Hey Guys,
Don't you hate it when people order their drinks "extra hot" ?

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I live and work in a town that is 5500' in elevation, so water boils at 202 degrees. About 10 degrees shy of boiling point at sea level. So this means that milk scalds at about 180 degrees. So when I get some lunatic asking for a 180 of extra hot or 200 degree latte, I politely ask them if they like the flavor of scalded milk?. When they say no I just make them a 160degree or so latte. If they say they do like scalded milk, I tell them that I won't remake it if they don't like it, and then I steam the milk until it looks nice and Angry. No Doubt its going to taste horrible, but the customer is always right.
Kristina Ward said:
I have one customer who insists on her drink being heated to 220 degrees. it is SO disgusting and such a pain to get it that hot because it turns into bubbling exploding lava. i once heated it to 200 degrees and she brought it back complaining that it wasn't hot enough =|


Funny. That whole "being physically impossible" thing never bothered her at all, eh? Looks like someone needs to calibrate their thermometers...
I figure the "extra hot" milk thing may be some kind of freudian link back to childhood. Many mothers in the 50's, 60's and 70's shipped their kids off to bed with a cup of hot milk that often had had the guts boiled out of it on a stove. Maybe the "taste" in particular of over heated milk massages those memory receptors? I cant think of any other reason why customers often insist on HOT (above 75c)
Absolutely! I could not agree more! We're the ones who know what we're doing and what we're talking about. It's our duty and RESPONSIBILITY to educate the customer, however, what they decide to do from that point on is their choice (whether we like it or not they're paying for it...). It's not like they're going to look at us like we're idiots or something when we tell them that the milk burns and doesn't taste so hot (no pun intended) when it is steamed past a certain point.

That thermometer is a pretty good idea though... :) hehehe

Kevin Kerkhof said:
I have an extra thermometer calibrated 20 degrees hotter than normal, then after I finish the drink, I stick it in there, show them, and say "A perfect 180!"

Just kidding.

We have a couple of insistors. All you can do is educate them, then make a choice if you want to keep them as a customer or not. I'd keep them as a customer and just keep educating them with peer pressure.
Brady said:
Funny. That whole "being physically impossible" thing never bothered her at all, eh? Looks like someone needs to calibrate their thermometers...

You can use a pressure cooker. It can reach 252F before it boils. But you will need to wait for it to cool down before opening, anyway.
Sometimes I question myself on this whole "customer is always right" business.

I think about gourmet chefs, and I wonder how they would react to a patron marching into their kitchen and demanding something be overheated or overspiced or otherwise abominably destroyed. Granted, we're not all quite to the level of being a Michelin starred chef, and I do believe it takes some demonstration of experience and knowledge to be able to cop that sort of attitude - but dammit, I really wish customers stopped taking us for granted and learned to trust the barista behind the counter as knowing how the coffee and milk functions. I cringe when I get a drink handed back to be reheated. I explain about scalding milk and so on. I try to find out why the customer wants it ruined.

I might use the tactic described earlier, and just microwave the milk next time someone wants it that insanely hot. "It's the only way I can justify burning your milk, as I can't subject my steam wands to the possibility of getting burned, caked on milk solids inside". That sounds plausible, right?
I get a ticket order for a medium skim latte. A man walks up to me and says
"make this as hot as you can hold it." I nod my head and proceeded to pull my shots and texture my milk.

The milk approaches a temperature that burns my hand a little and I quickly stop and put the pitcher down. I know the temperature was around 180+. I poured his latte, smile, then walk away to rinse my pitcher.

I come back and he says "Could be hotter."
I reply " It's difficult for us to hold pitchers that reach 180 degrees"
"Then figure out a way" he says. "Coffee is suppose to be hot"
"A Latte is NOT suppose to be as hot as brewed coffee" I tell him.
"Whatever you say buddy" and he walks out.


I will not burn my hand for a customer(I did slightly for this man). Simply not fair to me an all barista.
Totally agree on the 135-140 range. Way beyond that is just plain awful. 220? That's ridiculous. Most customers want it extra hot just so it remains "hot" longer. Some folks are need to be reminded that coffee is meant to be consumed right after it's served, not to last a lifetime.

Kristina Ward said:
I have one customer who insists on her drink being heated to 220 degrees. it is SO disgusting and such a pain to get it that hot because it turns into bubbling exploding lava. i once heated it to 200 degrees and she brought it back complaining that it wasn't hot enough =|

Bryan Wray said:
Brendon Parsons said:
I've told customers that it's a safety hazard, since overheated, quickly swirling milk could do some real damage to my hands if it splashed out of the pitcher. 200 degree latte customers are rediculous.

Wow, 200? Really? Like you've had customers ask for 200, or you're just throwing a number out there...? My idea of extra hot is 175. I've never even attempted to take milk to 200. I wonder what that tastes like... *shivers.*

-bry
Lord that is NASTY!

Kristina Ward said:
I have one customer who insists on her drink being heated to 220 degrees. it is SO disgusting and such a pain to get it that hot because it turns into bubbling exploding lava. i once heated it to 200 degrees and she brought it back complaining that it wasn't hot enough =|

Bryan Wray said:
Brendon Parsons said:
I've told customers that it's a safety hazard, since overheated, quickly swirling milk could do some real damage to my hands if it splashed out of the pitcher. 200 degree latte customers are rediculous.

Wow, 200? Really? Like you've had customers ask for 200, or you're just throwing a number out there...? My idea of extra hot is 175. I've never even attempted to take milk to 200. I wonder what that tastes like... *shivers.*

-bry
Burnt milk and froth is like burnt redfish or salmon (Blackened fish), both the drink and the fish are ruined. If you like the burn flavor you are not drinking or eating the product properly prepared. I will not use a foo-foo dust (5-8 herbs and spices on any fish and burn it in an iron skillet and I won't serve burnt milk in a coffee drink - period..
Samantha Bako said:
Sometimes I question myself on this whole "customer is always right" business.

I think about gourmet chefs, and I wonder how they would react to a patron marching into their kitchen and demanding something be overheated or overspiced or otherwise abominably destroyed....

Though I agree with your sentiment, that's exactly what happens when a steak is ordered "well done". I believe the usual response is to make the steak, perhaps with a tactful "are you sure?" by the waiter.

I personally like my steak cooked medium. Some would suggest that I'm destroying a perfectly good piece of meat by cooking past rare. I've tried rare and medium-rare and personally just enjoy it more when cooked slightly more. I would not return to a restaurant that insisted that their chef knew better than I what I liked. Would you?

I think there are reasonable limits for extra-hot lattes. Set your cutoff, and know why you make it that. Understand the point at which the milk is actually destroyed and don't go beyond it. But try and think beyond the idea that this point is 140. It is possible that your customer may actually prefer the taste of milk at 170. Find out why they want it that hot. If it is to make it last longer, suggest a travel mug instead.
we have a guy who refuses do drink it if its any less than 200... and he can tell when we dont' do it.. and it makes me dislike him.. ahaha

Bryan Wray said:
Brendon Parsons said:
I've told customers that it's a safety hazard, since overheated, quickly swirling milk could do some real damage to my hands if it splashed out of the pitcher. 200 degree latte customers are rediculous.

Wow, 200? Really? Like you've had customers ask for 200, or you're just throwing a number out there...? My idea of extra hot is 175. I've never even attempted to take milk to 200. I wonder what that tastes like... *shivers.*

-bry

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