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Category Archives: Frappuccinos

Not the Younglings!


Ah, children. The purity of youth. The beginning of a downward spiral that sends you scuttling into teenagerdom, and emerging as an emotionally scarred adult. What wonderful little critters children are. And, quite rightly, I’ve moaned about them here before, in passing. When they make mess, when they put their sticky little mitts on my beautifully polished pastry case. When they decide to individually count every coffee bean on display, or create a fort out of straws. Usually, when they steal the chocolate powder. But in general, you can’t really blame kids for being kids.

But, I’m going to try. Because sometimes, you can just look at a child and see who they’re going to become. Usually, their mothers.

Miss ‘Uh, yeah?’

So, a very sweet and polite girl comes to order a drink, I’d say she was about twelve. She get’s halfway through saying that she’d like to takeaway when her stormtrooper friend marches up and interrupts.

‘Uh NO excuse me I WANT THIS ONE.’

Um, why are you shouting, are you accustomed to the butler being in the West Wing when you call for him? I’m standing right here. I know you are underdeveloped and therefore I seem quite high up, but shouting is unnecessary.


Oh. Sweet. Jesus. That flash of red behind my eyes was either blinding rage or a seizure. Keep calm.

‘Yes, MADAM. I completely comprehend your order. That will be five pounds.’

Grit teeth, smile wide. She’ll be entering adolescence soon. There will be pimples and puppyfat and gossipy girls and boys who reject her because she’s scary. She’s got a hard time ahead, believe in karma. It will be alright. I am a grown up. I win by default.

‘Uh, excuse me, I’m not done yet. Shouldn’t you ask if I want anything else?’

I’m afraid we don’t offer personality transplants here.

‘What else would you like?’

‘A half-shot decaf caramel coffee light DOUBLE BLENDED- you always forget to double blend it- with extra drizzle. Do you think you can handle that?’

Well, it rates right up there with brain surgery, but I’ll certainly do my best.

Then she pays with a fifty pound note. I hadn’t even SEEN a fifty pound note when I was twelve, let alone been responsible for one.

So, it’s a Saturday afternoon, and there’s a drinks rush, so whilst I desperately swirl around slamming blenders, measuring milk, squirting scream, and generally doing what we call ‘The Frappuccino Dance of Death’ she decides to get involved.

I hand over the first two drinks. The polite one smiles and nods.

‘You DO KNOW we’re waiting for another one?’ She’s flicking her hair, whilst I’m trying to let her know that pissing me off when there are fourteen beverages waiting to be made, twenty more people in the queue and I’m holding a container of strawberry sauce is not a good idea. She clearly doesn’t get the hint.

‘Where’s MY drink?


‘Uh, duh, yes, you served me.’


I give her three times the amount of whipped cream and wish her an acne attack. My colleague pauses and grins. ‘This is going in your blog, isn’t it?’

And here it is. Young people. Pfff. Yes, come in and order things, you appreciate our expensive froofy drinks. And we appreciate your pocket money. But you know what? When you come in wearing head-to-toe Hollister, talking on your iPhone and talking to me like I’m some sort of undead waitress programmed to attend to your every need, I need you to think about something. You are going to end up like your mother. And I serve your mother every day. She is also an arsehole. You’re probably going to marry a man like your father (espresso drinking timid man who never replies when you ask how his day is) and be as rich and entitled as you are now. And then you are going to get old and die.

There’s a free dose of perspective with every cold drink today, come along quick! You too may benefit from an extra help of reality with a side of whipped cream!

 Have a nice day from Cafe Disaster – keep your younglings away from me.







Mrs ‘Skinny With Extra Cream’

So, there’s a variety of things I could have complained about today. The people who grunt when you say hello. The women who ignore you whilst having their incredibly boring conversations in front of the till. The children. The parents of said children who coo and clap as their little darling piles up every bag of coffee beans in the store in the middle of the floor. And then leave. And I’ve still got a bag full of rage from a few weeks ago that I’m waiting to unleash on a certain grandmother. But no, today is reserved for the oh so kooky, ever so crazy Mrs ‘Skinny with Extra Cream’. This is all about you, baby. And you know that’s how you like it.

Said woman’s order is thus:

‘Okay, okay, let me make it clear. I want a MEDIUM skinny mocha frappuccino light, definitely skinny, you got that? With all the sugar free syrups and stuff. Yep? Okay, but I want it in a large cup. And just fill up the rest of the cup with cream. Got it? Awesome!’

Er, okay, let’s break this down so that we can properly analyse how fucked in the head you are.


  1. You want non-fat, non-sugar extra extra skinny…with extra cream? What’s the fucking point? Add on the extra two hundred calories and call yourself a real woman. Jeez.
  2. You want a medium, in a large cup. And the rest filled with cream. So you want about a third of your drink to be cream. Ew.
  3. You think that I don’t understand that you’re trying to con me out of whipped cream. You think you’re getting something for free.
  4. You have at least one of these drinks EVERY DAY. The only thing you’re getting for free is a fat arse.
  5. You’re a thirty-something mother who just said ‘awesome’ in reference to the fact that a server can understand your doolally jibber-jabber. You need to start expanding the field of interests. Or possibly explain this whipped cream fetish to your husband.


So, is there anything particularly wrong with this woman? Well, no, if you’re gonna be all specific about it. She’s just ordering what she wants. And we love to give you what you want. Instead of what you deserve. Which is usually a big freaking reality check. I should be charging her for extra cream, but she’s clearly been a sneaky bitch about this. There has been a cleverly constructed plan that lead to this scenario. There was scheming. There may even have been a diagram.

