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9 Things Baristas Would Like To Tell Coffee-Lovers

9 Things Baristas Would Like To Tell Coffee-Lovers

The world clings to coffee. In fact, 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed every day in the world!

We drink coffee to be more productive at work, to get us through the night shift, and sometimes just to get ourselves out the front door in the morning. We grab a cup to go on road trips, hack our hotel room coffee pots, and indulge. Whether it’s a pour over or a fresh french press, coffee is widely popular and fairly addicting. It’s here to stay.

Over the past several years, I’ve worked as a barista at four different coffee shops, some local and small, some hugely corporate. The barista lifestyle takes elements of retail work, the face to face communication skills of customer service, the multitasking and sense of urgency of kitchen work and smashes it all into one job.

At its core, working in a coffee shop is a pretty simple endeavor. But workplace variables often make situations more difficult than necessary. These are the things your friendly barista wishes they could tell you.

Cappuccinos and frappuccinos are two entirely different things

One drink is an Americanized, frozen, sugar-infused coffee slushie and the other is a fairly bitter, extra foamy latte.

Do you know which is which?

For my own sense of sanity, I relied on Google to give me these answers. It took a total of 30 seconds for me to find three definitions that spell it all out. Here are the pieces of the proverbial coffee puzzle.

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frappuccino

    cappuccino

      frappe

        Frappe is the term for an iced or blended coffee drink, typically topped with whipped cream and some type of garnish such as sprinkles. It’s essentially a “coffee milkshake”. All frappuccinos are frappes but not all frappes are frappuccinos (you’ll only find a frappuccino at Starbucks).

        A cappuccino on the other hand is essentially a latte with lots of extra foam. If someone asks for an extra dry cappuccino it’s literally just shots of espresso and foam.

        Please let this lesson sink in: just because two things rhyme doesn’t mean that they are the same or even similar for that matter. Point in case, a cappuccino and frappuccino couldn’t be more polar opposite drinks.

        Public reading material and ‘for here’ cups aren’t your personal property

        While working at a coffee shop a few years ago, I witnessed a regular occurrence that still seems as ridiculous today as it did back then.

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        A regular customer, who we will refer to as Dick McGee, had a morning ritual that was both staggering and unsanitary. McGee would order his daily whole milk latte that he insisted be served to him in a mug–not a paper cup, which is totally understandable. I’m all for not wasting cups! However, McGee had an odd sense of entitlement associated with ‘his’ mug and ‘his’ newspaper and magazines.

        They certainly weren’t his. The reading material and ceramic mugs were for everyone to use, but that didn’t stop McGee from taking all of these items into the bathroom with him, every day. He used these items as entertainment while taking a ritualistic morning poop. We knew this was the case because the average time that the reading material would go missing was at least an hour or more.

        I don’t have the words to express how that conversation went down. Awkwardness resounded; McGee just didn’t understand the logic behind why he couldn’t take those things into the bathroom with him. But I’ll put it this way, we stopped giving him drinks in ceramic mugs, we started hiding the reading material, and we did our best to be friendly in such an atypical scenario.

        When buying drinks for your entire office, please plan ahead

        This scenario has happened to me so many times–it’s infuriating. Nothing completely throws off a crowded morning at a coffee shop more than a random drink order for the entire office. Buying a few extra drinks for your friends is one thing, but placing a 25 drink order on the spot is like a slap in the face of the morning rush and all the employees in that building.

        Furthermore, if you have a complicated drink order composed of dozens of uniquely annoying drinks, call in and place the order ahead of time. This will make every step of the process much more fluid and enjoyable for everyone involved, yourself included.

        Yes, the hot, no-room, Americano you ordered is going to be extremely hot

        Ever think about why many Americanos are double cupped by default at the majority of coffee shops? It’s because the water used in that drink is only a few degrees short of boiling in most cases. If you order a regular Americano without room, please analyze what it is you’re ordering. The drink is going to be really hot if you don’t order an iced one, end of story.

