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Category Archives: Semi- Wet Cappuccino

You Can Do it Too! (No, you can’t. Arsehole.)

Warning: This post is severely angry and has very little merit, artistic or otherwise.

 

I don’t know if this has actually ever occurred to you, but just because you are capable of watching someone else do something, it doesn’t mean you can do it. You know how birds fly? Yeah? Well flap your fucking arms and try it. Preferably from the top of a ten storey building.

 

If I have one more customer this week imply that they could do my job, I am going to hand them my mocha-stained apron and tell them to get the fuck on with it. Okay, steaming milk is not difficult. Getting it perfect, however, is an art. Getting it to 90 FUCKING DEGREES without spilling it everywhere, scalding your own face, watching as the chemical bonds fall apart and trying not to gag on the smell of burnt milk, well, that’s not just art, that’s science. And skill. And a variety of other pointless things that I have, and you do not.

If you realised just how irritating it is to have to make two shots extra strong, one normal, with the milk steamed so that it sits on top of the coffee, and then have you desecrate the ridiculous coffee concoction you made me create with FIVE PACKETS OF SUGAR, you would cry. And then you would slap the ridiculous human who wanted the stupid drink in the first place (that’s you, FYI).

You know other times you would cry? When people make you redo their drink THREE TIMES. And then there’s a queue. And then you want the ice ‘crushed’ instead of cubed. And then you want me to brew three green teabags for exactly 90 seconds before pouring it over ice and making sure the ice doesn’t melt. You could do my job? Fuck you. No, really. We should do a Barista for The Day Challenge, where every uppety, super specific, ‘I’m so fucking important and so is my drink’ customer has to serve other uppety bastards. Oh really, you can count change, take the next order, ask about someone’s day and pretend not to care when they treat you like crap? Fine, do it.

 

Oh yes, sure, you’re a Head of Industry, doing the job of ‘the little people’ is so easy. You think because you’ve stood there chatting for thirty seconds every day whilst we make your extra hot mocha, you understand the logistics? You think because you put the sugar in before the espresso hits the cup, or because you stir the sauce before we pour the milk in, you think you’re a coffee expert, do you? Well, you’re WRONG.

You know what else is wrong with you, whilst we’re on the topic? Just because skimmed milk is called ‘skinny’ does NOT mean it’s a magical fat-burning potion. Just because I’m required to ask your name does not mean I personally want to know your name, and you’re allowed to look at me like a stalker. I don’t care about your name, age, where you live, what you do or what you think about when you’re not ordering coffee. (Sometimes, I care. But that’s only if you’re pretty or nice. Or preferably ordering something that doesn’t make me want to slap both of us in the face for taking part in this charade). Replying to my request for a name with ‘If you really want it’ is not acceptable. I do not want anything. All I want is to get through my abysmal day with no-one telling me I can’t do my job, calling me a ‘good girl’, handing me a package of what I thought was merely rubbish, but turns out to be a soiled nappy, or calling me ‘incapable’. That is all I want. Preferably a ‘thank you’ at the end of a transaction, or a smile, if I’m going to start asking for miracles.

 

Oh, whilst we’re at it, a QUARTER shot of coffee in a large size, is actually just flavoured milk. Complaining to me that our coffee is too strong, when you clearly have an intolerance to anything that tastes good, is out of order. Price? Not my problem. You think, as a VERY IMPORTANT customer, you could arrange our prices? Fine, I’ll still be getting minimum wage, as I assume the poor monkeys who work for you are also doing. Send them over to get your coffee next time, will you? That way we can bitch about you. And they never assume they could make your coffee. You know why? Because they know that you’re a control freak, and they congratulate me on being able to make your coffee five times a day without stabbing someone. DO YOU SEE WHAT YOU’RE DOING? DO YOU?

 

Just in case this whole thing was a bit subtle for you, I’ll reiterate: You are not a special or unique snowflake. Just because you designed your coffee order based on a desperate need to feel important, does not mean you can actually make it happen. You might be able to wax lyrical about Van Gogh, or talk about the ballet. Doesn’t make you a black swan. In fact, I think you should work on the idea that you’re not very special at all. And that if you’re the type of person who shouts at a minimum wage coffee monkey that your ‘almost dry’ (honestly, what the fuck does that even mean?) cappuccino isn’t ‘almost dry enough’ then you should consider that you’re not only unimportant, persnickety and average, but you’re also a bastard, and a raving lunatic.

