Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

        Advertising

        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

        Advertising

        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.

          Advertising

          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

            More by this author

            Robert Parmer

            Freelance Writer

            There’s No Perfect Family, but a Happy Family Doesn’t Need to Be Perfect The One Technique You Need to Turn Boring Writing into Compelling Words Overcoming Seasonal Depression Through Outdoor Activities How Students Can Combat Stress, Depression, and Anxiety [TIMELY TOPIC] Helpful Halloween Safety Tips for Everyone

            Trending in Coffee

            1 12 Scientific Reasons Why You Should Drink Black Coffee Every Day 2 6 Reasons Why French Press Makes the Best Coffee 3 10 Best Coffee Makers that Make Amazing Coffee Anywhere at Any Time 4 5 Counterintuitive Reasons to Love Your Coffee Even More 5 Discover the Many Advantages of Drip Coffee Makers

            Read Next

            Advertising
            Advertising

            Published on October 12, 2018

            15 Flavorful and Healthy Family Meals That are Perfect for Picky Eaters

            15 Flavorful and Healthy Family Meals That are Perfect for Picky Eaters

            I think you’ll agree with me when I say that finding one meal that everyone in the family likes is a challenge!

            But as busy parents we also don’t want to have to make separate meals for the kids either. The good news is there are some amazing healthy family meals out there that are:

            • Healthy
            • Cost-effective
            • Easy top prepare
            • Great tasting
            • Sure to please kids and parents alike

            There are a lot of food and recipe sites out there, but we’ve whittled down the thousands of recipes to these top 15.

            These healthy family meals are sure to please even the pickiest of eaters and will make a great addition to your dinner table. More importantly, these winning recipes meet the challenge of today’s busy families.

            Let’s review the best healthy family meals for your picky eaters!

            1. Chicken Pot Pie Turnovers

              This recipe, courtesy of Melissa d’Arabian of The Food Network is delicious, healthy and surprisingly easy to prepare. It’s no wonder it has over 100 reviews and rates 5 stars!

              Melissa is the host of Ten Dollar Dinners and The Picky Eater’s Project. She’s also a mother of four and recent first-time cookbook author.

              This amazing recipe features:

              • Store-bought puff pastry saves a lot of time
              • Only 20 minutes prep time
              • Kids will love the “hot pocket-style” but the flavor of a traditional chicken pot pie

              ~ Check out the recipe here!

              2. Mini Meat Loaf

                This healthy family meal, courtesy of Susie Cover’s book The Supper Club: Kid-Friendly Meals the Whole Family Will Love and published on Parenting.com is a healthy option in that it can be prepared with either ground beef or turkey.

                Kids will love that these fun-sized mini meatloaves are easy to dip in ketchup. They are also perfect for packing for a school lunch or picnic.

                Susie has over 15 years as a professional chef, cookbook author, and founder of a series of prepared food companies.

                This future family staple:

                • Tastes great warm or at room temp
                • Can be formed to any size – no wasted food!
                • Can easily be made gluten-free by using gluten-free panko breadcrumbs

                ~ Check out the recipe here!

                3. Cheesy Cauliflower Pasta

                Advertising

                  This delicious and healthy mac ‘n cheese alternative comes to us from Hillary Smith over at Bon Appétit.

                  Hillary is the associate marketing director at Bon Appétit, but clearly knows her way around the kitchen too. Here, Hillary does the unthinkable and gets picky eaters come back for seconds on cauliflower!

                  This new family favorite:

                  • Is easy to make
                  • Features delicious parmesan and pine nuts
                  • Roasts the cauliflower to get it tender with a deeper flavor

                  ~ Check out the recipe here!

                  4. Barbecued Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps

                    This 5 star recipe is from Rachael Ray, courtesy of The Food Network’s 30 Minute Meals.

                    This amazingly flavorful dish:

                    • Can be made in 25 minutes
                    • Is so delicious kids won’t even question eating lettuce
                    • Is packed with veggies

                    ~ Check out the recipe here!

                    5. Eggplant Parmigiana in a Pasta Sauce

                    This amazing recipe re-do comes from Ole & Shaina Olmanson and Babble is a much healthier, but just as tasty a version of traditional eggplant parmesan.

                    This fantastic dinner option:

                    • Cuts the fried eggplant and lengthy prep stages
                    • Calls for ground beef but could easily be made vegetarian
                    • Tastes even better the next day!

                    ~ Check out the recipe here!

                    6. Po-tacos!

                      This creative reinvention of the classic taco comes from Weelicious founder Catherine and her friend Joanna. The idea is to use a baked potato split down the middle as the “shell” for your taco.

                      Of course a baked potato is healthier than a fried taco shell or fat-laden tortilla. But she also gets incredibly creative with the topping options, going far beyond a typical taco.

                      This new classic:

                      • Has endless filling possibilities from pesto veggies to pulled pork
                      • Could easily be made with sweet potatoes instead
                      • Only take a whopping 10 minutes prep time!

                      ~ Check out the recipe here!

                      7. Crispy Chicken, Ham, and Swiss Roll-Ups

                      Advertising

                        This tasty addition to our healthy family meals comes from Jiselle Basile over at Cooking Light. Jiselle has taken the classic ham and cheese sandwich and reinvented it as a roll-up.

                        This “meaty, cheesy, moist and crunchy” treat gets healthy by going in the oven instead of into a frying pan.

