What Your Non-Snobby Barista Wants to Tell You

ImageToday I was standing in line at Zaraffas when the lady in front of me ordered two skinny mochas with whipped cream and marshmallows. Because as a friend so eloquently put it “of course they will get fat if they have full cream milk in that concoction.”

(Before anyone who knows me personally points out that this is like my habit of ordering diet coke when I go to McDonalds, no it’s not. I just genuinely prefer the flavour of the chemical cocktail that is the sugar-free variety. She can’t taste the difference between skim and full cream under all that coffee and sugar.)

It left me just wanting to say “Really? Really?”

But then I ordered a caramel latte.

There are lots of articles out there like “50 things your barista is thinking” and “what your coffee order says about you,” all written by coffee-snobs. Who probably live in Melbourne.

I’ve made lots of coffee in the past, but I wouldn’t call myself a barista. I appreciate a brilliant coffee and will throw one out if it’s even a tad burned, but I can’t tell you the difference between Columbian and Puerto Rican beans, my standard order is a latte and I’m unashamedly fond of white chocolate mochas.

So here’s my guide to what your less judgemental, non-coffee-snob barista really wants to tell you about your order:

Skinny anything: You know they put sugar in skim milk right? So you’re better off with the fat in full cream? Never mind, I’ll probably just give you regular milk anyway, you can’t tell.

Short black: I sort of like you because your order is easy, but I’m a bit nervous because you’re the one most likely to know if I’m terrible at this.

Have-here: Thanks a lot. Now I have to go across the road to borrow a teapot from our sister restaurant (true story).
Takeaway: Please don’t blame me when you burn yourself trying to get the teabag out.

Extra-large, quarter-strength, decaf soy vanilla latte:
If it’s 8.30am – you’re joking right? F**k off.
If it’s 10am – Something elaborate and time-consuming to make me look busy while we’re dead! I love you!

Half strength mocha with three sugars and a marshmallow: Dude, just order a hot chocolate, I really won’t judge.

You’re American and you ask if we have “normal” filtered coffee: Please don’t walk away when I say no! Let me introduce you to something even better.

Babycino: Sure, the cup is cute. But you’re priming them to be little mini hipsters who’ll decide they’re ready for coffee at age 7. Quit being so stingy and give the kid an iced chocolate.

Triple espresso: Oh come on. No one reallllly enjoys that do they? I’ll do my best not to burn it.

Affogato: Yay! Time to play with the martini glasses. You’re sure you don’t want some liqueur? It’ll look even prettier.

And in general:

If your coffee isn’t up to scratch, tell me. Nicely. Just because I’m not a coffee connoisseur doesn’t mean I’m terrible at this, coffee machines can just be bitches sometimes. I can give it another crack, or hand it to someone else.

Just because you haven’t had your morning coffee yet doesn’t mean you can be rude to me. Say thankyou.

Full of Living



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    1. Oh, I had to do the same thing once! This guy was actually a really good barista, but was such a coffee-snob he’d never heard of a babycino. Luckily I noticed before it was served.

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