 

Just some food for thought. Why don’t you snack on that, with your small half-caf, half shot, two pumps sugar free vanilla, soya, extra hot, almost wet latte? Fucker.

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The Runner’s Tale

Why Fetching the Coffee For Media Big Wigs Does NOT Make You Better than the Person Who Made the Coffee.

 

Yes, yes, I know. It’s so HARD to break into the media. It’s such a tough job where no one thanks you and you have to fetch coffee a hundred times a day.

Oh. Wait. That sounds familiar. The lack of thanks? The people who think you’re a worthless waste of space who has no talent beyond being a fetcher/cleaner/coffee machine combo? And even then, you’re not that talented. The continual degradation? Spending your hours wishing you were doing something creative and exciting? Going home exhausted, sure that you’re never going to get any closer to your dreams?

Hey, Runner. You and me are the same, kid. So WHY THE FUCK are you treating me like shit?

Plus, FYI, I can actually MAKE that double-shot-extra-hot-dry-cappuccino-with-sweetener that you are SO intent on telling me how to get right. You can just about say it. Your very important job is to carry it back correctly, and write everyone’s names on the top. Because that’s what people want in a Runner. Someone who can’t remember the order of three people (the same order you have EVERY day) without referring to a list, and can’t identify which drink is which without putting permanent marker on the lid, which they will then get on their faces. And treats everyone involved like shit in the process.
Yeah, awesome. You’ll be running the Beeb in no time.

 

Look, I know it’s hard. I know you’re on the wrong side of twenty five, and your dreams of being a tiptop marketing exec, important-running-around-with-an-iPhone type person seem to be slipping away from you. But stop being such a fucking tool. You chose to be a media whore. That is not my problem. What IS my problem, is making the drinks you have ordered to the specifications you require. Which is what I do. Just because you’re working on the latest shitty incarnation of a stupid never-ending reality TV series that should have died a death a while ago, but doesn’t because the majority of people don’t know what a book is, DOES NOT make you better than me.

So there. Cheer the fuck up, and say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. I’ve served your employer, and he certainly does. Even if he does wear sunglasses indoors because he thinks he’s too famous. But what do I know, maybe he’s got that sensitivity thing, like Bono. But don’t start me on Bono.

 

There was another one, horrible fucker, who I won’t give a nickname to, because giving away the name of another shitty reality TV show would give away our location. But this particular arse came in, demanded a discount because he’s so special, and then proceeded to repeat the same nonsensical order until I made an educated guess at the drinks and just said ‘okay’. He then wanted me to write the name of each person on their cup. An order of seven drinks. If there’s anything more insulting than being told that Ian is spelled ‘I-A-N’ when you have a fucking Masters degree, I do not know what it is. Possibly being told how to spell ‘cat’. Or twat. But I feel quite comfortable with that word. Because it’s applicable here.

 

I then apologised for the delay (which was HIS fault, because he was unable to use a pen on each cup and write the dreadfully complex names of his colleagues on himself) and he SCOFFED at me. Not even a ‘don’t worry about it’ or a grunt of derision. He SCOFFED. Someone who was about my age, and addressed me as ‘blad’ thinks he’s better than me because he’s fetching coffee for the design monkeys of what may be the worst television show ever created, that as it will still be going in fifteen years time, will definitely be responsible for the decline in humanity, IQ levels and my own will to live.

I’d like to think of something witty to say at this point, but the only thing I can think of is:

‘FUCK YOU’. So I’ll stick with that. Itz well to tha point, innit blad? Dickhead.

 

‘No Such Thing as a Semi-Dry Cappuccino’ NEW Coffee Song!

Hey there coffee drinkers!
There’s a new snarky song from Twisted Barista (because she loves you, and hates everyone else) and you can find it here:

 

Because, well, there IS no such thing as a semi-dry cappuccino. What you’re basically asking for is a slightly foamier latte. Which is fine, if that’s what you want. But don’t go pretending you want a cappuccino with no foam. A cappuccino is foam, dumbass. Don’t order it if that’s not what you like.

