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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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            Published on March 22, 2019

            14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go

            14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go

            Greasy hamburgers at lunch or a buttered bagel is not everyone’s idea of a dream lunch. Healthy eating is important but not always so easy when you have little time on your hands. You may be forced to eat snacks that you do not enjoy in a rush.

            However, there are recipes that do not involve spending a lot of time or having special culinary skills. Try these 14 healthy easy recipes for busy people on the go.

            1. Green Salads

              Photo credit: bake your day

              Salads are super easy to make and require no cooking at all. Just chop up the ingredients and put it in a Tupperware and you are good to go. You can make a lot at once and keep for later.

              Ingredients:

              • Kale
              • Lemon
              • Olive oil
              • Salt
              • Pepper

              How to make it:

              1. Chop kale into small bite-size pieces. Squeeze out the lemon juice and whisk in olive oil, salt, and pepper.
              2. Toss kale in the mix and add bean sprouts or cheese

              2. Chickpea Slaw

                Photo credit: Unsweetened Caroline

                Ingredients:

                • ¼ cup plain yogurt
                • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
                • 1 tbsp. water
                • Salt
                • Black pepper
                • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
                • 2 ½ cups of sliced green cabbage
                • 2 stalks celery (sliced)
                • 2 shredded carrots
                • 2 tbsps. sesame seeds (toasted)

                How to make it:

                1. Stir together yogurt, vinegar, water, salt, and pepper.
                2. Add in chickpeas, cabbage, celery, and carrots.
                3. Toss and sprinkle in sesame seeds.

                3. Juice Your Greens

                  Photo credit: Loving it Vegan

                  Ingredients:

                  • A handful of kale
                  • A handful of cabbage
                  • A handful of parsley
                  • A stalk of celery
                  • An apple or a pear

                  How to make it:

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                  1. Place the ingredients one at a time into your juicer.
                  2. Put it in your favorite bottle and you are done!

                  4. Steamed Veggies And Meat

                    Photo credit: Gimme some oven

                    This recipe includes meat but does not take years to prepare. Steaming cooks the meal really fast. If you are a vegan, you can use tofu to substitute the meat.

                    Ingredients:

                    • Broccoli
                    • Meat (of your choice)
                    • Olive oil
                    • Salt
                    • Pepper
                    • Apple cider vinegar

                    How to make it:

                    1. Steam broccoli and meat in a steamer while drizzling the meat with olive oil and apple cider vinegar.
                    2. Remove the broccoli when it becomes soft and the meat when it is well cooked.
                    3. Remember to sprinkle on some salt and pepper.

                    5. Seared Meat and Vegetables

                      Photo credit: Gimme some oven

                      A skillet will come in handy for this dish. And yes, it is another meal with veggies and meat, you cannot go wrong with this. It is a mix and matches meaning you can switch up the oils, seasonings, and vegetables according to your taste.

                      Ingredients:

                      • Ground meat (of your choice)
                      • Vegetables (anyone you fancy)
                      • Organic oil/butter
                      • Store bought sauce/dressing
                      • Salt

                      How to make it:

                      1. Cook meat with heated organic oil/butter in a skillet over moderate heat for 3 to 4 minutes.
                      2. Add in shredded and chopped vegetables and stir until the meat cooks and the vegetables are semi-soft.
                      3. Put your salt or dressing to give it some extra flavor.

                      6. Green Smoothie

                        Photo credit: Yummy Mummy Kitchen

                        Smoothies are quite filling and combine fruits and vegetables for a healthy breakfast if you need to rush out in the morning.

                        Ingredients:

                        • 1 tbsp. Spirulina
                        • 1 banana
                        • 1 cup blueberries
                        • Milk/Soy milk
                        • Blend till smooth and enjoy. To make it thicker, add ice in with the ingredients.
                        • A tea smoothie

                        Note: If you like green tea, then try out this smoothie that uses your favourite tea and fruits:

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                        • ¾ cup green tea
                        • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
                        • 2 tsp. lemon juice
                        • 2 tsp. Agave nectar
                        • 1 small pear
                        • 2 tbsps. fat-free plain yogurt

                        How to make it:

                        Blend until smooth.

                        7. Feta Omelet and Toast

                          Photo credit: Improved Health Club

                          Toast and eggs will definitely taste different from this recipe.

