What Your Barista Wish You Knew

by Rebecca Smith about a month ago in advice

I've been a Barista for quite some time now, and honestly, take note. These are some of the most annoying, enraging, idiotic things we have to deal with from the general public. Don't be THAT customer.

What Your Barista Wish You Knew

I'm going to start with a quote. My old manager once said this, and it stuck with me, because it is so true -

“If your coffee order is more than four words, then you’re part of the problem.”

To be honest, there are so many things that customers do, that really annoy Barista's, but these have to be the worst. So please, read this and think long and hard about how to behave next time you pop into your local Cafe.

Being on the phone

Why do customers seem to think that it's okay being on the phone when ordering? You wouldn't go to a meeting at work and just sit on the phone to your girlfriend the whole time. I had it once, where I was trying to tell a customer that we didn't have Soya left, so was there another alternative milk he wanted, He told me to 'shh' because he was on the phone and waved his hand at me to leave him alone. I mean, how rude?!

How you pronounce Espresso

Ohhh, this is a big one. Since when did Espresso have an x in it? Oh wait, it doesn't! So WHY do people insist on ordering an 'expresso?' Please, for the love of all things coffee, pronounce it correctly. It isn't hard. Es-press-o. Not Ex-pres-o.

Not knowing what you’re drinking

A Cappuccino is coffee with frothy milk/ foam. A Latte is coffee with hot milk. So, when you ask for a Cappuccino with no foam, you sound like a monumential idiot. Also, ordering a Cortardo doesn't make you cool, so stop ordering it thinking that people are going to fall at your feet. We aren't. You're a grown arse man with a tiny cup. Get over yourself.

Asking where the bin is and then not using it

"Where's the bin?"

"Just under the sugar over there"


*Customer proceeds to leave rubbish all over the sides*


Telling them how to do their job

Ah yes, we love being told how to make coffee. Because our extensive training wasn't enough, oh no, we need some random Karen to tell us how to use the coffee machine. Wait a sec, no, no we don't. I'm fully aware how to throth milk, I know how many shots each coffee requires and I know the difference between the cup sizes. So, thank you, but please just let me do my job.

Assuming that they’re dumb and can’t get a proper job

Where would you be without your morning coffee? Probably some form of Zombie mess who couldn't function. So why make derogatory comments about your Baristas? I have an MA from University and I worked as a Barista to get me through my BA and MA. So, maybe think about it before you start being an idiot claiming that you have to be dumb to work there.

Ordering as if you’re in Starbucks

Starbucks has it's own weird idea as to what Coffee is. (Spoilers, their coffee is actually the most disgusting, tasteless excuse for coffee that you could buy, but whatever). So, when you're at a different Cafe, stop trying to order as if you're at a Starbucks. Their drinks are weird and not what you'd be able to get anywhere else. We call our drink sizes what NORMAL people do, and that's small, medium and large. Stop trying to be a hippie and order a grande or whatever. Most coffee shops pay their taxes. We're not Starbucks. Nor do we ever wish to be. So show some respect. Thanks.

When they order a drink, and forget to tell you they wanted it a specific way, only to tell you AFTER you’ve made it

If you have an alergy and require dairy free milk, it's generally best you tell us BEFORE you make your drink, instead of moaning that we couldn't read your mind before we made it. Also, it's custom to go for full fat milk (blue lid) milk in a Cafe, so please say if you want skimmed or semi-skimmed before we make your drink. We are not mind readers unfortuntely, so we would appreciate you telling us your order in full.

Complaining about the prices

We don't control the pricing. We agree that the prices are mental. We hear you. But we cannot change it, so please don't have a go at us.

Paying with a £20 note at 5am

This one really annoys me. When the Cafe first opens, they only have what is in the float, which means, not having the change of a £20 note. Pay by card if you don't have anything smaller. But please, just be a bit more respectful and use your brain.

Complaining that a hot drink is too hot

If you order a hot drink, guess what? IT'S GOING TO BE HOT!!!

Asking for an extra shot when you have decaf

Yeah, what is with that? It's decaf? It makes no sense? I don't understand you people.

Putting the money on the counter, instead of handing it to you

We don't have some weird disease, just hand us the money you ignorant twat.

Just asking for a coffee - which one do you fucking want?!

Honestly, looking blankly at the menu and just saying you want a coffee is not going to cut it. Unless you're old, that's not going to fucking work. Just order what you want and stop wasting my time.

Rebecca Smith
Rebecca Smith
Read next: 'Chocolate Kisses'
Rebecca Smith

Writer by trade and by passion

See all posts by Rebecca Smith