        We are champions of multitasking

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        multitasking

          Need a smoothie, three bagels with cream cheese, and five coffee drinks all on one order? No problem!

          Looking for a pound of coffee ground to gold cone filter, three loaves of banana bread, and a gift series of cards? You got it!

          Multitasking skills and barista work go literally hand in hand. We blend drinks while we are pouring shots. We brew tea while we are stocking fridges. And we do all of these things while conversing with customers and keeping a smile on our faces.

          Be respectful and please don’t get in the way of these superhuman multitasking skills. We want to get your coffee to you as fast as possible.

          Many baristas don’t plan on working this job their entire lives

          Although many baristas seem to be in it for the fruitful benefits of a coffee house career, I can assure you that the job is not permanent for most. Baristas commonly juggle working and attending college simultaneously. I can’t tell you how many people asked me if I was a barista “lifer” while I worked in coffee shops. It’s a job, not a prison sentence!

          While we love our work, we recognize that more opportunity exists. Although I have mixed feelings about the corporate chain that is Starbucks, they recently made a move that addresses this very topic.

          Starbucks is now offering free online schooling from Arizona State University to eligible baristas. This concept is a fresh one for the coffee shop workforce. Hopefully other coffee houses will follow suit in the future.

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          Pulling the perfect shot of espresso is an artform

          espressocomic

            It may look like the easiest thing ever but pulling a perfect shot is actually much more technical than most people realize.

            If you’re curious about the espresso shot protocol, refer to this resource.

            Starbucks jargon applies at Starbucks

            When you walk into a local coffee shop and order a Venti Caramel Macchiato, the barista will likely make you a large caramel latte with a smile. But don’t let that fool you. Inside they are fiery with vexed rage.

            Baristas are only pretending to not be annoyed because, quite frankly, Starbucks terms should stay at Starbucks. And for the love of God, don’t order Starbucks Secret Menu items at a local coffee shop. Newsflash! Not every barista has worked at a Starbucks. The lucky ones haven’t.

            Talking on your phone while you order is not cool

            This one is simple. Just don’t be rude! We get that you are a paying customer but try and project at least a glimmer of respect towards the person taking your order. Put down your phone for two minutes; it won’t kill you, I promise.

            Featured photo credit: 29/1.2014 – Larry the Barista/julochka via flickr.com

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            Robert Parmer

            Freelance Writer

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            Last Updated on September 29, 2020

            17 Weight Loss Recipes That Are Incredibly Nutritious and Super Delicious

            17 Weight Loss Recipes That Are Incredibly Nutritious and Super Delicious

            Fitness is not limited to workouts. In fact, your workout is just the beginning. Proper nutrition and supplementation are key components for a well-rounded fitness plan.

            This article not only provides healthy nutritional alternatives, but tips on which foods are best before and after a workout.

            Before your workout, your body needs calories. Not just any old calories, not empty calories, but calories that will fuel your workout with energy. After your workout, your muscles need replenishment, so it’s just as important to eat not long after exercise.

            The following recipes contain essential nutrients: Protein, fat, and carbohydrates. They are not only delicious and nutritious, these recipes will help you burn fat and gain lean mass. Not to mention, they are filling, easy, and don’t require a lot or prep time.

            1. 15-Minute Tex-Mex Chicken Salad

              Got 15 minutes? This is a great post-workout meal. It contains Omega-3 oil, protein, potassium, carbohydrates and a host of other nutrients to help replenish those lost during exercise. This Tex-Mex Chicken Salad is courtesy of Registered Dietician Matthew Kadey.

              Check out the recipe here: 15-Minute Tex-Mex Chicken Salad, Muscle & Fitness

              2. Chocolate Chia Recovery Drink

                Think about it. Our bodies lose a lot of water during exercise, leaving us dehydrated. And what’s one of the natural supplements to replace lost electrolytes? Coconut water.

