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10 Tips From a Former Barista That Will Ensure The Best Coffee Experience Ever

Listen, I get that the empire that is Starbucks has been crumbling in the past few weeks. With closures due to public outrage, the coffee conglomerate has seen better days.

However, it doesn’t mean that one bad egg ruins the bunch. The bunch is human, the bunch gets that what happened is abhorred, the bunch still has to go into work the next day and deal with the hundreds of people yelling and screaming at their faces for something so insignificant like coffee being too bitter.

So show the bunch some humanity.

I’m not asking for sympathy, just decency towards the people that have been up since 4 A.M. trying to give you a little pep in your step.

I’ve been a barista for five years, give or take. I’ve seen pretty much everything there is to see when it comes to inept customers not getting the simple and relatively easy to understand ins and outs about coffee.

I see how this complaint could be petty, but petty turns to torture when it’s hammered into my head every day. The fact that I have nightmares of my face melting off from someone angrily throwing coffee at my face, telling me it tastes “like dirt,” is a problem.

Instead of getting angry for not getting what you want like a child, there are steps you can take to  keep your latte from being spat into, and make your experience a little more pleasant at your local coffee shop

If You’re in Line, Decide

Figure out what you want before you get to the register. I can’t tell you how many times someone will mess around on their phone until they get to the register and still not know what they want. I’m not your mom, I’m your barista, I will help you if you know what you want. If not, at least lead with that.

Caffeine ≠ Coffee

Too many times people will walk in and say they want coffee, but aren’t down to drink a 16 oz cup of dark roast, or squeal when their cup is full of espresso. If you want coffee, say coffee; if you want caffeine, that’s a different story.  There’s so much more for you if you want caffeine. You can have espresso, iced coffee, cold brew, tea, or a mix.

There’s More Than One Type

Not all beans are equal. Certain coffee beans produce a different flavor profile and complexity. Even Starbucks, with their unicorn bs, still has three different types of coffee brewing in the morning. Ask the difference and taste it too, you’ll have a better morning if you have the coffee you like best.

Hot is Different From Burnt

Extra hot milk is just burned milk. Anything over 200 degrees is just burned. If you’re trying to save it for later just get a stopper to keep the heat from escaping, or get it later, I doubt there isn’t a starbucks around wherever you are.

Ethnocentricism is no Excuse

Cold brew has been around for a long time. Just because Starbucks recently began doling out the new drink doesn’t mean they created it. According to historical records, cold brew finds its origins in Japan, specifically in Kyoto. It used to be referred to as Kyoto-style coffee, and only recently has been proliferate amongst US markets. See, pretty interesting huh? Ask a barista, and if they’ve got an ounce of intelligence and care, they’ll gladly tell you any further information or tidbits.

Don’t Play Yourself

Milk/cream and sugar are not needed. Sometimes the reason your coffee tastes so bad is because it’s just not the right type. Not all black coffee is a bitter charcoal pit. This isn’t a one size fits all type of situation. Just like there are different flavors of tea, there are different roasts with varying characteristics. Experiment a little, baristas are there to help you with that. Don’t just say it’s gross and expect us to read your mind, tell us what flavors you’re into.

This is Not That

If you order a Caramel Frappuccino with extra caramel because you want “coffee,” I will slap you. In my mind, at least.

There Are Actual Sizes

“Regular” is not and has never been a size. I assume you mean medium, which is mostly correct, but for those special folks that think I’m being dumb when I ask what exactly they mean, regular is not real.

Seek Within

If you really don’t know what you want, just ask yourself these three questions: 1. Do I want something hot or cold? 2. Do I want caffeine? 3. Do I want sugar? If you just tell your barista these three things and give them free reign to do whatever, they’ll have a blast and you’ll probably find a new favorite drink.


Overall, enjoy the experience that the barista is trying to impart. We genuinely care about the coffee, it’s what’s keeping us from throwing a bagel in your face at 5 in the morning. So take a minute, soak in the environment and know this isn’t a vending machine, it’s a cafe and we have real beans with real hot water and real people, not a robot.

