Coffee shops are a place to relax, enjoy and leave fond memories. However, when you work in coffee shops as long as I have you come across a fair few awkward moments, some between staff and customers, some between customers and customers, and even some between customers and themselves. I’ve rounded up the top 5 unspoken rules in speciality coffee shops to ensure a good standard of etiquette.
1. DON’T BE RUDE, RESPECT IS A TWO WAY STREET.
Whilst customers are told they’re always right, being respectful whether it be to other customers or staff should be a god given whatever your status. If you’re having a bad day don’t take it out on the baristas. Treat each other like you’d expect to be treated. Risk facing my extreme unfiltered wrath should you order whilst on your phone or with your head phones in.
2. ADDING SUGAR CAN BE THE DEVILS WORK.
Whilst we don’t restrict its use, effort to reduce adding sugar in unnecessary instances is preferable. Try not to add sugar until you’ve tried your speciality coffee. What can make a speciality coffee exceptional is its ability to be naturally sweet without the need to artificially sweeten. All the effort that goes into sourcing, roasting and brewing a coffee to get to that natural sweet spot may be lost on you. As the common barista saying would go, ‘you don’t need sugar you’re sweet enough’. Customers with a particular sweet tooth are excluded from this rule.
3. DON’T BE IMPATIENT.
Time may be of the essence, but making great coffee takes time. Making coffee isn’t just a beverage to many, it is something good baristas take pride in making. If you’re expecting a coffee to be made in under 30 seconds whatever your situation, you should leave immediately or make more time.
4. BE CURIOUS AND OPEN MINDED.
The world of speciality coffee can be a daunting place and a rabbit hole at the best of times. Good coffee shops are always on hand to help and enlighten, so asking questions can only add to your experience. Coffee is personal to many so enjoy it in all its glory. This can include interacting with your fellow coffee lovers.…in the non-creepy way.
5. CLEANLINESS IS GODLINESS.
Whilst we encourage the philosophy ‘Mi casa es su casa’ in our coffee shops, don’t take the sentiment too literally. If your home is a filthy mess that’s your business and we’re not expecting you to turn our beloved coffee shops into the hell hole you call home. If you’re reading this, this is directed at the man whose dog keeps pissing on the floor in our coffee shop…shame, shame, shame!
I leave you now with an extreme result of poor etiquette should a barista be blessed with superpowers.