I’m sure you can find some more cappuccino ranting on this site  by searching the categories on the right side of this page.

Enjoy! Remember, you can check these out directly on the Twisted Barista Youtube channel, and on our Caffeinated Soundtrack page.

‘But I’m a Regular!’

…Yes, but that doesn’t mean you’re not also an Abnormal.

 

I’ve been off work for a week in preparation for my Honkin’ Big Trip, so I’m actually lacking in the anger. I’m very zen, with the yoga and the green tea. I may actually need to watch an episode of Made In Chelsea in order to get my anger levels up for the necessary terrifying ranting. Because it’s Cafe Disaster time.

 

So, I present to you, a random selection of our regular customers. Because regular customers LOVE to be known. There are multiple people who I know about the problems in their marriage, change in their career, where they live, where their kids go to school…and still call them ‘double-tall-extra-hot-soya-latte woman’. That’s impersonal.

The reason I mention our regulars is not because they are pains in the arse, for the most part we like them because we know their drink, and they like us because we know their drink. So it’s a nice little co-dependent relationship. But we have a new coffee monkey, a few in fact, and when I think back to my coffee-monkey-baby days, I remember it was the regulars that were the worst of all. Because when you’re new, you have to learn their specific drinks, and you don’t always get it right, and they then have to remember the crazy specifics and tell you them, instead of just having the barista see their face and know to make it. I refer you to my catchphrase: If you can’t say it, don’t order it. 

So generally, regulars are kind of mean to the new baristas. Because they’ve become accustomed to the fact that it’s all about them. We should know who they are, for goodness sake! Well, no.In my early coffee monkey days it was the regulars who made my life difficult. Because I was slowing down their regular routine. Regular. Yes, I said it again. Another word for AVERAGE.

And THEN the problem with regulars is that they occasionally change their mind. And we get irritated with them for changing their minds. Because we’ve put significant effort into remembering their specific orders, and take comfort in the few moments in our day that will always be the same.

There’s also the regulars who then have the same thing every day, but don’t realise that we’ve noticed who they are and what they have. Which in some ways is very sweet, as if they don’t think they’re important enough to be noticed. But then when we automatically call out their drink to them, or have it waiting when we see them walking in, they don’t go ‘aw, how lovely! I’ve been noticed!’ No. That would be too simple. They either a) look at me with a wary suspicion, as if I am possibly a stalker and they can’t remember if they’ve seen me hiding in the bushes outside their house, or b) they freak out about being boring and predictable.

Let me make this clear. We love your predictability. We love playing Magic Coffee Oracle. And when you appear, and we have magicked your exact order out of thin air before you order it, we believe that we are in fact, not just mere coffee monkeys, but we are Coffee Gods. So stick with it, damn it.

There are certain regulars who don’t tell us the names of the coffee anymore, because it’s too complex, so we just call the drink after them. So they effectively feel like they have created a drink, even if it’s something simple, like a medium-chai-tea-latte-no-water-skinny-milk-extra-hot. Yes, that’s simple. It’s also called a Fiona.

One that’s not so simple?

Medium-in-a-large-takeaway-cup-caramel-macchiato-extra-extra-hot-soya-milk-extra-shot-espresso-with-caramel-and-chocolate-drizzle. That has a name. And thank fuck it does, because if more people start ordering it I may shoot myself.

So, this was a short little rant for your reading pleasure. I’ll now be off travelling around places, starting in Oz. I’ve packed my ruby slippers and everything. Either way, I’ll be sporadically updating from my travels about coffee-related things. Maybe I’ll have a chat with an Australian barista, or try and celeb-spot in an LA airport cafe. I’ll be keeping my angry coffee-monkey ears open for things to moan about. So stay tuned! It may be sporadic, but it’ll be updated. And you know how you can figure out when a fresh new post comes in? You can subscribe!  (Look to your right)

 

 

‘I’d much rather be THERE, you’re just closer’

 

And other things you shouldn’t say to an enraged barista.

