Montreal is home to a scary number of cafes and coffee shops (Starbucks notwithstanding). This means that, at some point or another, you or someone you know will end up slinging coffee across a counter for minimum wage plus tips. And unless you’re working by yourself, the tips are pretty shitty.
Despite the necessity of an early morning caffeine-drip, often customers will insist on treating their baristas like shit. Even coming in two or three times a day in order to continue the barista-bashing while stimulating their already-caffeine-addled brains.
So while there is already a fairly comprehensive list of ways to piss off your barista over at HuffPost, I still felt as though there were a few items missing from Ruby Browne’s list. Without further ado, here are another 10 ways to piss off your barista:
1. Order “To Go” and sit down at a table that seats four people. Proceed to stare at your phone for over an hour. Spill sugar everywhere.
Cafes are not like restaurants. There’s no fancy-shmancy hostess to guide you to your seat in order to maximize restaurant capacity. You get to choose where you sit and you better choose wisely. One of the most annoying things is when ONE person walks in and takes a table that can seat FOUR people. Especially after you’ve ordered your drink “to go”. To Go implies that you won’t be staying long, you just want to rest your feet after walking thirty seconds to the nearest Second Cup. But when you a) stay forever, b) take up space that other people could be using, and c) make a mess, it does not endear us to you. So don’t get pissy when a group of 4 walks in and we ask you politely to change seats. It’s your own damn fault in the first place.
2. Order a Caramel Macchiato somewhere that isn’t Starbucks.
Alright, I’m not sure what Starbucks’ game is, but a macchiato, in my book, is an espresso (long or short), with a little bit of hot milk. It’s not the fancy caramel latte with extra caramel and whipped cream on top with more caramel and a healthy dose of diabetes and a guarantee of a sugar/caffeine crash. And Starbucks is the only place where it’s actually called a Caramel Macchiato. Ask for a macchiato at any other coffee shop and you’ll be in for a sweet surprise when the barista hands your a shot of espresso with hot milk and a smug expression. Not that I understand why you would want to order a Caramel Macchiato in the first place; it’s disgusting (taste tested, bitches).
3. Talk loudly on your phone while waiting in line. Continue to talk on your phone while deciding what to order. While standing at the cash. With a line of people behind you.
(I googled “obnoxious phone talker”. This is what I found)
This is just rude so don’t be surprised if this earns you a stink-eye in the barista book. We can’t help you if you’re not paying attention to us. Just put your phone away for thirty seconds so you can order, pay, and then get out of the way. Thirty seconds. Possibly less if all you want is drip cofffee. Then it’s more like 10 seconds. Have some decency, people.
4. Ask detailed questions about the coffee, the answers to which we have neither the time nor inclination for.
Please, ask what brand of coffee we serve. Ask if we sell beans or grinds. That’s perfectly okay. Announce that you only drink “Fair Trade Equity Vegan Sun Life Pro-Vitality Anti-aging Non-carcinogenic Unroasted” beans and proceed to grill us on the finer points of the coffee’s taste? Prepare for an unimpressed look and directions to the nearest Starbucks for a Caramel Macchiato and a dusty bag of beans from Kenya.
5. Order ANYTHING decaffeinated.
If it’s busy enough, chances are the barista won’t even give you decaf. It’s a pain in the ass, takes forever to drip, and then we have to clean the filter again because the decaf tastes like crap. The better question is; why are you ordering a sugary latte WITHOUT CAFFEINE? I don’t really understand the Angry-Barista-Scenario where rude customers get decaf; you have to clean the filter, use a separate machine/container for the decaf, AND THEN YOU HAVE TO CLEAN THE FILTER AGAIN.
6. Read through the menu at the cash register. Dither over whether you should get a medium americano or just a small filter coffee. Glance at the line behind you. Dither some more.
Look, it’s okay for you to take your time deciding what you want. It sucks even more for you to make up your mind only to decide halfway through the latte-making process that you wanted some sort of cold, whoozhed (blended) drink instead. But please. The menus are behind the counter, mounted on the wall for a reason. They are there so you can read them while waiting in line, not so you can finally glance at them when you get to the cash register. Ask us questions, we like that, it stops us from giving you the wrong drink, but for fuck’s sake at least TAKE A LOOK at the menu before asking us what kind of coffee we serve.
7. Order a cappuccino. Leave all the foam at the bottom of the cup.
I think this might just be a Montreal/Quebecois/possibly-Canadian thing because I get people ordering cappuccinos ALL THE TIME and they never drink the foam. Maybe baristas elsewhere are useless at making cappuccinos, but in my book it’s one third coffee, one third hot milk, one third foam. Not 1/8th coffee, 1/10th foam and hot milk. That’s just a shitty latte. Maybe people just order cappuccinos because it sounds fancy and Italian. The flip side is that cappuccinos are a pain in the ass to make. We put in an extra bit of effort to give you what you expect and then you don’t drink it. Well screw you. How about I give you one of my signature dong-lattes next time?
(I don’t have any pictures yet but I assure you, I am quite adept at the penis-latte)
8. Order a matcha-soy latte with extra foam.
1. Matcha is disgusting.
2. Warm soy-milk is disgusting.
3. Would you like some mustache-wax with your hipster?
9. Tell your barista that you, too, worked at a coffee shop to put yourself through university. Congratulate them on how hard they’re working. Ask them what they’re studying.
Look, someone’s got to make your morning double-shot, non-fat, half sweet, whatever with no foam. But yes, baristas are often students since a coffee shop job does not often require extensive brain capacity or the ability to study for exams.
10. Ask for your bone-dry cappuccino to be “extra hot”.
Fine. We can do that. Asshole.