Drinks Fast Food

The Dumbest Things New Baristas Have Ever Done At Starbucks

Starting a new job is never easy, and if you’re a youngster trying to learn the ways of a brew master, you’re bound to make an embarrassing mistake here and there.

An Instagram account called Barista Life, which mostly focuses on Starbucks barista struggles, posted a meme clowning on new hires, then challenged its following to “comment the funniest thing a new barista has ever done or said and tag who done did it.”

Comment the funniest thing a new barista has ever done or said and tag who done did it #BaristaLife 😩😂

A post shared by Barista Life (@barista_life) on

The responses came pouring in, as over 600 people were quick to call out their fellow partners and reveal embarrassing moments.

Reading through the comments on the post, you’d be surprised how many baristas try to brew coffee with whole beans that weren’t ground. It’s also pretty funny how fellow baristas would mess with some of the new hires.

Check out the best of the bunch as we can laugh at the expense of noobs who did some ridiculous things:


“When I handed the new girl a blended drink, and she asked me if it was hot or cold… 😑” – toniferdig

A post shared by Ryan Tay (@rr.3asy) on


“We told our new barista to mop the ceiling… she got on a chair and tried.” – savannahskyes


“Told the new barista to make 3% milk and watch how they try to make it. Lmao.” – thehalibutqueenTelling



“Had a partner try to brew coffee without grinding the beans. Just straight coffee beans and hot water.” – Valiac



“Steamed milk for an iced latte.” – Sunjerrmoon



“Didn’t put the lid on the blender 😭😩🤣🤣.” – kbee77



“I asked a newbie to clean behind the safe and she tried pushing the safe for a good 5 mins until I told her it doesn’t move.” – cityxgirl



“when I first started i filled the espresso machine up all with decaf in the middle of a rush but the barista on bar was a champ and kept it our little secret 👊 decaf for one, decaf for all.” – fin_nickyalso



“Mistook iced coffee for black tea and mixed it with lemonade” – madisontomtom



“Got fired for slapping each others asses @daynafckingrosso” – dani_tortor



“My friend asked for an iced macchiato and then kid STEAMED THE MILK AND POURED IT OVER ICE. I was absolutely petrified #curdledrealness?” -caitlindav15



“I cant tell you how many newbies I had to teach how to HOLD a broom and sweep. wow.” -stefani2828


“We once had a barista try to take the sandwich display and give it to a customer 😨” – dabesttyler



“My team told the newbies that we call out a Pupachino with a woof at the end! It was hilarious!” – madimadimarisol


Drinks Restaurants What's New

This Coffee Shop Charges You Every Minute You’re Sitting Inside


We’ve been guilty of purchasing a small coffee and spending an entire day working remote at a Starbucks before. With the free bathrooms and WiFi, working in a coffeeshop is probably one of our preferred places to crunch out some editorial pieces like this beauty.

A new cafe in Brooklyn, however, won’t let you just lounge around all day just for buying a small drink. Williamsburg’s Glasshour charges customers $6 for the first hour they’re at the coffee shop and 10 cents for every minute after the first hour.

The model is similar to those of cyber cafes where you’re charged by the time rather than purchases, Grubstreet reports.

While you’re there, you can relax and play some board games, drink coffee or tea, and even get some free snacks.

Customer’s won’t be charged more than $24 bucks though. So think of it as a parking garage for your butt.

Celebrity Grub Culture Drinks Hit-Or-Miss Restaurants

London Coffee Shop Makes Baristas Learn Bruce Lee’s Martial Arts To Make Them Better Workers


A London fast food chain is employing some of Bruce Lee’s martial arts inspiration to speed up the serving time of its drinks.

Some baristas of the coffee shop Leon have been sent to train in the martial art of Wing Chun in order to improve on their hand speed. The employees were sent on a six week intensive course in the martial art made famous by Bruce Lee.

John Vincent, Co-founder of Leon, initiated the project that had six baristas undergo extensive training in March this year.

The initiative has reportedly resulted in faster service and even better quality of their coffee, the company claims. Coffee now takes 30 seconds less to prepare. The sessions have also relieved the participants of work-related stress, according to the Evening Standard.