                After a spin class, Crossfit, or HIIT, a Chocolate Chia Recovery Drink is perfect. Chia seeds are full of “good” carbs, mostly fiber, which means your body digests them slowly, keeping your hunger at bay. Bananas contain potassium which helps to curtail muscle cramps. Just blend and go!

                Here’s the recipe from the “Minimalist Baker:” Chocolate Chia Recovery Drink

                3. Blueberry-Almond Overnight Oats

                  Let’s face it, getting to the gym is hard enough. Who has time to muster up all kinds of ingredients, cook, and consume? Prepare Blueberry-Almond Overnight Oats. Full of fiber, protein and complex carbohydrates, this filling meal awaits you in the morning.

                  The antioxidants in the blueberries will help kick up and spit out free radicals that exists in the body, making way for smooth cellular activity. Prep time: Five minutes!

                  Here you go: Blueberry-Almond Overnight Oats

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                  4. Asian Jalapeno Chicken

                    Boost your metabolism! Spicy foods are great for speeding up your metabolism. They contain the almighty chemical, capsaicin, which will shift your body – and weight loss – into high gear!

                    If you can take the heat, get this perfect combination of protein and spiciness here: Damn Delicious Asian Jalapeno Chicken

                    5. Fat-Burning Chef Salad

                      Getting lean can require a lot of discipline for some people, but when you eat tasty foods, like eggs, smoked turkey, and an abundance of greens, your goal is more attainable.

                      Certain foods have fat-burning properties, such as turkey breast, tomatoes, celery, broccoli, blueberries, grapefruit, apples, onion, raw vegetables, and many others. Whether you’re getting in shape for a wedding or the beach, this salad will get you ready!

                      Check out the recipe here: Fat-Burning Chef Salad

                      6. High-Protein Chicken Meatballs

                        Protein shakes aren’t the only way to put on mass. It’s always preferable to consume real food as the body digests these more efficiently.

                        High-protein meals are best for gaining muscle mass, so if you want to get buffed or toned, a combination of protein, complex carbs, and heavy weight-training will get you there. Get the recipe, then get to the gym!

                        Here’s the recipe: High Protein Chicken Meatballs Recipe

                        7. Peanut Butter Banana Bulking Protein Shake

                          If you do, however, enjoy the convenience of a protein shake, make your own.

                          While it’s tempting to grab a protein bar or ready-to-drink protein shake, these usually contain ingredients which classify them as inflammatory foods. Unless you want to be bloated, steer clear.

                          This Peanut Butter Banana Bulking Protein Shake has a whopping 58 grams of protein, it’s a powerful source of fuel for athletes, and it tastes incredible!

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                          Here’s the recipe: Peanut Butter Banana Bulking Protein Shake Recipe

                          8. The Best Protein Brownies

                            Not a quick recipe but worth the wait, these melt-in-your-mouth brownies provide just the right amount of protein and “good carbs,” not to mention decadent dark chocolate.

                            So, if you’re the type who skips dessert due to guilt, you can enjoy these brownies with a clear conscience. Don’t forget to complement them with a nice cold glass of unsweetened almond milk.

                            For The Best Protein Brownies, go here: The Best Protein Brownies

                            9. Trainer Terri’s Light ‘N Healthy Chinese Vegetable Fried Rice

                              Yours truly loves Chinese Fried Rice so I came up with a way to remove all of the oily fats and sodium that are typical of this dish while maintaining the flavor. It’s packed with vegetables and healthy carbs, so if you need a little energy before your workout.

                              Try my recipe here: Light ‘n Healthy Chinese Fried Rice

                              10. Stuffed Bell Peppers with Turkey and Vegetables

                                Vitamins A and C are your friends when it comes to maintaining healthy immune system, and bell peppers contain them both.

                                This recipe for stuffed bell peppers is the complete package, with protein, vitamins, metabolism-boosters, Omega-3 oil, antioxidants, and potassium.

