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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.


Your Beloved Pet Just Ate Your Weed, Here’s What To Do Next

Anyone that’s taken an edible knows how volatile they can be. Take a 23mg Cheeba Chew and you don’t feel anything at all, except your wallet in your back pocket being $10 lighter for nothing. Take a 24mg Cheeba Chew, and you also don’t feel anything at all, but only because you’re certain that your nervous system has shut down and you’re dying and you’re on your way to the promised land. Sucks, doesn’t it? Now imagine if your poor labrador puppy had to go through that as well. That’s certainly a thought no one enjoys.


I would cry forever if anything ever happened to my two little furballs because of me.

With the rise in popularity of marijuana and the states slowly going through a domino effect of legalization, cases of pet poisoning have grown substantially. The average number of pot-related trips to the hospital was one every month. Since the legalization in Colorado, Oregon and Washington, that number has jumped to one every other day.

As it turns out, there are a few ways to make sure this doesn’t happen to your cat or dog, or ferret if you swing that way. First, let’s cover the obvious ones.

Don’t leave your weed/wax/paraphernalia lying around: Seems simple, but you would be surprised how often pets (especially dogs) find their way to a leftover pot brownie or half-smoked blunt resting on the side of an ashtray.

If you do leave it lying around, keep it in a locked place: Emphasis on the word “locked.” Dogs and cats are pretty persistent if they see or smell something and want it. Too many times have I seen video of a dog or cat opening a drawer or jumping a fence or shaking down their owners for their drug caches. Ok, the last one was a lie, but not too far off from the truth anyways.

If you’re following these instructions and your little furball still finds a way to gobble up your ‘dro, then you need to take one or both of these more extensive measures.

1. Activated Charcoal

This stuff is basically your all-in-one poison controller. If ingested immediately after eating poison, it should absorb a large amount of it and prevent it from getting too ingrained into your body, i.e. making it to your bloodstream and being generously pumped throughout its entirety. Even when feeding this to Rex, be sure to have preparations made to rush to the vet’s office if need be. When it comes to our four-legged loved ones, not a single second should be wasted.

2. The Veterinarian

I mean, you don’t really want to risk it, do you? It’s not worth it. Yes, the bills will be outrageous, and the doc will probably just sedate your pet until their highness passes. The best part though? THEY WILL BE ALIVE. Unless you’re a veterinarian yourself, you can’t be sure how your pet will react. If the charcoal works out, fantastic. If not, get your asses in the car and get to the hospital STAT. While at the vet’s office, try to follow these steps:

Honesty is key: Lying helps no one, especially your struggling friend. The vet doesn’t care about you enough to judge you, and they’re certainly not going call the police on you. They don’t have the time or the energy. It’s weed, and it’s 2016. It’s not that crazy anymore. Furthermore, if you want to avoid telling the vet why you’re there, he’s going to have to take every test possible to figure it out what’s wrong with , and you’re going to pay for all of them, and he’s going to figure out that it’s weed anyways. Save yourself and your companion the time, trouble and money.

Keep your wits about you: Animals are very intuitive creatures and can tell when their owner is panicked or worried about something. You staying calm will help your little guy stay calm as well, or at least as much as possible while they’re still battling the THC demons.

Plan for the future: Learn from this mistake and make sure it doesn’t happen again, for your pet’s sake. If you’re worried about looking foolish, don’t be. Nobody needs to know about this little mishap if you’re uncomfortable talking about it, as long as you did everything in your power to help. Still, use this as a virtual “what not to do” template for the future and hopefully you can prevent this little problem from ever happening again.

If you do, however, cause poor little Buster to go through this again…



Photo Credit: Woof In Boots, Toke Signals


All Supermarkets In France Are Now Required to Give Unsold Food to the Needy


The French government enacted a law on Wednesday making it mandatory for supermarkets in France to donate unwanted food to food banks or charities.

The petition was launched by local councilman Arash Derambarsh and was unanimously passed by the country’s senate, reports the Independent. The effort was reportedly campaigned by anti-poverty groups who were opposed to food waste. These groups are now hoping the rest of the EU follows suit with a similar law.

Fines of up to 75,000 euros ($83,700) or two years in prison will be incurred for those who violate the new law which applies to any supermarket that covers a minimum of 400 square meters of floor area.

It has been a practice of some local supermarkets to pour bleach over the discarded food or to lock them in warehouses to prevent foraging.

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Jacques Bailet, head of Banques Alimentaires, a network of French food banks, told the The Guardian that “it would greatly increase an already emerging trend for supermarkets to donate to food banks.”

“In terms of nutritional balance, we currently have a deficit of meat and a lack of fruit and vegetables. This will hopefully allow us to push for those products,” said Bailet.

The legislation is widely seen as simplifying a complicated process of donating directly to charity.

Each year over 7.8 million tons of food are wasted in France while 1.4 billion tons are wasted worldwide.

Written by Editorial Staff, NextShark