Barista problems Archives - I Hate Working In Retail




I’ve seen plenty of lists of things that annoy baristas on sites like  Most of them consist of complicated orders.  For me, I could care less how complicated your order is.  Baristas are guilty of the most complicated of orders.  It’s all in how you order.  It’s also in how much sense your drink actually makes!

My list doesn’t piss off all baristas, I’m sure, or even most of them.  These things really just upset me, the Eco-friendly, on a health kick, vegan.  But I figured I’d share and see what you guys think of these things. I apologize in advance for the sarcastic and judgey undertones you’re about to read.  If you do any of the following things, please know I mean no harm, but you might want to look into the health effects some of these things could possibly have.  Or if you don’t care, just laugh it off and call me a preachy, bitter barista.  I know I sound ridiculous, but after 8 years of serving coffee and after learning about so many different health issues, this is what gets me.

Without further adieu, in no particular order, here are things that I silently sneer at.

1. Double Cupping or Sleeving a Cold Beverage.

Even sleeves are a waste to me.  Most drinks, (regular coffee/Americanos aside) I find don’t need a protective covering so your hands don’t burn.  But I get it.  Not everyone’s hands can handle the heat.  But why isn’t that little piece of cardboard enough protection for you?  Okay, go ahead and waste another cup for your morning coffee if you must.  Wait, you want it double cupped AND a sleeve?  Now, you’re just being ridiculous.  But the people who really kill me?  Those customers who can’t stand their cold beverage cup sweating.  Oh no, you have condensation on your hands! Gross.  Or the other reason for these prima donnas (usually college girls, please excuse my stereotyping), is that the cup is just too cold.  Really?  First world problems much?

Starbucks_straw_large2. Asking for a Straw for Your Hot Beverage.

Don’t get me wrong — I love drinking through a straw!  However, plastic straws are made for COLD drinks.  There is  even a warning on most straw wrappers: Not Intended For Hot Beverages.  There is a reason for this.  Plastic melts!  And sure, your straw looks in tact, but are you forgetting that whole plastic emitting gas thing?  I just fear all the cancer cells being activated every time you drink your double tall vanilla latte.

3. Wanting Cream on the Side.

This is usually a drive-thru issue.  “Can I get extra cream on the side?”  On the barista end, we wind up giving you an 8 ounce cup of half & half.  Not only is my Eco-brain yelling “wasteful” for that cup and the plastic lid (and possible splash stick to go inside the cup) that we’re giving you, but for the extra cream that is also probably going to waste.  Instead, you could come inside and prepare your coffee with just the right amount of cream without wasting all that paper, plastic and that poor cow’s secretions. (Sorry, that last part is the vegan in me feeling guilty for even serving all things I don’t agree with! 88 days until I stop going against my ethics.)

pupcup4. Ordering a “Pup Cup” or “Puppuccino”.

“What the heck are these?” You ask.  Oh, just a cup of whip cream for your dog.  Seems innocent enough and it’s oh so cute watching that little beagle’s snout in the cup, covered in white sweetness.  So I guess that adorableness overrides the fact dogs shouldn’t have milk products?

5. Bringing Your Own Cup, but Not Wanting to Use it.

“I have my own cup, but can you just put my drink in a paper one?”  No joke, I’ve had more than one customer ask me that.  And then to follow with, “I can still get the discount, right?”  No, you can’t!  I then politely explain, “The cup discount is because you would be saving our company a cup.”  I then usually mutter something about saving the Earth, but they never care about that.

aspartame16. Adding Artificial Sweetener to Any Beverage.

I realize so many people still use Splenda, Sweet & Low and Equal.  As I choke on the fumes while opening your 5 packets of Splenda for your latte, I wonder if you just assume you’ll get cancer anyway, and might as well speed along the process, or you’re just unaware.  What I really don’t understand is the people who order a Mocha (or any flavored latte) and want to add a packet of Equal in there as well.  So now you want regular sugar AND aspartame?  WHY???

7. Getting A Half Nonfat/Half Soy Latte.

Sometimes I think I understand this logic, but then, no, no I don’t.  At all.  First, let me explain soy milk is not a “low fat” or diet beverage.  Especially not the one at Starbucks.  It’s vanilla soy – added sugar.  Nonfat milk also has added sugar, by the way.  Soy milk is simply an alternative to milk, not a better choice calorie wise.  Anyway, I never understand what one tries to accomplish with getting soy milk to save calories, fat or sugar.  But then again, I can’t understand the benefits of nonfat milk anymore either.  But to mix the 2 in your 12 ounce drink?  Maybe just stick with the standard 2% milk then?  Whatever.  I’m lost.

8. Steaming Your Beverage to 192°.

Okay, so did you actually stick a thermometer in your drink and decide such a specific number is the perfect temperature?  Do you even know what happens when we steam milk to temperatures past 180°?  It overflows the pitcher and practically burns, losing most of its frothy consistency.  Also, if we steam your beverage below 120°, it allows bacteria to form inside the milk.  Maybe just stick with the terms “kid’s temp” (140°) and “extra hot” (180°) just to be safe and less annoying.