Now I’m the first to rage and rant about my coffee shop. We’re not the quirky, individualised independent shop where artists hang out. No sirree bob. We are a small cog in a major conglomeration, and we are here to make money. However, if this blog is anything, it is a fierce defence of the wonderful people who work in this industry. And we take a lot of shit from people.

THIS is an independent arty coffee shop...one of the best, in fact.

Like this douchebag, for example.

Old Raggedy Man: I’ll have a cappuccino, love, thank you.

Now, old men calling me love, that’s sweet. I’ll go for that, it makes me think of my grandparents. So I try extra hard on his drink. That cappuccino was a fucking work of art. If there had been a coffee painted on the Sistine Chapel, that would have been it. Fluffy and foamy, and peeping over the rim of the cup, like a freshly risen loaf of bread. Beautiful. So I hand if off, and all is well.

Except I return from loading the dishwasher to the same old man, with a sour expression and a half-full cup of coffee. He’s not calling me ‘love’ now, evidently.

 

Not mine, but it is ART.

Him: Do you SEE this cappuccino?

Me, with a plummeting heart: Yes, indeed I do, sir!

Him: This is NOT how a cappuccino should be! There’s no coffee in it!

Me: Well, we put one shot of espresso in, would you like it more milky?

Him: MILK! No! You’re not listening to me, there’s no coffee in this! It’s three quarters foam!

Me: Well, that’s what a cappuccino is, sir. Would you like another shot of coffee in it?

Him: I don’t want to pay for more coffee that should be in it anyway!

Me: I’ll give you the extra shot for free, sir.

Him: Its just ridiculous! I’m trying to drink it, and there’s no coffee, just foam and milk.

Me, getting rather fucked off with both how irritating it is to listen to someone whine about something for being the way that it should be, and at my own inability to respond with something other than soothing, accommodating noises: Well, I’m sorry about that, sir. That’s our standard way of making them here.

 

And then he says something that should never be said to a coffee house barista (and I’m taking some liberties with spellings here for possible legal reasons).

 

The bastard then says: Well, I don’t have this trouble over at Bosta!

Now, that’s just rude. I try to explain that we have different sizes, and every place is different, but of course, my first thought is Well, fuck off to Bosta then! 

This kind of treatment is the equivalent of turning to your girlfriend, pointing at a woman across the room, and saying ‘You know, I’d rather be shagging her, you just happen to be here.’

And really, if you’d rather be with her, why are you here at all? Could it be that your wonderful Bosta baristas have been avoiding your gaze, refusing your calls? Has your wonder woman upped and left, taking her extra espresso shot with her? Because why else are you here? If you’re in such a committed relationship with your coffee shop, walk the extra thirty steps and go there. Leave us be, you foul little man.

Perhaps there’s something in the human psyche that’s always looking for something better, and then reverting to what it knows. Maybe that’s the reason people stay married. Or maybe, just maybe, this man was just one of thousands of idiots I serve every week, and I should get over it.

You know who else should shut up, whilst I’m at it?

Man: Why do you have these little plastic spoons? They don’t have plastic spoons at Cafe Mero. They have real silver ones!

Again, the response is only ever going to be ‘Fuck off there, then!’

Man: Use this (throws a Bosta card at me)

Me: I’m afraid I can’t, sir.

Man: WHY NOT? Why on earth can’t you? It’s very simple!

Me: This is not the coffee shop you are looking for.

 

(Big Up to all the Star Wars fans who got what I was going for there.)

 

Man, wandering in like a lost child: Is this the only Bosta Coffee in the area?

Me: No.

 

Do I expect you to pledge allegiance to our coffee, our branding, our choices on whether to offer you an extra espresso shot or a gluten free brownie? No. But I expect you, once you have made your choice, to shut the fuck up and resign yourself to your fate. Just like marriage. You are, I presume, a smart, independent human being who is capable of changing your life to suit your whims. Well, so am I. So, I repeat, fuck off to the coffee shop of your choice, and please make sure it is not mine. 

 

Bad Grandma

‘Oh, Grandma, Look How Big Your Mouth Is!’

 

Now, in general, I’m not a granny-basher. Grandmas are nice to have around, you know, when they wear cardigans and bake cakes. Not so much when they’re ordering around staff and treating people like crap. That’s not what Grandmas are for.

