On the never-ending mission to make the lives of friends in the service industry better, we've posted some rules of etiquette for how to treat servers, bartenders, hostesses, pastry chefs, and even your sommelier. However, along with probably your therapist, there's one person who consistently sees you at your worst and that person is a barista. We get it, you haven't had your coffee yet and you're staring down the barrel of the busy work day gun, but here are some things that heavenly purveyor of caffeine behind the counter just doesn't deserve.
You should absolutely stop:
See Also: Confessions of a Cold Brew Coffee Addict
Front of Line Phone Calls It seems that the people who are most impatient about waiting a few minutes in line are also the people who have the hardest time hanging up their phone by the time they get to the register. If someone is trying to talk to you in real life, especially if they're trying to provide a service as important as coffee, it's rude to be talking on the phone while they're trying to talk to you. It's also rude to put the one minute finger up in the barista's face so they know that your phone call will last one more minute and they are therefore forced to look at you and wait for you to decide your extraordinarily important phone call is finished. Is that not obvious? Sorry, thought that was obvious.
Ordering Like You're at Starbucks When You Aren't at Starbucks You can go to Starbucks all you want. No one is stopping you. But pretty much any other café in the world doesn't function within the confines of made-up Italian babble. There's no grande or venti and there's definitely not a Frappucino. It's not too much to ask that you look at the menu and order thusly.
Listening to Music or Videos -- Or Anything Else on Your Electronic Device -- Without Headphones Both your barista and everyone else in the coffee shop would appreciate it if you keep your crappy stoner rap and YouTube cat videos to yourself. I've literally watched one coffee shop patron watch a full episode of Glee without headphones before while I was trying to get work done. My level of annoyance was at a 10 out of 10, but I could tell the barista was closer to an 11. Some people actually try get work done at cafes and the barista is trying to make the environment conducive for customers to want to hang out and return another time, so quit ruining it for everyone. Plus, your taste in music is terrible.
Changing Your Order After It's Ready "I actually wanted this iced." Well, an iced latte and a hot latte are made completely differently so how is it the barista's problem that you didn't order it correctly? You can't reorder a steak because you meant medium rare when you said well done, so you can't order a new drink because you meant to order it with caramel. I've seen many a heartbroken expression wash over a barista's face when forced to pour a proudly made latte art into a to go cup -- but at least he or she didn't have to start over.
Straying Far From the Bar Until you have your drink, stay within earshot of the coffee bar. It's not the barista's job to do anything more than put it up there and yell a name. If you're not around to hear it, it isn't their fault. There's nothing more frustrating than watching a shot of espresso or a latte sit at the bar and basically die waiting for its owner to claim it. If you want the best quality out of your coffee, get it while it's hot.
If you need any further inspiration for how to treat a barista, you should try asking them how they are one day--you know, like a person. Also, check out the Bitter Barista for a double shot of LOLZ.
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