>Integrity as a Barista

>There’s a customer at my coffee shop who has got the system beat. She always gets a small coffee in a medium cup, which puzzled me until I noticed her at the condiment stand, topping off her cup with cream and sugar. It’s a clever tactic to be sure: save a devastating 26 cents while lavishing yourself with four ounces of free product.

At first I was pretty angry, but now I am mostly just saddened this individual places such a low price on her integrity. 26 cents? Heck, I would be happy to buy you a coffee if your finances are that tight.

But it would be hypocritical if I judged this customer’s deception without examining my own life. As a barista, am I consistently giving each customer the highest quality beverage possible? What about shots of espresso? Even just plus or minus a few seconds makes a huge difference in taste. How about milk? Motivation to steam microfoam is definitely dampened when it is just going to be smothered by whipped cream, but that doesn’t mean I should compromise a single component of the drink.

Perhaps there are implications not pertaining to coffee.

About mjbutterworth

Coffee. Books. Bicycles.
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4 Responses to >Integrity as a Barista

  1. Sarah Cosper says:

    >Mike and I worked as baristas for 6 years. I was challenged to love those people well, even the pretentious annoying ones who ordered 1 shot vanilla grande non fat caps with no foam. Which doesn't even make since, but she still ordered it like that after I told her what a cap and latte were. I was to show them Christ no matter what. It's a hard job sometimes.

  2. Paul says:

    >Yeah. Letting the Gospel drive my work as a barista is a struggle, especially serving those who treat you in servile way. Dorothy Sayers described work as the employment of creative energies in service. I tend to not think way, sadly.Regarding your small in a medium, we have a LOT of people at my store who do that, but I don't think most of them do that for financial purposes as much as they don't like coffee that much. Of course, that would accurately describe a lot of people who order various "there's no way that a combination of splenda, sugar-free syrup, decaf, and skim milk tastes good" drinks.

  3. michael says:

    >Cappuccino with no foam. simply stunning.

  4. kvg says:

    >My favorite is this gal who comes in and orders an "extra wet" cappuccino. I mean, that just makes me chuckle. (I make her a nice, foamy latte, btw)

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