So this particular Granny (and I must paint the picture before you accuse me of being too mean. She didn’t look like a Granny. She looked like a faintly older woman. She just happened to have grandchildren. So give me a break, I’m not picking on an enfeebled OAP) brought in her whole brood. Two daughters, three grandchildren. Three loud grandchildren.

But whatever, family outings to a coffee shop, good for you. And when there’s a whole bunch of people trying to order, and she’s telling me that the cappuccino HAS to be skinny, and ignoring every question I ask so she can constantly refer to her kids across the store. Loudly. And then the grandkids pick things up, put their sticky fingers on my pretty glass counter. It’s generally a bit hectic.

This is not a Wolf. But it is something that probably got what was coming to it

She then asks for babychinos. For those of you who are not accustomed to strange made-up words for milk products, babychinos are teeny cups of warm foam for kids. Ours are free, and come in espresso cups. She then insists that we make her the larger size. I point out that if she wants three large ones, I’m meant to charge her, but I’ll only charge for one. I smile, I’m polite. I’m doing her a favour. She then complains loudly about how I’m taking her money, she’s spending enough as it is, and forget the babychinos. She then instead takes three small cups, flounces off and fills them up with milk from the condiment bar.

There is only one response to this: Cheapskate.

So time passes by, they speak loudly, the children scream, but, you know what, it’s fine. Really. Until she calls loudly and waves me over to her table, whilst I’m in the middle of serving a customer. She clicks her fingers at me. Yes. Yes she did. I know, I can’t believe it either.

‘Oh you, excuse me, you! Yes! My granddaughter’s spilled her milk. Can you come over and sort it out?’

Erm, well, sure. The majority of lovely people come over and get some napkins, or ask for some paper towel, or apologise. A few wonderful people even ask for the mop. But yes, that is my job, that’s fine.

So I go over to clean up the liberally spilled STOLEN milk- except that they won’t move out of the way. So I’m on my knees cleaning up around their feet whilst the kids are kicking each other and the adults are talking over my head. Granny Dearest says ‘Oh, I suppose we should move out of your way! Haw Haw!’ and then continues talking.

So really, my response, after getting kicked in the head by kiddy Converse, is screw this for a laugh. I wiped up as well as I could, and got out of there sharpish. Until five minutes later, when she’s signalling for me again, an imperious twitch of the wrist inherited only by the filthy rich.

‘Excuse me! Young Lady! Come back here! You didn’t do a proper job! It’s still wet over here! Is it too much to ask that you come back over here and actually finish the job correctly?’

Now, this sent me into a rage so blinding that I vibrated as I fetched the mop and took very little care about whose shoes got touched with the dirty mop head. And I usually show great respect for designer heels.

She then, of course, complained that I was not doing it right.

 

This kind of customer can ruin your day. But luckily, once I rage and whine a bit, I forget about these horrible creatures and get on with my day. And I was quite sad that I forget about her, because I wanted to mock her on the interwebs. And then she returned! Again, with grandchildren! Again, quibbling about price! Again, stealing milk, and then letting her descendants spill it. Again calling me over to clear it up.

And this time, I calmly took over a pile of napkins, plastered on a smile, said ‘There you go!’ and ran away. When I returned, the table was empty, and the napkins unused. Watch out Grandma, this Big Bad Wolf’s got teeth. And a blog.

 

Mrs ‘Nope, Not This Time’

Or

A Tale of What Might Be Obsessive Compulsion

There are certain people who like things a certain way. We might call them picky, or a little bit particular, or occasionally they explain that they are the sort of people who ‘just like things how I like them’. Helpful. I call them anal-retentive arseholes who obviously don’t have enough things to worry about.

I’ll give you an example. There’s this lady, let’s call her a massive tool. She seems really nice, chats with you a little. She usually happily chats away with the other baristas in Polish, but I don’t have that skill. So I make the drink. And EVERY time, no matter if it’s me making the drink, the supervisor, the manager, anyone, there will be something wrong with it. The Dalai Lama could bless the caffeine with infinite goodness and wisdom and she’d still find something to snipe at.

