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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

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            Last Updated on August 15, 2018

            10 Surprising Benefits Of Dragon Fruit You Never Knew

            10 Surprising Benefits Of Dragon Fruit You Never Knew

            Dragon what? No, this is not a medieval-times myth where knights save princesses from fire-breathing dragons and win the coveted dragon fruit from a magical tree. That said, real dragon fruit does contain some pretty magical benefits that can make you feel like a beautiful princess or a knight in shining armor.

            In tropical and subtropical regions in South America and Asia, the dragon fruit flourishes and grows in abundance. Appropriately named, the dragon fruit’s outer skin is cactus-like, resembling that of the scales of a mythical dragon. Considered a cactus plant, its vibrant green and reddish-pink hues indicate that the fruit is full of nutrients, while the creamy white flesh spotted with black seeds gives way to many rich and natural properties.

            Video Summary

            Also known as pitaya, these fun-looking fruits contain around 60 calories each and are rich in vitamin C, B1, B2 and B3, and minerals such as iron, calcium, and phosphorus. And that’s not all. This is definitely one of the best “super fruits” out there.

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              Photo credit: Source

              1. Better Than Cheerios

              Dragon fruit has an extremely low amount of cholesterol, which ultimately helps the body break down this fruit quickly, keeping you happy and healthy. It’s the perfect fruit to maintain your weight and satisfy your sweet tooth.

              2. Heart Healthy

              Americans have increasing problems maintaining cardiovascular health. Fortunately, this fruit has an amazing superpower that helps decrease bad cholesterol levels and replenish good levels. Dragon fruit is an excellent source of monounsaturated fats, helping the heart stay in great condition.

              3. Fill Up On Fiber

              To clean up your digestive system, eat a dragon fruit. They have a high fiber content, which can assist with poor digestion and constipation. Eating the flesh and seeds, which contain good protein, will keep your body fortified and satisfied.

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              4. Active Antioxidants

              To rid the body of free radicals and cancer-producing properties, you can eat foods that contain antioxidants. Believe it or not, dragon fruit is giving acai berries a run for their money.

                Photo credit: Source

                5. Fights Diabetes

                The high amount of fiber in dragon fruit can ultimately help regulate diabetes, as it can stabilize blood sugar levels by suppressing sugar spikes. However, with any dietary changes or modifications, always consult your doctor to make sure this is a good food for you.

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                6. Reduces Signs of Aging

                Eating a dragon fruit with its rich antioxidants can keep the skin tight and young. You can even make a face mask using the fruit combined with honey as a natural alternative to anti-aging masks.

                7. Treating Colored Hair

                Dragon fruit juice is an excellent agent for treating colored hair. By simply putting the juice or a conditioner containing dragon fruit on your scalp, you can protect your chemically treated or colored hair. This will keep the hair follicles open, allowing your hair to breathe and remain healthy and smooth.

                8. Suppresses Arthritis

                Arthritis directly affects the joints and causes severe irritation and immobility. Adding dragon fruit to your diet can help you fight these ailments. Dragon fruit’s benefits for people suffering from arthritis are so great that it’s commonly referred to as the “anti-inflammatory fruit.”

                9. Avoiding Acne

                This treatment is not just for teenagers. Rich in vitamin C, this fruit becomes a great topical ointment. Turn a slice of dragon fruit into a paste and apply it to your reddened areas on your face or skin, then rinse with water. For best results, use twice daily.

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                10. Soothe Sunburned Skin

                By combining dragon fruit with cucumber juice and honey, you can create a compound much like aloe that can soothe burned skin. Abundant in vitamin B3, dragon fruit can moisturize sunburned skin and release heat from the affected area.

                  Photo credit: Source

                  How Can You Make Dragon Fruit a Part of Your Daily Routine?

                  Tired of the everyday apple or banana? Go ahead, you get permission to pick up the exotic fruit because it’s so good it should be forbidden. Dragon fruit is so easy to eat that all you need is a spoon to dig out its goodness, similar to a kiwi. Or, you can easily bite it right off of the peel for a quick fix. One dragon fruit will suffice as a snack, but soon you’ll be craving more. Try some of these recipes that call for dragon fruit here.

                  Just remember, even though they look beautiful on your counter, they are much more than a simple decoration. Reap the benefits of dragon fruit!

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