciding what caffeinated drink you're craving, the customers behind you are waiting longer and my tips are likely shrinking. Come in with at least a vague idea of what you would like to order, or...

9. Ask me for a recommendation.

Every barista has a favorite drink or two most customers do not know about (mine is a snickerdoodle latte). Many stands and cafes have 'secret menus' customers don't even know exist. Tell us what kind of flavors you like and let us craft something new for you. Sharing new recipes with customers is one of the few activities that keeps my brain from shifting into autopilot.

9. Know what time it is.

If it's 7:55 pm and the store closes at 8, please, don't ask me to make you a cappuccino. Chances are, I've already cleaned most of my machine. Between grinding beans, tamping porta-filters, and steaming milk, making your drink will likely cost me an extra 30 minutes of cleanup before I get to go home. If you really need your caffeine fix, order a red bull or a cup of tea instead.

10. A complicated drink does not impress me.

Yes, your 12 ounce, non fat, extra hot, no whip, extra foam white chocolate mocha may make you feel like a seasoned coffee veteran, but it doesn't impress me like you might think it does. While I am glad you know exactly how you take your espresso, I am not going to treat you any differently than the girl before you who just ordered a pumpkin spice latte.

11. I will remember your name if you tip well, act rude, or are hot.

This one should be self explanatory.

12. I've thought about you being my mom/dad or wife/husband.

Every barista has at least one regular they have a crush on or who they want as a surrogate parent. These people are the ones who visit regularly, ask about your day, and always leave a smile on our face. If I continue conversation after I hand you your drink, you probably fall into this category.

13. I'm probably in some kind of pain.

Whether it be a burn from americano water or bumping my hip into the counter, I'm likely to be in some kind of distress. Not that I would ever show it, but if I've spilled hot milk on myself, I'm definitely not as chipper as I am acting.

14. I'm a human too.

It's easy to forget that food service workers have lives outside of the stand or cafe, but we do. Ask us about them, respect them, and know that while coffee may be a big part of it, a majority of it resides away from the espresso machine.

15. I love my job.

While working in coffee may be demanding at times, I wouldn't change it for the world. Coming home smelling like espresso beans, making friends with customers, and spending my days in an upbeat working environment makes being a barista the best job I've ever had (the free coffee helps, too).

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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