10 Things I've Learned In A Coffee Shop

10 Things I've Learned from Working At A Coffee Shop This Summer

It's a lot more than just using an espresso machine.

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This summer, I picked up a job at a coffee shop. I thought it would be fun to learn how to make all my favorite drinks while making a little extra cash. However, I've learned so much more than I expected.

1. Making espresso drinks is not very difficult

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It's all about having the right equipment and ingredients. Almost anyone can handle making these drinks if they're given the right tools.

2. A good chunk of coffeehouse customers are regulars

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Maybe it's just my small town, but it seems as though those who like fancy coffee drinks like to come to get them at least once each week.

3. A lot of people are just looking for someone to talk to

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I've found that I spend multiple hours of my day simply keeping up a conversation with a customer. If they're not at the coffeeshop to work or stop by for convenience, they're often just looking for a person to chat with. Saying hi to someone sipping their drink might just make their day.

4. A macchiato is the same as a latte

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The only difference is the order the ingredients get put in the cup. The taste of the two drinks shouldn't be any different. Also, a mocha is just a chocolate latte. Mind blown yet?

5. So many people ask for "expresso"

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It's "espresso" guys. It's a pressed type of coffee, not a fast type of coffee.

6. Similarly, people don't know how to order their coffee

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It's not a big deal to have to figure out what a customer is asking for, but if you want to help your barista out, try to learn a little bit about coffee drinks. Most baristas would be happy to explain and the Google quick definitions do a great job as well.

7. Try to always tip your barista

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Before this job, I didn't ever tip at coffee shops because I knew it was completely optional. Now that I work at one, I realize that baristas put a great deal of effort into handcrafting your drink and making sure it fits your specifications. A tip is a nice way to say thank you.

8. Creative pastries sell well

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I get to make up muffin flavors each morning as I'm prepping to open the shop. Surprisingly, I've found that some of my more unique flavor combinations, such as coconut lime, are the ones that sell the best.

9. If you're trying to lose weight, cut down on flavor shots

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Most of the time, our standard amount of flavoring, which is less than many other coffee shops, ends up being an inch tall in the cup. Those syrups and sauces are straight up sugar and empty calories.

10. I need coffee now more than ever

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I have to get up earlier than I ever thought I physically could to make it work on time, so it's a real blessing that I'm surrounded by coffee.

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Please Spare Me From The Three Months Of Summer Break When People Revert Back To High Schoolers

They look forward to swapping stories with their friends at the local diner, walking around their old high school with a weird sense of superiority, and reminiscing their pre-college lives.

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I know a surprising amount of people who actually couldn't wait to go home for the summer. They look forward to swapping stories with their friends at the local diner, walking around their old high school with a weird sense of superiority, and reminiscing their pre-college lives.

Me? Not so much. I don't mean to sound bitter. It's probably really comforting to return to a town where everyone knows your name, where your younger friends want you around to do their prom makeup, and where you can walk through Target without hiding in the deodorant aisle. But because I did this really annoying thing where my personality didn't really develop and my social anxiety didn't really loosen its grip on me until college, I have a very limited number of people to return to.

If you asked someone from my high school about Julia Bond, they would probably describe her as shy, studious, and uptight. I distinctly remember being afraid of people who JUULed (did you get high from it? was it illegal? could I secondhand smoke it and get lung cancer?) and crying over Algebra 1 in study hall (because nothing says fun and friendly like mascara steaks and furious scribbling in the back corner while everyone else throws paper airplanes and plays PubG Mobile).

I like to tell my college friends that if I met High School Julia, I would beat her up. I would like to think I could, even though I go to the gym now a third of the time I did then. It's not that it was High School Julia's fault that she closed herself off to everyone. She had a crippling fear of getting a B and an even worse fear of other people. But because she was so introverted and scared, College Julia has nothing to do but re-watch "The Office" for the 23rd time when she comes back.

Part of me is jealous of the people who came into their own before college. I see pictures of the same big friend groups I envied from a distance in high school, all their smiling faces at each other's college football games and pool parties and beach trips, and it makes me sad that I missed out on so many friendships because I was too scared to put myself out there. That part of me really, really wishes I had done things differently.

But a bigger, more confident part of me is really glad I had that experience. Foremost, everything I've gone through has shaped me. I mean, I hid in the freaking bathroom during lunch for the first two weeks of my freshman year of high school. I never got up to sharpen my pencil because I was scared people would talk about me. I couldn't even eat in front of people because I was so overwhelmingly self-conscious. I remember getting so sick at cross country practice because I ran four or five miles on an empty stomach.

Now, I look back and cringe at the ridiculousness because I've grown so much since then. Sure, I still have my quirks and I'm sure a year from now I'll write an article about what a weirdo Freshman Julia was. But I can tell who had the same experience as me. I can tell who was lonely in high school because they talk to the kids on my floor that study by themselves. I can tell who was afraid of speaking up because they listen so well. I can tell who was without a friend group because they stand by me when others don't. I can tell who hated high school, because it's obvious that they've never been as happy as they are now.

My dislike for high school, while inconvenient for this summer, might be one of the best things to happen to me. I learned how to overcome my fears, how to be independent, and how to make myself happy. I never belonged in high school, and that's why I will never take for granted where I belong here at Rutgers.

So maybe I don't have any prom pictures with a bunch of colorful dresses in a row, and maybe I didn't go to as many football games as I should have. Maybe I would've liked pep rallies, and maybe I missed out on senior week at the beach. But if I had experienced high school differently, I wouldn't be who I am today.

I wouldn't pinch myself daily because I still can't believe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I wouldn't smile so hard every time I come back from class and hear my floormates calling me from the lounge.

I wouldn't well up when my roommate leaves Famous Amos cookies on my desk before a midterm, or know how to help the girl having a panic attack next to me before a final, or hear my mom tell my dad she's never seen me this happy before.

If I had loved high school, I wouldn't realize how amazing I have it in college. So amazing, in fact, that I never want to go home.

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10 Server Tweets To Help You Make It Through The Holidays

Being a server is a hard job. We need to laugh about it.

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For all my fellow servers and bartenders out there, happy holidays to all of you! We can make it through the rude customers, forgotten orders, and low tips together, but first, we need to take a break and remember what brings us all together... the TOO realistic tweets.

2. Your day off

EVERY. TIME.

3. Clocking in 

I work at noon, but I don't feel like working until 12:30 at least...

4. The table greeting 

Sure, let me just shut up now.

8. Customer service

It's 2019. We're eco-friendly this year.

10. The cliche customers 

We need a thread for this... because there's so many.

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