How To Handle Snobbish Coffee Shop Employees- Amusing!

The following is an article (author unknown) from that I found to be humorous.  You may not find it to be that way.  Oh well.

How To Handle Snobbish Coffee Shop Employees

My son told me about the best espresso he ever had - espresso Cubana. It was simple to make. All I needed was an espresso grind and blend and the raw unrefined sugar. Over the course of the next week I had about a half dozen brews from my home espresso maker. It was a wonderful coffee experience.
About a week ago I was out and about, spotted a coffee shop, and pulled in for a shot of espresso Cubana. I even had my net book. I was feeling quite modern and new millennium, but certainly not metro. I was going to intellectually sip my espresso Cubana, connect into their wifi, and be hip. Although, my attire screamed, "You don't belong here!"
Approaching the counter I noticed no espresso Cubana on the menu. Alas I was going to order something they didn't have, look at those idiots behind the counter after saying they don't have it, and say "What! I've never heard of such a thing, a coffee shop without espresso Cubana."
My reason for taking this posture is that I'm put off by the coffee shop soda jerks. They try to appear so avant-garde, as if only they know the coffee world lingo and culture inside and out and only they can let me in. They want to make you feel like your waiting on the sidewalk at some upscale trendy club on the Strip in Hollywood or in Manhatten. Unless you order something trendy you can't come inside with the rest of us. I'm but a mere minion from a by gone era that was raised on the premise that there is nothing better than a good cup of Maxwell House. Every time I go into a coffee shop and order a latte or cappuccino the smug little twerp behind the counter will ask what kind? I will say, "A latte latte," or "a cappuccino cappuccino."
Often I wonder if they train the females to hold on to the last syllable of a sentence to sound snobbish and if a guy applies for a job they train him to sound effeminate before allowing him to interact with the public. Certainly nobody is born that way and parents don't raise them that way. They make coffee and work for tips for crying out loud! I get more sincerity and compassion from a civil service protected employee at the DMV or a hairy knuckled clerk at an auto parts store.
I listen to others order and it's like a list of extras on your car. I can't imagine coffee without anything other than cream and sugar. The other stuff dazzles me that some are so attuned to their taste buds that they need so much stimulation and care. They order in such a way that they would not think of having anything less than a Kenyan mountain roast blended with a Sumatran fine grind, a dash of Indonesian cinnamon, a touch of Irish mint topped with whipped goat's milk cream and poured over Perrier ice cubes and make that organic decaffeinated. I normally say, "Coffee black and the caffeine that dweeb didn't want stick it in my coffee."
Anyway I step to the counter to be out sophisticated by a twenty year old pink/purple hair, nose and ear pierced tattoo clad college sophomore who has changed his major twelve times since his last shift. "Can I help you?" He says. I froze up. I couldn't remember whether it was an espresso Cubana or a Cubana espresso. I said, "Do you have a Cubana espresso." "You mean an espresso Cubana." (and if I'd said espresso Cubana he'd have said, 'You mean Cubana espresso)
I didn't allow him get away with that. "That isn't the way we said it in Havana."
"Sure I can fix one up for you. Single or double?" (Dang it! I didn't get a chance to say, 'What! I've never heard of such a thing, a coffee shop without espresso Cubana.')
"Double," I said.
"Would you like a dollop of whipped cream."
"That ain't the way I drank it with Raul and Fidel." I smiled and said, "Rather than a dollop I'll take a dab."
"Aren't they the same," he said smugly.
He watched my eyes move slowly and gaze upon the tip jar. "Just so we know whose in charge here, I don't trust people who say dollop."
"You prefer dab."
"Dab, dip, spit, spatter or plop, but never dollop."
"Yes sir."
"Your tip is secure."
I thought about saying sometime, "A latte with Folgers's whole bean chopped by hand, with a rusty knife blade, a dash of kerosene, a pinch of ground buzzard's beak, a squeeze from a Peruvian migrant worker's sweat band, and the scrape from a wart hog's tongue, and don't forget to add the dollop of whipped cream - I'm no cretin."
Actually the snobbish jerk made a very tasty cup of espresso Cubana or is ist Cubana espresso?

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Replies to This Discussion

I love it.
Love reading about 'bunged on' airs and graces.
I used to think it was left behind with the 60s, but no, it's alive and well, still.
My town is a regional centre with an agricultural and mining base, and I called my shop Cafe La de da just to make it a bit 'tongue in cheek'. Nothing too La de da around here, we are all, really, just a mob of peasants.
LOL! That was a great story. Reminds me of the coffee house here in Sacramento who thinks it's a hot little number. I was served about the worst espresso shot I'd ever had: a cold 1/2 shot of espresso with no crema and told with attitude that's how espresso is served. Rubes!
I guess you could consider me somewhat rough around the edges. At no time will I accept snobbish treatment from a Barista. Having been in retail for many years and also working as a Barista these last few,
I strive to be professional, knowledgeable, and at all times courteous. I will, very quickly, set an unruly Barista straight. On a bad day I may just threaten to place his (or her) hand in that lovely Mazer grinder there behind the bar.Oh well, what can I say. Perhaps Duane really does have anger issues.At least they are not directed at valued customers--the very one's who keep our places of employment operating.
Honestly, from your telling of this story it sounds like you have more attitude than the barista did. Exactly how was he snobbish? He was polite and did his best to ascertain what you wanted. Furthermore, he was correct, it is espresso cubano since adjectives follow the nouns that they modify in Spanish. As a coffeehouse owner who hires twenty-something baristas, I'm very concerned and vigilant about my staff appearing snobbish or hipper than thou and I have fired some for this reason. But for the life of me I can't see what you objected to, or did you just not like his hair? It sounds like you were prepared to perceive the barista as snobbish before you interacted with him. That's pretty prejudicial isn't it?
This is bizarre. Putting aside the question of whether you're justified in thinking this barista was a snob... why are you a member of BX if you don't appreciate the subtlety and complexity of coffee? I am so tired of people calling baristas snobs when they attempt to educate their customers in the hope of improving their coffee experience.

Granted there are plenty of snobby baristas out there, but I think the vast majority of us are trying to help you enjoy your cup and expand your horizons. I think most cases of barista snobbery that I have encountered stem from the abusive treatment we receive from customers such as you.
To Alex and Bryan,
Sorry you did not find it humorous. This is not a personal story of mine. I pasted it from and decided to share it because I thought it was amusing. So count to ten and relax. I'm not bashing baristas.
Haha, I was reading this on a PocketPC and couldn't see anything but the body of the post. The sentiment stands, nonetheless.


B. R. Lehman said:
Der Ken,
Just re read my artticle. I'm sorry for the flack you took from your friends. It is tongue & cheek! I guess you don't tell barista jokes around baristas unless you happen to be a barista.
B. R. Lehman
It was a funny article, although it seemed less antagonistic and more flirtatious to me.

anyway, a bad barista is someone who's deeply insecure about the fact that they just graduated college and are still working at a coffee shop just like everyone else their age, and so, have to try puff up their importance by acting like a jackass. I've seen a similar attitude with chefs at small restaurants, who all act like artist primadonnas. A bad customer is someone who's deeply insecure about their hipness and afraid that they'll order wrong and be sneered at and seen as some kind of dumb ape creature, and so, act like a jackass when asked simple questions like "one or two shots?" As if they're being interrogated to see how worthy they are to be in the special club, when the barista is really just trying to make sure they get a drink that they'll like.

It's not that complicated. It's just a bunch of ego BS.


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