Sunday, November 25, 2007

Coffee etiquette

Even though I'm thoroughly addicted to Starbucks, I tend to pride myself on not being *too* bitchy about my coffee preferences. My favorite drink is an iced grande light ice caramel macchiato- not that complicated. The "light ice" part is the only special request. They make these things a million times a day, and I love how Starbucks drinks have the same awesome quality in every store.

Once in a while, though, someone messes up, and it's crappy. I'm not experienced enough to know what's not right, but when my drink tastes bad (not just different or unusual, but bad) I'm not a fan. Those drinks are freaking expensive, and when I get one I've generally been looking forward to it for quite a while. It's often a little pleasure that I promise myself all day, as a reward or incentive. So when it's no good- it's like discovering that the sleeves of your favorite long sleeve tshirt don't cover your wrists any more.

But then comes the great dilemma: do you go back and ask them to remake it?

Sometimes I decide that this drink just absolutely sucks, I can't drink it without feeling sick, I need a new one. Keep in mind, this is a generally rare phenomenon. I approach the barista counter timidly, and ask for my drink to be remade apologetically. Nearly always, especially if it isn't a student worker but one of the adult managers, I get a glare and curt response. They remake my drink, all right, but with deep dislike and disapproval. They've even guilt-tripped me into leaving an over-generous tip at times, to make up for having impugned their coffee-making skills.

Such experiences make me pretty afraid of baristawrath. How should bad coffee situations be handled? I paid for something, and I expect to receive what I paid for. You would send back food at a restaurant if it was underdone or burnt. Politeness doesn't work. Waiting for them not to be busy doesn't work.

I wish that Moose and Kaituer Coffeehouse were here.

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