The baristas seemed to enjoy the experience as some of them chose to continue with the Wing Chun training during their free hours.

“We noticed that the baristas, some of them were feeling quite stressed. It’s quite a stressful job,” Orla Delargy of Leon was quoted as saying. “We tested their heart rate and their confidence levels then we did six weeks’ intensive Wing Tsun (Chun) training.”

We found the quality had gone up and heart rates had gone down,” he said.

Wing Chun is an ancient Chinese form of self-defense that utilizes both striking and grappling while specializing in close-range combat. The combat style also helps increase spatial awareness and helps to develop a better relationship between mind and body.

Written by Ryan General | NextShark


How A Barista With No College Degree Hustled His Way Into Yahoo, Facebook And Became A VP At Airbnb


Mike Curtis didn’t have a college degree and worked as a barista serving lattes during high school, yet he still managed to hustle his way into Yahoo, Facebook and eventually become the vice president of engineering at Airbnb.

Curtis had no computer coding skills when he first started at the tech company across the street from the coffee shop he worked at. He landed a gig at iAtlas Corporation after convincing one of his customers to give him the internship. Curtis told Tech in Asia:

“I got to know some of the customers really well. One of them, this guy Jason, had a little tech company across the street.”

5907972100_3b75c555f6_bThough he was initially turned down, his persistence paid off.

“I kept after him. And I kept after him. And I kept after him. And finally I got him to agree to give me the internship.”

maxresdefault-1Curtis started off as a receptionist and answered phone calls for the company while he learned how to code, according to Business Insider. iAtlas developed a catalogue of searchable business information and was bought by Altavista in 1999. After the acquisition, Curtis set out to Silicon Valley to continue his programming career at AOL and a healthcare company.

He later made the switch to Yahoo where he managed 200 engineers before moving on to Facebook as the social media site’s engineering manager. Today he works at Airbnb as their vice president of engineering.


Curtis established an extensive tech career before turning 35 and imparted a few words of wisdom to Tech in Asia about what he learned along the way. The VP also shed light on the growth of Airbnb and how it became the multi-billion dollar company it is today.


Landing Job Interviews

According to Curtis, preparing for job interviews by thoroughly researching the company is crucial to landing a job. Those who schedule multiple interviews and don’t do their homework tend to struggle. He said:

“When I was interviewing at Airbnb, I prepared — a lot. And it really shines through in interviews.”

Early Days of Airbnb

Airbnb was slow to take off at the beginning, but the company laid its roots by focusing on the feedback of its early hosts and guests to improve users’ experience.

“If you look at Airbnb’s history, it’s been eight years. And if you look at the growth curve of Airbnb, you see that for the first three or so years of Airbnb’s existence, basically nothing happened. That was because there wasn’t enough supply in the marketplace to drive demand, and there wasn’t enough demand to drive supply.”


Recruiting and Retaining Top Talent

Curtis doesn’t code as much as he used to now that he’s at Airbnb where he focuses on recruiting talented engineers and figuring ways to retain programmers. His philosophy is based on integrating engineers into the business process. He said:

“Ultimately it’s up to you to find the impact. Then suddenly you’re not just somebody who writes code. Suddenly you’re like a business owner. And that’s the exciting stuff. That’s where the creativity in the field comes from. And when you’re writing that code on screen you want to know why you’re writing it. It’s not just because it was handed to you, it’s because you know how this is going to drive the business you feel passionately about.”

The Right Trajectory

While employees are often preoccupied with what they have to offer their company, Curtis advised that they should also be asking what their company has to offer them. Looking back, he wonders whether he had stayed too long at certain companies or not been as recognized for his work at others.

“Always make sure what you’re doing is working hard for you.” 

Written by NextShark


These Baristas Stopped Working To Do Something Beautiful For A Customer

Maybe I’m just being hormonal, or maybe it’s because I watched The Green Mile last night and now crying all the time just feels right, but a handful of coffee shop baristas just made me bawl like a 13-year-old girl finding out that Zayn Malik left One Direction. That still hurts, too.

