Thoughts & Stories: Coffee Shop Etiquette 101-Chapter 1

We have arrived upon the season when leaves fall, you begin wearing those adorable brown boots and try (in vain) to look cute in skinny jeans. Scarves. Blunt bangs. Holidays. Spiked Cider. Autumn is here my friends.

With the colder weather, I find myself in the mood for a warm fat-free sugar-free double tall vanilla latte more frequently. Okay okay, so I usually get a frappachino! You got me...moving on...

I am not a cool coffee drinker. Not at all. I like my cup of joe gooped up with sugar until it tastes more like a cup of cake. To even coin the term "cup of joe" you must be the coolest of cool coffee people, and thus I apologize for typing it, for I am unworthy. Cool coffee folks speak it freely while sipping fair-trade coffee from a sustainable $20 cup made to look like a paper cup. May I just say that had me confused for years?! Why would you want a real cup that looked like a paper cup? I'd only wind up throwing away a $20 purchase. (or...uh recycling it, ahem). It's all tom foolery if you ask me.

I digress.

While not being an expert in coffee, I am certainly educated on how to screw up the coffee shop process entirely. Thus begins my 3-part series "Coffee Shop Etiquette 101"

Chapter 1: Ordering

"If a barista doesn't make eye contact with you, he's just not that into you"

That's right everyone, don't ever try to flag down a barista before he or she is ready. No matter how intense the morning traffic commute is looking on your iphone, please do not make this fatal error. Not only will you feel the passive aggressive chill from behind the counter, but other customers will stone you to death.


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Moral of the story? WAIT YOUR TURN!


"Order your drink with confidence"

Standing in front of the cash register utterly clueless is frustrating for you, every person behind you, but most of all the person taking your order. Just the other day I fell prey to this horrible predicament. I looked like a nervous mouth breather staring blankly at the giant menu. I had, once again, found myself rendered mute in the midst of so many options.



I simply couldn't choose. Out of my normal coffee comfort zone (being Starbucks), I had no idea how to wade the unnatural waters around me. In the end, I was paralyzed in anxiety feeling the tension rise from the line behind me. Thus, I ordered a minute maid orange juice... the packaged kind in the fancy glass thingy by the register. This is just a tragedy.

If you are anything like me, take some time to observe the menu BEFORE getting in line. Consider your options, don't be afraid to ask questions and then order with grace and precision. You can do it...don't fall prey to fear like I did.


"The Curse of Tall, Grande and Venti"

Haven't we all made this mistake? You walk into a hip downtown coffee joint, the kind that used to be a speakeasy during prohibition and operates under the same discretion. You stumble in, overwhelmed by the indie rock blasting from every corner only to say:

"Can I get a mocha?"

"A what?"

"A Mocha"

"One more time man"


(silence fills the room as rail thin barista guy by day poet by night is left stunned at your ignorance)



In conclusion I will say this. Only you can prevent the embarrassment of ignorant coffee customs. And nobody likes to get stoned. To death anyway. So do your part for society and consider my words before meeting your "more than friend" Roy to study at Pete's Coffee.