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Category Archives: Hot Chocolate

The ‘Hot Lid’ Fiasco

This was a problem quite a lot in my old store, where customers had so much money that they were not accustomed to following instructions. A bit like buying IKEA furniture, and deciding you could put it together yourself. It all looks very pretty at the end, but there’s a screw missing. And then it collapses, and you curse the manufacturer, because it couldn’t possibly be your shoddy handiwork. Because you’re important.

In fact, that analogy fails, simply because this customer is not the kind of woman who does anything for herself. She has her nails done for her, her legs waxed for her, her coffee made for her. She probably had a caesarean because pushing out her spawn was too much trouble.

She has appeared in this blog before, and we commonly know her as ‘medium-mocha-frap-in-a-large-cup-extra-cream’. I have moaned about her trying to rip us off by essentially stealing whipped cream, and then causing such an earache when we try to explain that she should pay for half a cup of whipped cream, that we let it go. Because my hearing is fairly precious to me. As is my sanity.


Now, we don’t know her as ‘the annoying mocha frap woman/whipped cream bitch’. Now we know her as ‘that evil hag.’

If you type 'evil coffee hag' into google, this is what you get.

The following occurred, unusually not to me, but to a fellow barista, who handled it with flair. I instead cranked the ‘Cheerful Barista’ reader ALL THE WAY TO 11. Mainly to prove to customers who came after her that we’re really nice people, and she’s a douchebag.

She orders a caramel macchiato and a small hot chocolate. She normally gets this caramel macchiato ‘to stay but in a takeaway cup’ (sidenote: I don’t care where you’re having your drink. I just want to know in which type of receptacle you require it. I do not need a whole story about how ‘the paper ones keep them warmer’. We’ll all have to deal with our recycling demons one day. Your day will come.) but she didn’t say it this time. And she saw me writing it down and placing the note on one of our new shiny china mugs. So I assumed she, like many others, is interested in novelty value. Because she’s that kind of vapid bitch.

She then does that thing that drives me CRAZY. Waits quietly whilst the whole order has gone through and has started being made before she goes: ‘Oh that should be skinny.’

Cue the barista throwing away a jug full of perfectly good milk. Not at all passive aggressively.

Then she comes back. ‘Oh, those should be take away cups!’

Cue barista throwing the ready made drinks out of the mugs and into the sink. Not at all passive aggressively.

I’m also trying to serve a few OTHER PEOPLE WHO EXIST IN THE WORLD, so she’s kinda stopping me from doing that.

‘Oh, and I want cream on the hot chocolate.’

‘NOT a problem Madam!’ gritted teeth.

The barista puts the caramel macchiato down without incurring any sort of wrath. Then he puts the lid on the hot chocolate. AND THIS SHIT GETS REAL.

‘WHAT are you DOING? I don’t WANT a lid!’

Wow, the drama quote in your life must be super-low right now, if this gets you riled.

‘I’m afraid it’s store policy, we have to put lids on hot drinks.’


Is it, is it really? You handing a hot drink to a young child and then suing the shit out of us when he burns himself….sound at all like the manipulative work of a middle-class bitch like yourself?

‘That may be so, madam, but those are the rules.’

‘Maybe they’re just YOUR rules.’

Yes, baristas love their work so much they spend time making up pointless rules for individual customers to follow. If that was the case, the rule here would be ‘Under no circumstances serve this dumb bitch.’ But no, we have no rules.


If you liked it then you shoulda put a lid on it.

Sweet, merciful coffee god, in the name of all that is caffeinated, please remove this woman from my immediate vicinity, before I lose my shit. My voice gets an octave higher and infinitely more cheerful (think Minnie Mouse) as I greet the next customer, who looks rather frightened by my enthusiasm.

‘I’m sorry, those are the rules. I’m not going lose my job over a….lid.’

Anyone else sure the end of that sentence was going to be ‘whipped cream bitch’?

‘WELL, put it in a regular mug! Did you HEAR ME? A REGULAR MUG!’

I’ll show you a fucking regular mug…when you look in the mirror. That’s right, I went there. Ooh, burn.

The loud cow then obstinately walks over, dumps the poor kid with this mountainously creamy hot chocolate (which she proceeds to eat- that skinny macchiato working out well for you there?) and then actively encourages her son to play loud music from her iPhone. Is there anything ruder than playing music on a phone in public places? Isn’t that reserved for chavs on the back of the bus? The worst part? She only had THREE songs, so he kept repeating them. Two of those three songs were Michael Buble.


She then kept shooting weird death glances over to us to see if the music was annoying. Erm, duh. Yes. Yes it was. She then left, and we knew there was going to be carnage left in her wake. It was like a coffee death scene. Ripped sugar packets, crumbled cookie, shredded lids and spoons sticking to the table with left over whipped cream and spilt milk.

So there’s another customer we’ll be running away from next week. Because, you know, we make up the rules about that.