9. Asking for the light version of a drink and still wanting whip cream.

This doesn’t nearly bother me as much as it used to.  Why?  Because it’s so freaking common now for people to do this that I just roll with it.  Let people think that whip cream (made with vanilla and heavy cream) isn’t going to pack on calories/fat/sugar into your caramel frappuccino light.  Speaking of, those light beverages are made with both aspartame and regular sugar, and now you just added the worst thing of all onto it — the whip cream (roughly 100 extra calories).  Don’t blame me when you crash hard after that sugar rush, gain weight from all the dairy/sugar, and are constantly hungry because of the aspartame. (I’m talking to the people who think it’s okay to consume such a beverage everyday.)

10. Asking for an extra shot of espresso in a drink that does not get espresso.

“Can I get an extra shot in that iced coffee/frappuccino?”  Um, well, neither of those drinks get shots of espresso to begin with.  Why are you ordering an “extra” one?  The way people word things confuse me.  Or are they confused?  I don’t know.  I’m just a barista who’s ready to throw in the apron.

Ask me in three months if these things still bother me while I’m visiting other coffee shops as a customer.  I’ll probably say yes, but at least I won’t feel like their crack dealer anymore!


Sourced from


The 9 Struggles Every Coffee Shop Barista Has to Endure

Working in a coffee shop can have its highs and lows, like any job. There are customers you love and certain orders that you hate but it’s money in the bank after all.


However, sometimes being a barista can really test your limits.


1. Asking what size a customer would like their drink and getting the response of ‘normal’.

Yes, coffee shops tend to use different names for small medium large but the concept is still the same. Normal, however, is not a size so don’t sigh at me like I’m making this hard for you. PICK ONE.


2. Calling out a drink you’ve made, then three drinks later having a customer come up to you pointing at a drink and saying “is that mine?”

Believe it or not, random stranger, I don’t know if that drink is yours given that I don’t know your name nor do I know what you ordered. I also don’t know what is wrong with you.


3. Using the left hand side till throughout the entirety of their order, only to have the customer try and put their card in the right hand side machine.

I know you’ve not had your coffee yet but please try and function for just a few more seconds.


4. Having your mood crushed instantly as the singular customer at your till pulls out a list of 20 drinks for them and their colleagues.

5. Getting the response “we can still sit upstairs though right?” when telling people they can only have their drinks to take away as you’re shutting the store.

Yeah we like to just shut one side of the store and leave the rest open for people who have nothing better to do with their evening. LEAVE.


6. Having a customer approach your till whilst on the phone to someone and act like you’re unreasonable for attempting to take their order.

They say “Sorry about that” but are talking to the person on the phone. Oh.


7. Getting customers that take the wrong drinks and wonder how they managed it.

They have ordered a cold iced drink but somehow mistakenly picked up a boiling hot one instead and wondered off without noticing their mistake. Or taken one that says ‘Emily’ on the side of it despite them being a 40-odd year old man. They come back complaining their latte tastes funny when they’re clearly drinking a hot chocolate with whipped cream on top. You don’t need coffee, you need help.


8. Having change slammed down on the counter in front of you after they’ve counted it all out in their hand.

You’ve politely reached out to get their money as they’ve leant forward yet they still feel the need to slam it all down on the counter for you to pick back up coin by coin. Just take the moral high ground, smile and hand them their 5p change… by putting it on the counter.


9. People don’t understand the difference between a latte and a cappuccino.

Latte = espresso, lots of milk, some foam. Cappuccino = espresso, some milk, lots of foam. When you ask for a Cappuccino with less foam, you’re just ordering a latte. If you ask for a latte with extra foam, you want a Cappuccino.

Hang in there.

Sourced from


Shit Only Baristas Will Understand

If you’ve worked in the land of coffee, you’ll know how we feel. It’s a lonely world full of scowling zombies who haven’t had their fix, nicknaming the regulars and being grateful for people with manners. The fresh smell of coffee gets old real fast and all your left with is stained hands and sore feet. Baristas unite, you’re essentially supplying people with one of the only legal drugs left in the world. Go us!

The sick feeling you get when your alarm going off in what feels like the dead of the night and having to drag yourself out of bed and out the door while it’s still dark.


Your friends whatsapp group starting to come alive 4 hours after you have because their jobs start at civilised hours.

Opening up the coffee shop with whoever is scheduled on with you and having a mutual understanding that there is no conversation before the coffee machine is turned on, functioning and you’ve both had your ‘hit’.

Having to clean the milk fridge is gag inducing.

How difficult it is to maintain your manners when someone orders while their on their phone.

The fact that most of your regulars have secret nicknames with your co-workers like ‘soy cap guy’ and ‘bitchy flat white’ (Actual nicknames)

“For here or to go?” is something that rolls off your tongue quicker than your name now.

During quiet times you’ve experimented by putting a chocolate bar IN a croissant and then toasting it, only for a customer to come up while your mouth is full and you can’t fully enjoy your majestic creation.

Being able to put on your own iPod playlist makes the day so.much.better.

You value the people who are patient and considerate more than they will ever know.

You are guilty of giving that total bitch “fat” instead of “non fat” because fuck her.

There are some customers that no matter how many times they tell you, you will just never remember their name and you feel really bad about it.

There is no better feeling then getting home after your early shift and having the majority of the day left to do whatever you want while your friends are still in work for at least another 3 hours.

The walk to work while the sun is rising and the world is still asleep can sometimes be incredible and you wonder why you’d do anything else.

Sourced from Collegetimes