Has a customer asked you a question or say something that was completely out of line? Let us know here. The most common questions and phrases will become an article for my blog.

~Jennifer

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Brady said:
The first is to understand standard drinks and common variations beyond your shop. Yes, barista training helps with that, but so does reading and participating in discussions here. A good foundation is really, really useful.

Insert standard rant about industry standards here.

Anyhoo, on that and on the dirty 'to-go' cups, you only have your own brethren to blame for these. If I've my own cup with me, but I haven't been home since my last cuppa, do I (a) keep it to myself and get a paper cup, (b) ask the barista to let me get behind the counter to clean it before handing it to them, (c) tell them not to bother cleaning it out, just pull right into the cup, or (d) risk the wrath of the barista to have them clean it.

(I usually go with (e) Request that they run some hot water into it before pulling my shot to warm the cup, please, that's a sufficient rinse for my new drink for me)
Yep They are the ones that make it worth while, I have recently moved interstate so I now look forward to winning over some brand new customers!


Dustin DeMers said:
Yes and Yes, How can someone be so oblivious that dont look at there drink before they drink it. Or is it that they dont think recall how there latte has looked other places? Seems like the times when your most proud of your work, the people dont bat an eye. But then some customers are overly excited about it, which makes up for the ones that dont care. I had one lady that regardless if the art was awesome, or totally disastrous would make a big fuss about it. I miss her...

Alison McD said:
Does break your heart just a little when you go to so much effort and are so proud of your art and they just chuck sugar in and stir it without even a glance... but then you have others who are very excited and even want to take pictures!



Daniel Gruska said:
Its not that bad and certainly doesn't warrant retaliation, but it really sucks when a customer looking at a perfectly poured three tiered tulip looks up and asks "Did you do that on purpose?"
Had this comment one time at the one of the stands I managed for 11 years...

"Hi, I've never seen you before... Are you new?" (insert snotty voice)

Um Yeah that'll make me want to pull you some rockstar shots.
If there were other customers in line, could he not have just waited until you opened the register again?



Ginamarie Gianandrea said:
I try to keep in mind that most people I see on a daily basis have zero coffee knowledge and try to guide them to what they'll enjoy most.
However, I've always worked in wealthy areas and the holier than thou attitude I encounter on a daily basis drives me up the wall. Yes, I make minimum wage as a barista. I'm a student, what should I be doing? I understand that you're like, the most important AMEX black cardholder I've ever seen, but I'm not impressed. Yes, I can break a hundred. No, I'm still not impressed.
I smile when people order a medi-UH I mean grande anything. English was my first language, people.

Very rarely have I encountered anything truly out of line. One experience comes to mind: shortly after moving to the bay area, a man in his early 20's orders from me at my till, which locks between transactions. After handing me, say, a 5 for his 4.35 total, I ring him up and hand him change, then close my till. It will not open again until there is another cash transaction, but he's found exact change and would like to get a rounded dollar back. I explain to him that, sorry, I cannot open my till and I apologize. He then proceeds to call me a stupid bitch and walk to the other side of the cafe. I bite my tongue and continue to help customers, until I hear him speaking loudly to those around him about how the "stupid bitch at the register can't do math".
Only time I've ever kicked a customer out of my store without his beverage.
I never understood the 'half-caf' anything.



Rex Noble said:



i get pretty irritated anytime someone asks for a "Half-caf, half-decaf, nonfat, no foam, sugar free vanilla, white chocolate mocha with whipped cream"
Just say I don't have any cardamon. and no zingari to read your grounds.

Jeremiah Perrine said:
Or...
"Can I get a turkish coffee?"
"No. I'm sorry. That's the one method we're just not prepared for."
"Do you even know what it is?"
"Yes sir, I'm well aware of what it is. I'm just not willing to serve coffee using a method that I can't do properly."
"Do you have a grinder capable to go that fine? Cause you could just heat the water to boiling using your microwave."
"Sir, we're not able or willing to use a method if we can't do it properly. Which is why you don't see it on our menu. What else can I get you."

I've been doing this for years. I know what turkish coffee is and how to make it. I just don't want to sacrifice my standards. All the sudden, I'm the one being silly?
This isn't so much coffee, but it just happened to me today at work.

A rather eccentrically (is that a word) dressed older woman came in as I was setting up our Christmas tree in the corner. She looked at me with a very sour face and said "Oh, I suppose seeing you're now a Pagan shop I will no longer be giving you my business."

Now, we have all kinds of decorations in the shop (menorahs, some "Happy Kwanzaa" signs, angels, nativity scenes, etc), so it made me laugh that she would be so offended by a Christmas tree that she would no longer give us her business. Oh well, she also used to come in and tell me that the apron I was wearing looked tacky with my frame and that I was giving her a migraine by grinding her shot (she expected us to have grinds in the hopper at all times). She had a whole mess of fun things about her. My favorite was when she looked at the tip jar, scowled, looked up at my coworker and said "You should be tipping ME for giving you business."
Laugh. Out. Loud.

Sadly, I'm sure she'll be back tomorrow.
ha!my god, im glad i dont have regulars this annoying.


