Working as a barista can be difficult. They’re on their feet all day, navigating filthy equipment that could be harmful because to exposure to loud noises, hot liquids, and chemicals. On top of that, they must deal with a variety of customers, some of whom are picky and even unpleasant.
Do you want to make it easy for your barista? Here’s some barista-approved etiquette to remember when getting your morning coffee.
1. It’s fine to be curious, but keep the line going.
The million and one options on the average espresso bar’s menu can be frightening if you’re new to the scene. Laura LeMoon, 35, a former Starbucks employee, advised not to be scared to ask questions.
Most baristas are delighted to assist you in choosing a drink; however, if there is a queue out the door, they may not have time to explain every item.
2. Don’t expect “service with a smile” from others.
Although baristas are famed for their warmth, not every cafe compels its employees to put on a brave face and make up pleasantries. This could be a good thing, given that feigning pleasant emotions has been shown to be harmful to a barista’s physical and mental health in at least one study on the coffee industry.
Respect a barista’s need for space if they’re busy or just not in the mood for idle chatter.
3. Customers aren’t always correct.
It’s fine to be picky when it comes to coffee, says Abby Seitz, 24, a former barista at a Jerusalem cafe, but don’t be unpleasant if the cup you get isn’t what you expected.
If you want a vegan cappuccino, don’t be surprised if it doesn’t have the same thick coating of foam,” Seltz added. “Soy and almond milks don’t foam as well as dairy milks,” says the author.
4. Have patience.
“It truly sucks to be stared at and be told what to do while we’re making the drinks we’ve been trained to make,” former Starbucks employee Lisa Marie Basile told Insider.
Whether you’re waiting for the barista to perfect your drink or there’s a large group ahead of you, it’s rarely the barista’s fault if the line’s slow. If you need to be there quickly, it’s probably best to brew your coffee at home.
5. Make yourself at ease – but not too at ease.
We’ve all seen the meme of the guy with his bare feet up on the coffee table and his newspaper spread a mile wide. Don’t be that guy, said Alyssa P., 39, a former barista in Pittsburgh, and avoid “taking up space, assuming women want to chat with them, and being otherwise loud and obnoxious.”
It’s important to remember that this isn’t your home. Keep your valuables close by and your shoes on. Also, resist the need to exert control over the environment. The barista can’t constantly change the station or turn the music up and down to satisfy everyone’s taste. Bring headphones if you have musical preferences, and wear layers if there’s a chance you’ll find the environment too hot or too cold.
6. Be a respectful remote worker
Luka Sanchez is the owner of Common Grounds Lounge Cafe in Jefferson Valley, New York.
is the owner of Common Grounds Lounge Cafe in Jefferson Valley, New York. Luka Sanchez Coffee shops expect people lingering over laptops, but not all locations are equally accommodating. Choose a place with plenty of seating, and share your table or move on if the place starts to get crowded.
“Be mindful and make room for new customers,” said Luka Sanchez, 26, owner of Common Grounds lounge Cafe in Jefferson Valley, New York.