                          Ingredients:

                          • Chopped broccoli
                          • 2 eggs
                          • 2 tsp. Feta cheese (crumbled)
                          • 2 slices toasted bread
                          • Olive oil

                          How to make it:

                          1. Cook broccoli for three minutes in heated skillet.
                          2. Mix feta, eggs, and dill in a bowl and cook in the pan for 3-4 minutes.
                          3. Eat with toast.

                          8. Banana and Almond Toast

                            Photo credit: Dolly and Oatmeal

                            This recipe is sure to keep you full until lunchtime.

                            Ingredients:

                            • 1 tbsp. almond butter
                            • 1 slice rye bread
                            • 1 sliced banana

                            How to make it:

                            Cover toast with almond butter and put banana slices.

                            9. Quinoa

                              Photo credit: Kitchme

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                              You can cook the quinoa the night before to reduce the amount of time spent on the dish.

                              Ingredients:

                              • 1 cup cooked quinoa
                              • 1/3 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
                              • 1 small tomato (chopped)
                              • 1 scallion (chopped)
                              • 1 tsp. olive oil
                              • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
                              • Salt
                              • Pepper

                              How to make it:

                              Gently toss all the ingredients in a bowl and voila, you are done.

                              10. Hummus and Beans

                                Photo credit: Pinch and swirl

                                Mashing your beans to create hummus takes just a few minutes.

                                Ingredients:

                                • ¼ cup canned white beans
                                • 1 tbsp. chopped chives
                                • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
                                • 2 tsp. olive oil
                                • Assorted Vegetables (chopped)

                                How to make it:

                                1. Combine beans, chives and lemon juice in a small bowl and mash till smooth.
                                2. Add assorted vegetables.

                                11. Egg Sandwich

                                  Photo credit: Home Sweet Eats

                                  Ingredients:

                                  • 2 cooked eggs (chopped)
                                  • 2 tbsp. Greek yogurt
                                  • 2 tbsp. red bell peppers (chopped)
                                  • ¼ curry powder
                                  • Salt
                                  • Pepper
                                  • Rye bread
                                  • ½ fresh spinach

                                  How to make it:

                                  1. Combine eggs, yogurt, bell pepper, curry powder, salt, and pepper and stir well.
                                  2. Place the spinach on the rye bread and egg salad.

                                  12. Swiss Sandwich and Ham

                                    Photo credit: My Recipe Magic

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                                    Whip up a simple but tasty sandwich.

                                    Ingredients:

                                    • 1 tbsp. Greek yogurt
                                    • ¼ Tsp. dried dill
                                    • 2 slices bread
                                    • 1-ounce lean sliced ham
                                    • 1 pear (sliced)
                                    • 1 1- ounce slice Swiss cheese

                                    How to make it:

                                    1. Combine yogurt and dill in a bowl and stir until blended.
                                    2. Spread mix on bread slices with ham, pear slices, cheese, and bread slice.

                                    13. Salmon Noodles

                                      Photo Credit: Killing Thyme

                                      Noodles take just a few minutes to cook and are extremely tasty.

                                      Ingredients:

                                      • 4 ounces noodles or spaghetti
                                      • 5 ounces asparagus (cut)
                                      • 1 (6-oz) salmon fillet
                                      • 1tbsp sesame oil
                                      • Zest and juice of 1-2 limes
                                      • Salt
                                      • Fresh pepper
                                      • 4 ounces cucumber (cut)
                                      • ½ avocado

                                      How to make it:

                                      1. Cook noodles for 6-8 minutes until soft.
                                      2. Strain and then add asparagus to boiling water.
                                      3. Cook for 2 minutes then rinse with cold water.
                                      4. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook for 2-3 minutes.

                                      14. Spaghetti Squash

                                        This is one of my favourite recipes on the go (all it takes is 20 mins)! I substitute pasta for spaghetti squash. No plate needed.

                                        Ingredients:

                                        • 1 spaghetti squash
                                        • 2 tsp of olive oil
                                        • 2 pinch’ of salt
                                        • 2 pinch’ of pepper

                                        Steps: 

                                        Check out the detailed steps in this full recipe here.

                                        All these recipes can be prepared with ease and have carbs, proteins and fat to keep you energized until your next meal.

                                        Featured photo credit: Brandy S via unsplash.com

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