Ronette Reynolds said:
This isn't so much coffee, but it just happened to me today at work.

A rather eccentrically (is that a word) dressed older woman came in as I was setting up our Christmas tree in the corner. She looked at me with a very sour face and said "Oh, I suppose seeing you're now a Pagan shop I will no longer be giving you my business."

Now, we have all kinds of decorations in the shop (menorahs, some "Happy Kwanzaa" signs, angels, nativity scenes, etc), so it made me laugh that she would be so offended by a Christmas tree that she would no longer give us her business. Oh well, she also used to come in and tell me that the apron I was wearing looked tacky with my frame and that I was giving her a migraine by grinding her shot (she expected us to have grinds in the hopper at all times). She had a whole mess of fun things about her. My favorite was when she looked at the tip jar, scowled, looked up at my coworker and said "You should be tipping ME for giving you business."
Laugh. Out. Loud.

Sadly, I'm sure she'll be back tomorrow.
My shop is in a resort/golf course that has higher scaled houses in it. Usually the resort guests are super nice, but something about the "rich" home-owners is just off. They rarely tip, usually say something rude or nasty and generally have the "holier than thou" attitude about them.

I actually just got called by my co-worker who was laughing because one of the regulars (knows absolutely nothing about coffee, but was once told that espresso helps her lose weight, so she's in every day) just popped in and asked for a mocha with no chocolate and the espresso steamed in with the nonfat milk.

We get all kinds of fun stories daily.

Dustin DeMers said:
ha!my god, im glad i dont have regulars this annoying.


Ronette Reynolds said:
This isn't so much coffee, but it just happened to me today at work.

A rather eccentrically (is that a word) dressed older woman came in as I was setting up our Christmas tree in the corner. She looked at me with a very sour face and said "Oh, I suppose seeing you're now a Pagan shop I will no longer be giving you my business."

Now, we have all kinds of decorations in the shop (menorahs, some "Happy Kwanzaa" signs, angels, nativity scenes, etc), so it made me laugh that she would be so offended by a Christmas tree that she would no longer give us her business. Oh well, she also used to come in and tell me that the apron I was wearing looked tacky with my frame and that I was giving her a migraine by grinding her shot (she expected us to have grinds in the hopper at all times). She had a whole mess of fun things about her. My favorite was when she looked at the tip jar, scowled, looked up at my coworker and said "You should be tipping ME for giving you business."
Laugh. Out. Loud.

Sadly, I'm sure she'll be back tomorrow.
I was once working at a drive through store and had somebody order a "Tall, Nonfat, 200 degree mocha". Not wanting to scald the milk, I did not steam it to 200 degrees. The man pulled up in Mercedes, scoffed when I tried to be engage in friendly conversation, and promptly took the temperature of the drink I handed him with a digital thermometer. He made me remake it twice... I think the the next one was at about 195 degrees, not 200. When he was driving away, I saw that he had a bumper sticker that said "Money is all that matters".
EXACTLY, because trash bags are 100% spillproof (laugh) and oh so convienent to change when full of perfectly good coffee. But whats even better is when you have a self-serve bar (we do) and people fill their own cup up too far and proceed to dump the excess in the trash can. UGHH!


Allison K. said:
One thing that I absolutely hated was when customers would come in and ask for a little room in their coffee. Now, I had no issue giving them the room in the cup, but when I would pour the coffee, show it to the customer and ask if that amount was enough, I would get yeses and nos (which again are not a problem) and my favorite "well its not enough but that's OK, I'll just pour it out in the trash." *eye twitch*
This happened to one of my employees this past weekend:

A lady comes into the shop...
Lady: "I'll have a large latte made with half-n-half, but ABSOLUTELY DO NOT STEAM THE MILK!" I heard her yell from the kitchen.
LC: "You don't want the milk steamed? You want me to just pour it in with the espresso, kind of like an iced latte without ice?"
Lady: "Yes, no steam, no foam. Just espresso and half-n-half. No whip."
LC proceeds to make the iced breve latte minus the ice and walks it out to the lady.
Lady: takes a sip..."What is this garbage? I come here all the time and never have a problem ordering my drink. You are obviously new here."
LC: "I'm sorry ma'am, let me remake it for you. Just so that I make it right, you wanted a large latte with cold half-n-half?"
Lady: "NO THANK YOU! I don't want you to make me ANYTHING! I don't know what the problem is but this is rediculous."
LC: "Please, I want nothing more than to make you happy..."
At this point, the assistant manager went out to speak with the angry lady...
JW: "I'm sorry for the confusion. Here is a refund of your money. I know you come in here pretty often and you usually order a large hot breve latte. If that's what you were trying to order, would you like me to make that for you?"
Lady: "I SAID NO! I explained what I wanted one time! I do not want a refund and I do not want another drink. I've learned that I obviously cannot order coffee here anymore!"
JW: "Are you sure there is nothing we can do for you?"
Lady: "NO!"
The lady promptly took a seat and used our free wi-fi for the next six hours without ordering anything!

I have never met a more unpleasant customer! What made it most frustrating is that she was so unwilling to accept our apologies, refund, or even a remade drink but was so willing to use our free wi-fi and premier seating area!

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