                        This amazing recipe:

                        • Is only 351 calories per serving
                        • Uses all white meat chicken and ham
                        • Is low in sugar and saturated fat

                        ~ Check out the recipe here!

                        8. Easy 30 Minute Orange Chicken with Rice

                          This amazing redo of everyone’s favorite Chinese takeout comes from Kristen over at A Mind “Full” Mom.

                          Kristen has crafted a recipe that is not too spicy or sweet. That makes the kids happy. But it’s has enough complex flavors to have the adults coming back for seconds.

                          Healthy family meals never tasted so good!

                          This fantastic recipe:

                          • Is ready in under 30 minutes!
                          • Uses fresh orange juice
                          • Skips the fryer and the unnecessary calories

                          ~ Check out the recipe here!

                          9. Noodle Pudding

                          This creative recipe, courtesy of Barbara Wener and Country Living is a great way to get kids to eat cottage cheese and cut the fat from traditional baked pasta dishes.

                          Country Living features the best food and drink recipes that are delicious and easy to prepare. The recipe was handed down to Barbara from her mother and remains a family favorite.

                          This tasty treat:

                          • Has under 400 calories per serving
                          • Will have kids gobbling it up like mac n’ cheese

                          ~ Check out the recipe here!

                          10. One Pan Chicken and Potatoes with Garlic Parmesan Spinach Cream Sauce

                            The key to truly healthy family meals is getting picky eaters to eat their vegetables.

                            This fantastic recipe, courtesy of Christina Cherrier, editor at Eatwell101, does just that.

                            Advertising

                            Christina has crafty a yummy cream sauce that packs a flavor punch of garlic, tomato, spinach, and cheese. Even the pickiest of eaters will be back for more.

                            This amazing dish:

                            • Lightens the fat with half and half instead of cream
                            • Gets kids to eat their spinach
                            • Saves on clean up by using just 1 pan

                            ~ Check out the recipe here!

                            11. Super Easy Skinny Veggie Crockpot Lasagna

                              This no-hassle lasagna recipe, comes to us from Lindsay over at Pinch of Yum.

                              Lindsay and her husband Bjork run both Pinch of Yum and Food Blogger Pro and are here to save us a boatload of time, cutting calories in the process.

                              This amazing dish:

                              • Is all done in the crockpot
                              • Is loaded with veggies
                              • Calls for uncooked lasagna noodles

                              ~ Check out the recipe here!

                              12. Crispy Baked Parmesan Chicken Strips

                                All kids love chicken strips. Thankfully this classic recipe redo skips the fryer and still delivers a delicious healthy family meal.

                                Amy Roskelley, of Super Healthy Kids, walks us through the simple steps to get extra crispy chicken without the deep fryer. Amy is mom of 3 and has a background in health and nutrition and in shows!

                                This amazing dish:

                                • Skips the salt, fast & preservatives of fast food chicken nuggets
                                • Are amazingly crispy
                                • Packs 36 grams of protein per serving

                                ~ Check out the recipe here!

                                13. Sausage, Brocolli & Rice One Skillet Meal

                                  This delicious weeknight staple comes to us from Kasey Schwartz over at All Things Mamma.

                                  With a hungry husband who helps parent their 3 kids, Kasey knows a thing or two about healthy family meals. Her recipes are designed for busy parents looking for quick, easy and healthy meals during the school week.

                                  This tasty mealtime option:

                                  Advertising

                                  • Is ready in under 30 minutes
                                  • Is a great way to get kids to eat their broccoli
                                  • Can be made with turkey or chicken sausage to cut the fat

                                  ~ Check out the recipe here!

                                  14. Baked Chicken Chimichangas

                                    This simple, yet tasty Mexican-themed dinner staple comes from Christy Denney over at The Girl Who Ate Everything.

                                    Christy makes healthy family meals for her husband and their 5 kids. And with 5 kids, you can bet Christy knows how to please even the pickiest of eaters.

                                    This awesome dinnertime staple:

                                    • Are oven baked instead of fried
                                    • Can be prepared in under 15 minutes
                                    • Goes great with guac and low-fat sour cream

                                    ~ Check out the recipe here!

                                    15. Baked Gnocchi with Sausage, Kale, and Pesto

                                      This delicious baked pasta dish comes from Maria & Josh over at Two Peas and Their Pod.

                                      Maria & Josh love cooking, entertaining and creating healthy family meals that are simple, fresh, and kid-friendly. We think you’ll agree!

                                      This delicious dish:

                                      • Is a great way to sneak kale into kid’s diets
                                      • Can be prepared in under 15 minutes
                                      • Cut even more fat with lower fat sausage and cheeses

                                      ~ Check out the recipe here!

                                      Did you find some new favorite healthy family meals here?

                                      In this post, we looked at the challenge all parents face in creating healthy family meals that everyone in the family will actually eat.

                                      Finding ways to overcome picky eating habits with our kids can be a challenge.

                                      To help, we researched and found 15 amazing recipes that even the pickiest eaters will love and want more of. So if you’re getting resistance at the dinner table and aren’t sure where to turn, the recipes above will quickly get you what you need.

                                      All the winning recipes linked above were hand-selected.

                                      They are the answer to your dinner-time problems and will help all parents by removing a little bit of that stress at the end of a long day.

                                      Make sure and bookmark your favorites as you’ll assuredly be back for more.

                                      Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

                                      Read Next