Some things are more interesting than coffee. Like balloons.

So, what she’s done is the first time she ordered it, she waited until after she paid, then leaned over the side to demand extra cream. The next time, she asked for it in the larger cup, once again waiting until after she’d paid and the drink was already being made.

What’s more annoying to a barista than someone shouting out a change to their drink after it’s already in the process of being made? That person jumping around in and about the queue to try and pay for all these extra changes, when there’s a delicate balance of cups lined up, all waiting to be filled with delicious beverages. So we generally go, ‘ah, don’t worry about it.’

And they think that means FOREVER. Because we remember the stupid drink, therefore if we try and charge the extra cream, she’ll go ‘but they never charge me that’. I think, in law, that’s called a precedent. And it sucks.

And therefore every morning we go through this, where she rattles off the ridiculous order, and me and the other baristas do not AT ALL exchange a glance that suggests this woman is taking the piss. We simply calculate how many grams of fat is in that much whipped cream and desperately hope to see her balloon up by Christmas.

There is no such thing as a free lunch, and there is definitely no such thing as free whipped cream. Never.



Oh, and also for your viewing pleasure, I rediscovered my love of Foamy the Squirrel, a creation of the equally (if not more) twisted folks over at Ill Will Press. Here, Foamy pontificates on why ‘small’ is called ‘tall’:


Summer Sessions

(Or, ‘Help, make it stop, people keep talking about how they like it blended’)


Originally, today’s post was going to be about those people who pretend they come into the shop all the time, in order to convince you to give them free stuff. I was going to rant about how very unconvincing this all is.


However, something has happened. Spring has come.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love spring, it’s my favourite season. Nothing makes me happier than getting out of bed to see the sun shining, to see it’s light out when I have to walk to work at six am. Spring’s awesome, with the bunnies and the chicks and all that.


Except one thing. When the sun comes out, that means…Frappuccino season has returned. For those of you who don’t know, frappuccinos are drinks blended with ice, they’re like really cold milkshakes or smoothies. Except possibly with three hundred times the calories, and they taste like caffeine.

They’re exactly what you’re after on a warm day, something tasty and cold with a lot of whip cream on the top. Except that, once again, the ‘Me me me, I’m special, my drink choice defines my personality’ bastards have decided to make it painfully specific.


So we have the ‘I want a medium coffee frappuccino with a shot of espresso in it, but I want it separated into two small cups, with cream on each.’

Firstly, I’m aware that’s you, tricking me into giving you two drinks, by filling up the rest of the cup with twice as much whip. Fine whatever. Secondly, you’re doing this so you can give it to/share it with your children. Why, in the name of all that is holy and sane in this world, would you give your kid something with a shot of espresso? I suspect the women who come in and order this are not actually mothers, but ‘cool aunties’ who are now returning their charges to the actual parents. So when they go apeshit off caffeine and sugar, and decide running into walls and bouncing into the flatscreen is a good idea, the cool aunties don’t have to deal with it. At least that’s what I hope. Otherwise they’re just stupid.


There’s also the ‘how many calories are in that?’ ‘Can you make it skinny?’ ‘Can I have the low fat version with extra whip cream on top?’ and the ‘I want extra drizzle on top. No, more than that. More. As much as you can. No don’t bother with a lid. Can’t you make the drizzle in the shape of a smiley face? More drizzle, bitch. MORE.’


Are any of these requests particularly difficult or irritating? No, not really. But they’re not the problem. They’re gateway questions. They lead you in, and then you want more and more specifics until you’re proud until you can reel them off one after the other and the barista stares at you in horror. Like this guy:

‘I want a medium mocha light frappuccino in a large cup, only two pumps of mocha, an extra shot of decaf espresso and one pump of vanilla. And I want it double blended six times.’


‘Double blended’ is the ‘semi-dry’ of the warmer seasons. But that I mean, it drives me freaking crazy. It means you want it blended twice on the blender, because most people think that makes it thicker. It doesn’t. The pre-decided ratio of ice to liquid decides on whether it’s thicker. That’s physics and you’re a jackass.


So there’s a ‘1’ and ‘2’ button on the blender, I automatically press ‘2’, so that when someone decides after their drink is presented to them that they want it double blended, I can tell them it has been. It’s just easier. But this guy, this utterly specifics-dependent ‘I want what I want, aren’t I so freaking unique’ arsehole, has not allowed me to press the the ‘2’ button. So instead of pressing ‘2’ six times, I have to press ‘1’ twelve times. He wants it blended twelve times.


And then complains when he hasn’t got the puff to actually suck the damn thing up the straw. Which is strange, considering he’s so full of hot air.


So yeah, that’s double blended. Or deca-double blended? I don’t even know. All I know, is that if it’s a beautiful day, you should be outside, enjoying the sunshine. Not inside, torturing someone over something that doesn’t matter. It’s a drink, it’s not your personal epitaph. No-one’s going to think back when you’re dead and go ‘ah, remember how he used to like his frappuccinos double blended six times?’

The only person who may do that is me, and I’ll be thinking ‘Thank God that arsehole’s dead.’





Just a side note, if you’ve been on Facebook or Twitter, you’ll know I’m ‘performing’ some of the blog and generally moaning to an audience in Colindale at the Coffee Affair (4 Heritage Avenue NW9 5EN) on Thursday 7th April 2011. There will be writers, poets and little old me, ranting about coffee, and playing a special angry coffee song.  Starts at 18.00. All welcome!