So, when we see her approaching, the staff tend to do one thing. Run for it. Because whoever is making that drink will be stuck there for ten minutes debating the milk to foam ratio and analysis of correct cup-filling procedures.

Sometimes, we run out back and draw straws. So, guess who got the short straw today. And every freaking day, it seems.

Large skinny latte, with ‘juuuuust a little bit of foam on top, just a little’. Now, I’ve been here before. Little to her is about a quarter of an inch. Except last time that was too much. The time before that was too little.

Good thing too, because if I had to do my job for the rest of my life, I'm pretty sure I'd cease to exist

So I make the goddamn drink really carefully, because if one of us ever gets the drink right first time and she doesn’t make us change something, we’re guaranteed a raise. At the very least, a high five, and the knowledge that we shall become legends amongst baristas across the land.

Hand over the drink, count backwards from three. Three…Two…On-

‘Could you take some of this foam off? I did say just a little!’

‘Of course, madam.’ I’d be delighted to remove the foam you just asked for.

‘Well, now there’s a gap, can you put some back, about half?’ She tries to smile, but her face is just not the right face for that. So she purses her lips and waits instead.

‘Riiiight….okay.’ I put half the teaspoon of foam back.

‘Can you add more milk?’

I do so.

‘More?’

I’m about to snap at this point. She’s leaning over the bar, in my face, I’ve drawn the short straw and I have one more hour of my eight hour shift to go.

‘Madam, have you noticed that if I add anymore, the lid won’t go on? Do you not want a lid then?’

‘Oh, do you think so? I’m sure that lid will fit on.’

Well, I’m guessing your job does not involve any concept of physics, space and putting stuff inside other stuff. I do not want to consider your sex life. Messy.

‘I really don’t think it will madam, the laws of physics prevent it.’

Ha ha, I’m not a mindless coffee monkey, I talked about physics! Last week I talked about the history of immigration. Give me a chance to wax lyrical on Dante’s Inferno and I’ll blow your upper class minds.

‘Well, let’s just test that theory, shall we?’ She tries to smile again and I really wish she wouldn’t. It’s like a snake trying to unhinge its jaw, ready to eat that little helpless deer. For the first time in my life, I feel rather like Bambi.

Of course, the fucking lid doesn’t fit, because a) that’s how containers work when there’s too much stuff in them, and b) I’m the person putting the lid on, so if I am proven right by the lid not fitting, the lid is not going to fit. So basically, I burnt my hand on her FOAMLESS skinny extra-hot milk, and trying not to swear when a stupid woman has made you burn yourself over an eighth of an inch of foam, is really fucking difficult. Really. Fuck.

So I pour some away, top it up and put the lid on. She stares at it, then back to me.

‘But now the foam’s gone! And what about the coffee at the bottom? You’ve lost some of the coffee. It’ll be too weak now. Why don’t you top it up with a third of a shot of espresso?’

Oh. Sweet Lord, I know I don’t usually come-a-calling, but please, please, if there isn’t anyway I can leave this situation with dignity, at least, dear Lord, please tell me there’s a divine reason for all this fuckwittery in the world, please? Wars, okay, they’re complicated. Religion, persecution, nuclear weaponry, climate change, natural disasters. All these things are difficult and complex, and we’re bound to make mistakes. But…coffee? Please, please, please, tell me I’m right in thinking that COFFEE DOESN’T MATTER.

I’m pretty sure my brain has stopped functioning at this point, so I just smile at her. Really big smile. Barista Twister ‘so-happy-to-serve-you-I’m-not-at-all-imagining-your-painful-death-right-now’ smile.

‘I’d really rather you made me a fresh one.’

Smile wider.

‘Of course, madam, that is not a problem at all, I’ve just got to check on something with my supervisor-’

‘But-’

‘Someone will be right back to fix your drink.’

‘But, why can’t you just-’

‘Right back! Right back!’

So we draw straws again, and now I get to join the group of baristas watching the CCTV footage as one of their brethren loses their mind. And as I watch the other Bambi remake the drink twice, and alter it five times, I feel like a little deer saved from slaughter.

And it feels a little bit like freedom…at least until the next bastard with no sense of perspective comes along.