                                Check it out here: Stuffed Peppers with Turkey and Vegetables

                                11. Skillet Chicken with Cranberries & Apples

                                  Not getting enough fiber in your diet? If you’re irregular or you often feel hungry, it could be that your body isn’t getting enough of this much-needed nutrient.

                                  Soluble fiber, like oats, beans, barley, and even Brussel sprouts digest slowly which keep you from feeling hungry. You are sure to cut back on grazing throughout your day when you incorporate more fiber into your diet. Happy eating!

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                                  Here’s the recipe: Skillet Chicken with Cranberries & Apples

                                  12. Herby Pea and Lemon Pasta Salad

                                    Big on carbs? Try this wonderful medley of green peas, pasta shells, and rotisserie chicken and you’ll be in carbohydrate heaven.

                                    Loaded with B vitamins, the green peas will serve as good source of energy. This recipe yields four servings so you’ll have plenty left over for your lunchtime meal at work.

                                    Here’s the recipe: Herby Pea and Lemon Pasta Salad

                                    13. No-Cook Chicken Lettuce Wraps

                                      Not in the mood for carbs? Try these low-carb chicken lettuce wraps that have fewer than 8 grams of carbohydrates.

                                      With minimal prep, this meal is great when you don’t feel like cooking. Kids will be so focused on the chicken they’ll forget that it is wrapped in a vegetable.

                                      Get the recipe here: No-Cook Chicken Lettuce Wraps

                                      14. Turmeric Tomato Detox Soup

                                        In the winter months, instead of seeking out a good soup at a restaurant, you can have soup du jour in your own home!

                                        Rather than use drugs, like Ibuprofen, turmeric is a natural source of relief to alleviate inflammation in joints and muscles. This anti-inflammatory-detox soup is perfect when snuggling under a blanket while watching a movie.

                                        Get the recipe here: Turmeric Tomato Detox Soup

                                        15. Almond Snowballs

                                          The holidays just aren’t the same without cookies. These Almond Snowballs are yummy as an after-dinner dessert or to share at office holiday parties, or even as a reward after your workout.

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                                          This recipe calls for all-purpose flour, a refined carbohydrate, and sugar, both of which have a high glycemic index, causing your blood sugar to spike. These ingredients can be substituted with almond flour which is high in healthy fats and fiber, and Stevia, a sweetener that has zero calories and is plant-based.

                                          Get Rachael Ray’s recipe: Almond Snowballs

                                          16. Avo-Tahini Toast

                                            Avocado toast has become a healthy trend that is now popularly-featured on restaurant menus.

                                            It only takes four minutes to prepare, unless you add the boiled eggs, which could take another ten minutes but will add protein to this toasty treat.

                                            The Omega-3 fat from the avocado and the fiber from the whole grain bread will leave you satisfied and full. A great pre-workout meal!

                                            Get the recipe here: Avo-Tahini Toast

                                            17. Salmon Salad Sandwich

                                              You’ll look at a fish sandwich differently with this 15-minute meal. Perfect for lunch, this high-protein, high-fiber, Omega-3-rich Salmon Salad sandwich serves four, which is great for a small luncheon with friends.

                                              You can even serve them as hors d’oeuvres for a dinner party by cutting the sandwiches into fourths and pin them together with toothpicks.

                                              Get the recipe here: Salmon Salad Sandwich

                                              Final Words

                                              It is important to consume the aforementioned nutrient-based meals 45 minutes to an hour, both before and after your workout. If not, your body will use muscle for fuel instead of nutrients and, ultimately, you will lose lean muscle mass and become flabby.

                                              There is also the risk of getting light-headed and fainting due to low blood sugar as well as poor brain function, nausea, and, of course, you won’t achieve optimal exercise performance.[1]

                                              Featured photo credit: Christian Kaindl via unsplash.com

                                              Reference

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