7 Things That Drive Baristas Absolutely Crazy

by Taylor Henriquez

Imagine working in an environment that caters to people who haven’t had their morning coffee, their afternoon pick-me-up, or their evening tea. A position that literally sees the best of humankind (coffee = superpowers), and the worst of humankind (lack of coffee = tantrums). Baristas are special, saintly people — but it still should be of no surprise that there are certain things that baristas hate.

Just like you complain about your office job, or your 8 a.m. class, baristas around the world are rolling their eyes every time you grab 10 Sugar In The Raw packets for your small latte. And it’s not always about your attitude or coffee shop etiquette, either — it’s also the way you want your drink prepared. Watching someone request skim milk in their $4.50 small cup of single-origin blend coffee is enough to make your barista’s skin crawl.

Because get this, some baristas aren’t just there for the paycheck — they actually care about coffee. They care about whether the beans were fair trade, the duration from when the beans were roasted to when they received them in-store, and best brewing methods. They may be providing you, the customer, with a service, but make no mistake — they’re still the ones holding your kryptonite. Here are seven things that drive your barista absolutely, positively crazy.

1. DIY Drinks

Everyone likes a good deal, but the jig is up. Requesting two shots of espresso and a cup of hot water is not fooling your barista, who has every right to charge you for an Americano. Most importantly, let people who know how to make coffee make your coffee. You are only hurting yourself and your caffeine buzz.

2. Blended Iced Drinks

Yes, they’re refreshing on a hot day, but often times the bulk of your cup is three-quarters ice, and one-quarter coffee. You know what doesn’t have flavor? Ice. You know what melts and further dilutes any flavor that’s present? Ice. Your barista wants you to do better.

3. Secret Menu Items

This one deserves a reminder: if you are going to order something that's not on the menu, like a Butterbeer latte, don't just assume that your barista is going to know what you are talking about. Be ready to explain the ingredients by which to make it, and please, try not to order a secret menu drink at 8:30 a.m. on a Monday when there is a line out the door.

4. Ordering While On The Phone

You talkin’ to me? Self-explanatory. Hold your conversations until after you order, please and thank you.

5. Adding On Extras After You’ve Already Paid

Genuinely forgetting to add something to your drink until after you already paid is one thing, but then there are those people who intentionally wait to ask for a pump of caramel syrup after paying in hopes of getting it for free. You know who you are.

6. Dumping Hot Coffee In The Garbage

If you want to add milk or cream to your coffee, let your barista know beforehand to “save room for milk.” You are inadvertently causing a mess for whoever has to take out the trash. Plus, why are you dumping out coffee that you just paid for, oh crazy one?

7. Adding Sugar And Milk To Good Coffee

Like wine and chocolate, coffee beans take on different flavor profiles and aromas depending on where they were grown. For example, coffee beans from Ethiopia are known to have a sweet berry flavor, while coffee beans grown in Brazil are thought to have flavors of chocolate and spice. You’ll pay a premium for the coffee that comes from these beans, but this is what coffee should taste like — not sludge, not gasoline, and not burnt toast that needs to be masked by four packets of Sweet 'N Low and milk.

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