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23 Secrets Baristas At Small Coffee Shops Won't Tell You

Yes, that's a macchiato.

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1. Your first months are spent washing dishes or working the register.

You never start on the bar since you have to undergo extensive milk and espresso training.
Franklin Heijnen/CC / Via Flickr: franklinheijnen

You never start on the bar since you have to undergo extensive milk and espresso training.

2. When you have to hand-wash dishes, scrubbing lipstick off a ceramic cup is literally the worst.

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3. There is a special place in Dante's Inferno for people who don't know how to put dishes into designated bus bins.

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4. You can spot newbies by how they pronounce "espresso."

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5. You accumulate so many coffee appliances that you could start your own coffee shop at home.

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6. You have a love/hate relationship with the amount of croissants you get to take home.

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7. There aren't any uniforms, but you will wear flannel and a beanie at least three times a week.

The vicious cycle of the self-perpetuated hipster stereotype is never-ending.
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The vicious cycle of the self-perpetuated hipster stereotype is never-ending.

8. There is only one thing worse than getting scheduled to "clopen" a coffee shop...

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9. ...it's the guest who wants a latte five minutes before closing and one minute after you already cleaned the bar.

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10. Someone will always ask for dark roast because it's the "strongest."

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The darker the roast the less caffeine. The guest is looking for a rounder, fuller taste. NOT STRENGTH.

11. In a given week, multiple guests will ask you for "extra hot" or if their drink can be microwaved.

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1) Oversteaming milk actually ruins the flavor of the coffee and texture of the milk.

2) THERE ARE NO MICROWAVES.

12. Before your shift, you taste the coffee and come up with the weirdest descriptions when attempting to make them sound relatable.

Yum. Tastes like a full-bodied barbecue with notes of cherry blossom.
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Yum. Tastes like a full-bodied barbecue with notes of cherry blossom.

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13. You are trained to educate guests about their coffee. But they will always stop you midsentence and say, "Just give me the BEST."

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14. There are always guests that want to show you how much more knowledge they have than you.

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The power of the stand and nod.

15. You will always encounter someone who doesn't like the coffee, complains, and comes back the next day.

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Just when you thought they were gone forever. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

16. When your latte art is subpar, there is always someone there to capture the moment on Instagram.

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Yep...penis. Intentional? Maybe.

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17. In your defense, most screw-ups come from almond milk. You know the best art texture comes from whole.

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18. You have hand cream hidden under the register because you couldn't survive working the bar without it.

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There's a lot of friction from pulling nobs all day...

19. When a co-worker's "crushtomer" walks in, you chat in coffee code.

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A marking on a cup means you found out the customer's single.

20. In the case of "crushtomers," you totally make those hearts JUST. FOR. THEM.

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In other cases, you just don't have the time to craft perfect tulip double rosettas.

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21. Latte throwdowns are your version of the Olympics.

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And they are the best way to connect with other baristas in your town.

22. When a customer wants you to make a macchiato the way Starbucks makes them, you lose a part of your soul.

An ACTUAL macchiato is espresso with a little milk.
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An ACTUAL macchiato is espresso with a little milk.

23. But, besides that, you actually still enjoy going to Starbucks.

Frappuccinos are God's gift. GOD'S GIFT!
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Frappuccinos are God's gift. GOD'S GIFT!