What Your Barista is Really Thinking

I had some pretty positive feedback from last week’s What Your Server is Really Thinking, and I was discussing being a barista with one Karen Gadient, so I decided to post one that I had written on what your barista is really thinking. If this one goes well, I may turn this into a weekly thing because…well, trust me, I have a lot to say 🙂 Again, I will be doing a lot of the #$!% to make it less curse-worthy (even though it’s not as bad as the servers) and these are all based on real events.


Whoever invented the phrase “The customer is always right” should be dangling in the deepest pits of hell with the worst customers telling them they know everything…for all eternity. (If you make an evil voice and read “for all eternity” out loud, it sounds much much worse.)

People come in and out of retail shops, coffee shops, restaurants, etc… on a daily basis, always acting as if they already know everything about anything in the store.

No. Sometimes you’re wrong.

Especially in the food industry. Restaurant people will say “medium means no pink” for their steak.


Or “over easy is the same thing as sunnyside up” for their eggs.


But it’s the coffee business that most people act like they know everything. They figure since they have their own little coffee pot, home espresso kit, coffee grinder, and every other essential thing needed for the perfect cup of coffee, they know all about how everything in the business works.


Barista Brain and Barista Says occur simultaneously.

Guest One: “Hi, can I get a large vanilla latte?”

Barista Says: “Absolutely.”

Guest One: “And I want an extra pump of vanilla.”

Barista Says: “All right, will that be all for you?”

Guest One: “That’s it.”

The barista rings up the drink, the customer pays, and the barista goes to make it. The large vanilla latte comes with five pumps of vanilla, and the barista puts in an extra large sixth one.

Barista Says: “All right, here you are. Thank you, have a great day!”

The guest takes a sip and makes a face.

Guest One: “I said an extra pump of vanilla, not one less pump of vanilla.”

Barista Brain: “That is a f*cking extra pump of vanilla. It comes with five. I put six. Shut the f^ck up.”

Barista Says: “Oh, I’m sorry. Our recipe calls for five and I put in six, but I’d be happy to add some more for you.”

Guest One: “Six? This is not six pumps of vanilla. I know what six pumps tastes like, and this is definitely only four.”

Barista Brain: “No, you dimwitted f00cktard, you do not ‘know’ what six pumps verses four taste like, because there is obviously six pumps in there because I just did it.”

Barista Says: “I’d be happy to add two more pumps for you.”

Guest One: “Please do.”

The guest watches the barista put in two more pumps.

Barista Says: “Here you go.”

The guest takes another sip and shakes their head again.

Guest One: “Now it’s far too sweet. Are you sure you only put in four pumps? Because now it takes like nine.”

Barista Brain: “Is this a joke? No, I didn’t put in four pumps. I put in six.You said I put in four. Then you watched me f*cking put two more pumps in there. You’re at eight, not nine, and this is your fault, not mine.”

Barista Says: “No, I started with six pumps and added a few more for you to make sure it was sweet enough.”

Guest One: “Now this is too sweet, I can’t drink this. I need another one.”

The barista remakes the drink, ensuring the guest watches them put six pumps of vanilla in the cup, and sends them on their way.

Barista Brain: “Stupid @$$hole, how can you go from four to nine in two pumps? Ugh f^ck.”

Guest Two: “Hi, there! How are you doing today?”

Barista Says: “Just fine, and yourself?”

Guest Two: “Just wonderful! Can I get a cinnamon roll?”

Barista Says: “I’m sorry, we don’t have cinnamon rolls anymore.”

Barista Brain: “A simple look at the food case would have answered that for you.”

Guest Two: “Are you sure?”

Barista Brain: “Positive.”

Guest Two: “I was just here yesterday and you definitely had cinnamon rolls.”

Barista Brain: “You were definitely not here yesterday and we definitely did not have cinnamon rolls.”

Barista Says: “I’m sorry, but my boss decided to discontinue cinnamon rolls about six months ago because they didn’t sell enough.”

Guest Two: “Are you new?”

Barista Brain: “Am I new? Why because you’re trying to pull a f*cking fast one on me or what?”

Barista Says: “Uh, no I’ve been here for almost about a year now.”

Guest Two: “And have you had cinnamon rolls during any of that time?”

Barista Brain: “Seriously? Can you just let the f00cking cinnamon roll thing go?”

Barista Says: “Yes, and I was also present when my boss decided to stop ordering them.”

The guest rolls their eyes and walks away, muttering something about incompetent baristas.

Guest Three: “Did your price range go up?”

Barista Says: “I’m sorry?”

Guest Three: “Your price range. Did it go up? I could have sworn your coffee was only eighty-five cents. Now it’s ninety.”

