Friday, September 17, 2010

Tales from the Cafe...

There was a no-nonsense, harried, business-type lady who came into the Cafe the other day asking for a doppio macchiato; a hard-core drink to match her personality, it seemed. (A doppio macchiato is a double shot of espresso marked with a dollop of foam.)

She asked for a doppio macchiato in a larger cup with foam all the way to the top. Simple enough for a coffee connoisseur, only we work in a hospital, where a lot of the clientele aren’t well-versed with our menu. There have been several instances where people will order an espresso macchiato meaning a completely different drink. To avoid any confusion, I clarified, do you want a caramel macchiato?

To be fair, I probably would have responded similarly, had the situation been reversed. She kind of rolled her eyes, and very curtly corrected me explaining what she wanted. “No, not a caramel macchiato. I want 2 shots of espresso with foam all the way to the top.”

Now this is also a source of confusion. Some people want a little milk with their foam, because it is really not much of a drink, as a powerful gulp, otherwise. So I usually confirm that is what they, indeed want.

This woman clearly did not have time for questions. “OK, this is what I want. 2 shots of espresso in a tall cup with foam all the way to the top,” she replied in an oh my gosh, can they be so ignorant tone.

Granted, we are in a hospital, so I can’t even begin to imagine what sorts of stress she is feeling. The fact that she is venting a little on an easy target, the baristas who can’t seem to get it right, is understandable, I guess.

And I’ve probably have done it too….

c. 2010


  1. Ugh - sorry you had to put up with her stress, Brooke. It is very understanding and patient and caring of you to try to see it from her side and to think of what may have been the source of her stress before you reacted to it. I'm sure I've done the same thing to other people when in the midst of great stress. Being under stress seems to be the hardest time to find a source of kindness and patience. I'm going to learn from your post that I should not only work on how I react to others when I'm under stress, but how to stay calm when around other stressed-out people. Thanks! k

  2. thanks, kristen, for reading & commenting. it's so ironic, as i was writing this post, i started out feeling so superior. but images of my own impatient behavior kept coming to mind ;/ i'll be working on it as well...b