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Many argue that in today’s day and age, you could make assumptions about people simply by looking at their social media footprints. Additionally, by analyzing jobs, pets and hobbies, you could sum up what makes them tick and have personality guidelines without even meeting them. We all do it, but you will never guess something that could be giving you away before you even get to work: YOUR COFFEE ORDER! (And more importantly, how you order it.)
If you know me well, you know that my faithful java is my fuel – the very thing that helps me survive my day and keep up with my 2-year-old. Regrettably, I own pajamas that say “No questions ’til I have had my coffee.” I rotate between my French press and Nespresso machine. Finally, I have not one, but seven loyalty cards loyalty cards to six different coffee establishments in my city. This love affair began in college, allowed me swing espresso while finishing my degree and turned me into a coffee lover for life.
Now, let’s take a behind the scenes look into the mind of the barista!
Coffee drinks are sometimes a direct reflection of the person’s personality. Now, I am no expert and I am sure the local baristas could elaborate on this topic further, but I’ve found the more complicated the drink, the more high maintenance the individual. Often these are also the people who pull a Sheldon Cooper and confirm whether the drink was made to their exact specifications upon receiving said drink like they are being handed a custom-made gift from a specialty store. Could this be because they feel the need to project their own insecurities to the person who is just doing their job? We will leave that up for psychologists to debate.
Warning: The following is simply my opinion, based on experiences from years of people watching at coffee shops around the US. If you can’t take a joke, please don’t read further…
1. Double Espresso: You probably only need four hours of sleep and intimidate your coworkers, solely because you are ten steps ahead of them.
>> Read more: Is Coffee Really Healthy for You?
2. Blended Frappuccino: You like sweets, obviously! This drink is built for comfort, not speed. If you order strawberries and cream (which — let’s face it — is a milkshake!) from Starbucks, you are probably a teenager hanging out with your friends. And if you catch a glimpse of a coffee enthusiasts standing behind you, shaking from caffeine withdraw, yes… They wish you would just hurry up and stop taking selfies during your order!
3. Vanilla Latte: You are a very nice person. You want things to be simple and as normal as possible. You hate confrontation and just want to have warm vanilla days. (Who doesn’t, right?)
4. Hot Chocolate: You’re not a coffee drinker but don’t want to miss anything. So you venture down to the local coffee shop and pay $3 for powdered cocoa and milk, just so you don’t feel excluded. You are also the girl (or guy) who will go to happy hour and drink club soda so you’re included. We love you though, ’cause you are often our designated driver.
5. Chai Tea Latte: You are a very creative person and you crave a little spice, but you’re also a skeptic and don’t trust “the man.”
6. Iced Coffee (in December): I fall into this group. I have no clue why iced coffee tastes better, but now that “cold brew” is in, this following will continue to grow. Most people who also drink iced coffee year round are hot… temperature wise! You probably only need a light jacket when it’s 30 degrees. Fun fact: the iced version is also stronger and easier to gulp down. It’s safe to say we like our caffeine and we want it now!
7. Pour-overs and Fresh presses: You my friend, are a connoisseur. You detest the pod/one button coffee contraptions that spit out crappy cups of coffee. Good coffee is an art to you. If you could afford it, you would own the coffee maker from The Bucket List and buy Kopi Luwak, fully aware of its origins. You most likely also have a good pallet for wine, cheese and chocolate. (Yes, I own a Fresh press and use it at home, too. But please, please don’t take that as a sign to buy me coffee that comes from cat poop.)
8. Black coffee: Ahh, these are my salt-of-the-earth folk. We love and respect you for giving the stressed barista a moment to breathe. You respect others and coffee. You don’t even need cream, much like you don’t need fluff in your life. We would also bet you have never used steak sauce on filet or ketchup on your eggs.
>> Read more: Can Your Used Coffee Grounds Cure Cellulite?
9. Secret menus: Now finally, we need to address a category all to its own. We have all heard the drink orders that sound like they could be code for something. These are the “half-caf, single shot, extra hot, two pump, no foam, oh, and add whip” orders that make every barista cry inside. This is not because they dislike the complexity of the drink but, chances are, when you get the drink, it will be wrong. If you have a friend like this, you have probably seen them send a meal back at a restaurant because something was not cooked to their exact specifications. They are high maintenance and have probably never worked in the service industry.
However, like everything you have read so far, there is an exception to this category. Some of my thrify friends have found DIY ways to make a mock latte that is half the cost and fewer calories. A friend of mine in London invented her own “DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte” using a plain coffee with two pumps of pumpkin spice with half and half, saving her pocketbook around $2 per day and cutting 400+ calories. All orders like this are brilliant, savvy and have outsmarted “the (coffee) man.”
Again, these are solely opinions and simple observations for enjoying the espresso world we live in. There is, of course, an exception to every rule, so try and laugh at this coffee enthusiast’s attempt to poke fun at our $4 obsession.
Caffeinated cheers to you all!