Barbara Danner was waiting in the drive-thru line at Dutch Bros. Coffee when she saw multiple baristas reaching out their hands (and their hearts) to the customer in line in front of her. She snapped a picture, then asked the baristas what the story was behind the sentimental display.

According to her post, the woman in line in front of her lost her 37-year-old husband the night before. The baristas noticed that something was troubling her, and immediately offered their support. When they found out what had happened, three or four of them dropped whatever they were doing and bowed their heads in prayer with her.

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 12.59.44 PMApparently this spontaneous act of kindness and humanity is nothing new for the Good Samaritans at Dutch Bros. After sifting through the comments on Danner’s post, it’s fairly easy to see how common stories like this are. I legitimately could not find a single story documenting a bad time at Dutch Bros. Rather, I am now bawling like a baby back bitch after reading all of them.

One woman’s newborn son passed away, and the barista at the time cried with her and shared her pain. Another barista waived a customer’s coffee payment after hearing about her dog and best friend being put down, and read some Peanuts Gallery comics to her to cheer her up. A third barista gave a drink to a man rushing to the hospital to see the birth of his Nephew. Two weeks later, the customer returned to a free drink and a friendly face that genuinely inquired as to the health of the baby.

The stories that I’m seeing from this place continue to baffle me. How does one establishment find so many good people? I know every company spews some bullshit about sharing one heart, one mind and one goal, but in my 27 years on Earth, never once have I seen such a large collection of wonderful people actually accomplish such a daunting feat. If you need a good cry right now, check out the post and skim through the comments, you won’t be disappointed.

Next time you’re planning on going to Starbucks, consider finding a Dutch Bros. Coffee instead. After all, we can all use a hug more often than we let on, and something tells me any employee at any Dutch Bros. location would be happy to oblige.

Dutch Bros. Coffee, I salute you.



Photo Credit: Facebook


Off Duty Starbucks Barista Just Made The Most Beautiful Valentine’s Day Frappuccinos


Last year, our local Starbucks crew made us some pretty insane custom drinks from their drink menu. Because of Starbucks’ expansive selections, there are THOUSANDS of ways to customize a frappuccino.

Redditor Tony Aguilar (2ony) is a barista at Starbucks. He recently posted three photos of custom drinks he and his coworkers made specifically for Valentine’s Day. Seen above, here are the descriptions of what’s inside them from left to right.

Love Bean Frappuccino: Vanilla bean made with raspberry pumps. Topped with raspberry infused whipped cream and chocolate curls.

Valentine Frappuccino: Strawberries and cream with raspberry pumps for the color. A layer of vanilla bean in the middle and blackberry on top. Topped with whipped cream.

Java Berry Frappuccino: A Java Chip Frappuccino that’s topped with raspberry infused whipped cream.

Though Aguilar posted descriptions of the first two beverages, he didn’t give too much detail on that final frappe. Luckily, Cosmopolitan fills in the blanks of that last drink.

Single or in a committed relationship, you’ll definitely want to try these.


Café Shut Down for Selling Coffee With a Side of Prostitutes


Who in a million years would have thought that a cafe called “Java Jugs” would be a lowkey prostitution ring? Crazy, right?

If the silhouette of a naked woman on the sign wasn’t a dead giveaway that this place might be sketchy, Komo News reported that police had surveillance video of some unsavory things going on in the Snohomish County coffee shop.

Proprietor Carmela Panico was charged with promoting prostitution as she allegedly made more than $2 million selling ass along with their coffee.

The cafe started slipping when customers actually started complaining about the baristas exposing their breasts for tips. Most of the baristas were reported to make anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000 a month. One of them even made $89,000 one month. It wasn’t all fun and games though, as the baristas would get fined if they didn’t wear stripper heels, or didn’t keep their tan and makeup game on point.

Panico’s attorney told the court that Panico isn’t in the coffee biz anymore as she leased or sold all six of her former coffee shops.

Even if their coffee didn’t suck, their baristas did, and it inevitably led to their demise.