Mobile Bullshit

(Or, Why You Need to Put Down the Freaking Phone, Lady)


I once knew a barista who refused to serve anyone using their mobile phone. She’d just stare, and shake her head in confusion, making ‘sorry, can’t understand you’ faces and shrugging until the customer finally gave up.

They usually shouted at her for her incompetence, but she got the job done. Because that way, there were no crazy orders gone wrong, no constant remaking of drinks, and none of that buzzing acid in your stomach when someone talks to you like you’re one of those drive-thru clown heads at McDonalds. I’m here, I’m a human being, and you’re holding up the line. End. That. Call.

Sure, some apologise for being rude, some apologise before picking up the phone midway through an order. But you know what? If you let the call go to voicemail, you wouldn’t have to apologise. Oh I know, I know, you’re very important people, right? Well, wrong, actually. I am not your secretary, your personal assistant, your wife/girlfriend/cleaner or whoever you expect to do your bidding. This is not a Cartesian situation, I do not suddenly cease to exist when you aren’t here, I do not appear only when you want something. I am not a genie in a bottle, baby. And you are rubbing me up the wrong way.

So, to get to one specific waste of technological airspace, I give you, Mrs ‘I don’t have time for this’ aka Badass Business Woman.

She’s been on the phone whilst she’s in the queue, and I at least expect her to say into her  phone ‘Oh, sorry, one sec, I just need to order in the coffee shop’ and then tell me what she wants.

It’s not even the case where the other person on the phone is talking so much that she mouths what she wants instead of interrupting them. No, she expects me to be a fucking mind-reader. She’s actually trying to get me to guess what she wants, by throwing hints into her phone conversation.

‘Oh darling, have you tried that new HOT CHOCOLATE?’ she asks into the phone, to which I hope the person on the other end is smart enough to ask her what the fuck she’s on about.

‘Oh, yes, sweetie, I completely agree, whipped cream is DISGUSTING.’

I end up making hand signs to signal ‘small, medium, large’ instead of the very specific hand signals I’d like to be making. She points at one and rolls her eyes.

I charge her, whilst she chats away, and ten minutes later I hear:

‘That’s NOT what I ordered.’


Of course not, Madam. That’s because I was not trained by a special intelligence agency to detract your coded drinks order from your (very boring) phone conversation. For those orders, you will need a very special barista, known as Bond, James Bond.

But before I can say this, another call has come through.

‘Oh hello darling! Listen, do you like lattes?’

Or she really does just like discussing hot beverages. Huh.

HOT CHOCOLATE! Or, The Worst Family in the World and How They Ruined my Sunday.

The Most Annoying Family in the World.

It’s a Sunday evening, and I’m eight hours into a ten-hour shift. I am not the perkiest of bunnies. Sunday afternoons are for James Bond films, and watching Come Dine with me, eating roast dinners, drinking half a bottle of wine and falling asleep at nine o’clock. That is a Sunday evening.

And then they come in. A loud, loud LOUD family, standing at the counter, all talking over each other. The mother speaks quickly and loudly in a different language, gesturing wildly at the drinks menu. The husband replies in English, arguing with what she’s chosen. The older girl is the only one who looks directly at me, demanding a hot chocolate.


The younger girl is busy sticking anything within reach into her mouth, whether it’s an empty cup or a yoghurt pot.

The mother is still wailing, the father looks flustered and the girl is getting angry because I’m waiting for her parents to confirm the heart-attack-in-a-cup that she demands.

Eventually, after much humming and hawing, and a multitude of mind-changes, with not one apology or a penny in the tip box, they pay for their drinks. They then wander off, expecting me to bring the drinks over.

Except the girl, who is watching me with an eagle eye, saying ‘IS THAT MY HOT CHOCOLATE? I WANT HOT CHOCOLATE! IS THAT MINE? IS IT? I WANT CREAM!’

Kill. Me. Now.

I’m making four other drinks, the dreaded hot chocolate WITH CREAM, and then the mother returns.

‘I want some water.’

I get it. She returns.

‘I want two plastic cups.’

I get them, whilst making her drinks, and handing the demon-child her chocolate.

‘Do you have a microwave?’

‘No, madam, sorry.’

‘Can you heat this?’ She holds up a massive box of food.

‘No, I’m afraid we can’t.’

‘Well, can’t you place it in hot water to warm it up?’

‘I could, madam, if you hadn’t brought in the biggest tupperware box in the history of the universe. Madam.’

She makes four more requests, complains about how long it’s taken me to make the drink, the demon child returns for four refills of cream, decides to touch every piece of merchandise, ask the price of every piece of merchandise, and rearrange every piece of merchandise in store. They sit there for four hours, being loud, not buying anything else, and when I go to clean, when they finally leave, the floor is littered with food, shredded napkins and broken crayons.

The next person who asks for whipped cream gets it sprayed directly on their face.

Just another Sunday evening.

This is usually what I'm thinking when customers approach