I had this guy come in yesterday and basically ask me to make him the crappiest espresso shot I could muster. "Double espresso, extra long pour." I showed him how big our espresso shots are and asked him if he wanted me to make an additional 2 shots so that he would have more espresso but it would be a better quality. He ok'd the idea and I started pulling 4 shots. One side was coming out too blonde so i stopped it and was refilling the basket when he pointed to the shots and said "What's this?" I explained what happened and said that the blonde shots would be bitter and flavorless, so I was making him new ones. "I know! I want it to be bitter! Let me have those." I said, "Espresso is bitter, but these will be more bitter than they should be and you won't be able to taste the other flavors in the bean."
"I know! This is the way I like it!" He says, getting irritated. Then he takes a sip and says "Mmm. Perfect!"
"I'm glad you like it." I say politely.
"I'm sorry you had to ruin your shot, but espresso has been my drink of choice forever."

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Comment by Kane Blaber on December 28, 2008 at 3:53pm
The coffee scene here in Brisbane Australia is still full of alot of people like this guy, where they have been given something bad for so long that they think its the norm. They get the word 'like' confused with the words 'what I am use to being served' for example..... BOILED MILK!!!! So many hot hot coffee drinkers here because at one stage thats all you could get. So they have been instiutionalized on bad habits and poor quality coffee. Thankfully this is changing and changing fast, but yeah, you still get a few out there.
As for this guy and his bitter espresso shots, my advice would be not to get too down hearted on him, but take up the challenge of being the one who opens his eyes to a good shot. I find alot of people that i have served who like bitter shots arent ones for a sweet pallat, so introduce him to a middle pallat single origin or blend. Thats if he is open for it, if he isnt, well, some people just dont like change.....
Comment by Katie Jo on November 2, 2008 at 5:51pm
He probably just found out about espresso.
Comment by Amanda Latham on October 31, 2008 at 2:29pm
For sure. At least he was happy. We'll see what happens next time.
Comment by Eyal on October 30, 2008 at 11:33pm
It's tough being a pro. Coffee, like many other things in life is 50% perception 50% reality. Theoretically, if you had given him the "right" shots with the same dialog he would have reacted exactly the same to the drink. Well, as long as he is happy…Regardless, his attitude seems challenging....caffeine deprived at that time perhaps…

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