Barista Says: “Oh…uh…no, I’m sorry, it’s been ninety cents ever since I started working here.”

Guest Three: “Well how long have you been working here?”

Barista Brain: “Long enough to ward off heathens like you.”

Barista Says: “Our prices do increase sometimes, but we’re usually informed before they do so. I’ve been here for almost a year now and it’s been ninety cents ever since I’ve started.”

Guest Three: “Well, a year and a half ago, the prices were smaller.”

Barista Brain: “A year and a half? It’s been a year and a half since you’ve been in here and you’re really expecting everything to be the same?”

Barista Says: “Unfortunately with the economy the way it is, a lot of businesses were forced to up some of their prices in order to make up for their debt.”

Guest Three: “That’s a bunch of horse $hit. That’s the easiest way to lose customers!”

Barista Brain: “Well, we don’t really want idiots like you buying our coffee anyway.”

Barista Says: “I’m sorry. Would you still like a cup of coffee?”

The guest sighs angrily and pulls out his wallet, handing the barista a dollar.

Guest Three: “Just keep the change.”

Barista Says: “Room for cream?”

Guest Three: “Yes.”

The barista hands the guest their coffee, and the guest walks over to the condiment table.

Guest Three: “You’re out of cream.”

Barista Brain: “No I’m not, I just put it out three minutes ago and you’re the first person to order a plain coffee since I’ve done so.”

Barista Says: “Are you sure?”

The guest turns the creamer container upside down and nothing comes out. The barista sniggers to themselves.

Barista Says: “Here, I’ll check for you.”

The guest grudgingly brings the container over. The barista screws off the top.

Barista Brain: “F*cking. Idiot.”

Barista Says: “Here you go!”

The guest walks away sheepishly.

Barista Brain: “Enjoy your life as an airhead.”


14 thoughts on “What Your Barista is Really Thinking

  1. At Starbucks yesterday, I was reminded of why I no longer work as a barista. Not that I don’t have good memories too, but I had the fine fortune of working there in the 90s, before the menu expanded (Frappucinos were a new thing, for instance, and came in two types, outside of adding syrups. And we never had to deal with food beyond a stale bagel or two). But I digress!

    The woman in front of me ordered an iced coffee with 6 shots of sugar-free vanilla. And she did exactly what your Guest One did. After she freaked out the barista (after barking for more room in the cup) she went to dump a cup of half-and-half and MORE SUGAR (excuse me, weren’t you just saying it was too sweet?!) into the drink. Sludge. So gross. OMG. She sipped. She smiled like someone just gave her a foot massage. Yeah. Okay.

    • Ugh, I hate that. It’s so hard for me to go into coffee shops and see that sometimes, because I really want to say something to the person…but, alas, I generally just apologize to the barista and if I have cash on me or they have a tip thing on the card slip I tip fat. On that, though, I believe every credit card slip in a coffee shop should have a tip option.

      • I talked to the barista and mentioned that I used to be a partner. And tipped well too, since I had the cash. I agree that it should be easier to tip with credit. That woman had a gold card, so she was a regular. Poor baristas.

  2. I no longer go to Starbucks because both the Baristas and the customers drove me up the freaking wall and all I ordered was a Tall house blend with room for half and half

    • That’s why I don’t like corporate coffee anymore. Or, really, going to buy coffee. I got a coffee pot, I’m good with that because I agree — I don’t need the attitude haha

    • Haha hi Bethany. Sorry it’s your life, but at the same time I’m glad you can relate. Haha. I’m happy this is no longer my life in a nutshell, but goodness the service industry is just all one big mess. Haha

      • Actually a couple times I’ll lie to their faces about the drink I made them. lol *awful barista?*
        Especially one customer. At Peet’s we put foam on the bottom of iced drinks before the ice, it makes them creamier.
        One customer: Is that nonfat milk?
        My thoughts: No, it’s whole milk.
        What I say: Yes.
        Customer: It’s looks a bit thick to be nonfat.
        Thoughts: It’s f*cking foam. Not milk. And it’s not actually nonfat.
        Say: the foam does that. *smile and finish drink*

      • Haha, if only customers knew the ways we messed with them. If they’d just seriously nix the whole “the customer is ALWAYS right” thing it wouldn’t be so bad. Apparently it’s Starbucks policy to give a free drink if the customer demands it. “I’m the customer and I don’t feel like I should pay for this.” Seriously? Shut up. Hahaha.

      • WOW. Wait… seriously? Sucks to be Starbucks! We’ll remake a drink or something but otherwise we let the manager handle the “there’s nothing we can do sorry…” speech.


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