Friday, 11 September 2009

Cafe au shame

I love coffee. I love everything about it. I love the secret language of flat white, short black, piccolo, latte, cappuccino. I love the feel of a takeaway cup in my hand. I love that first sip and the anticipation of 'will it be a good one?'.

I have to admit I'm becoming a real coffee snob too. I can't just have any old takeaway coffee - it's got to be good, real good. Or else I just don't bother, I'll settle for a cup of tea at home.

That doesn't mean I'm completely loyal to one cafe. My brother is so loyal to his local barista that they've shared many a milestone together and know the ins and outs of each other's lives. See I'm more of your coffee Nazi. Like the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld I have a list of unwritten rules and if any coffee dude breaks them then I usually put them on a suspension for an undisclosed amount of time. This means I have to have a pool of good, reliable coffee shops in case there is an unexpected breech of the rules.

I don't want to be friends with my barista, I just want a damn good coffee served (quickly) with a smile and be on my way. Cafes that are currently on suspension include Latticini in Rozelle (why are you sooooooo bloody slow?) and Piccolo Padre for constant abuse of the terms 'honey, sweetie, love'. Sadly they both make fabulous coffee, so I do bend the rules and let Skip go and buy me a coffee from them on occasion. He doesn't get the terms of endearment, though he does get the frustration of waiting 20 minutes for a coffee when you're the only person in the shop.

When I was on holiday earlier this year, the fabulous coffee shop in Port Douglas had a list of rules for their customers. I loved their rules, so I'll post them for you:
* Never ask why your coffee is taking so long
* If you want skim milk, you are not allowed cakes or biscuits
*If you do not take your allocated number we will not deliver your coffee.
* Never request country, progressive jazz or gospel
* You are only allowed decaf if you have a relevant medical certificate
* Never Order from the Barista
* Extra hot coffee = extra crap coffee
* Yes some of the girls are single.......only hot attractive foreigners will be considered

I've decided to write a list of my own, that I may or may not get printed on a T-shirt for my weekend coffee runs. My rules include: 
  • Don't tell me about your personal life. I don't care if your girlfriend wants you to propose, but you're just not sure if you're ready.
  • Don't make 18 coffees before you start doing the milk. Usually I'm at the head of the cue and I end up waiting 20 minutes before I get my coffee.
  • Don't serve your friends before me and push my coffee back in the line.
  • Don't call me darl, sweetie, honey, love. Especially all in the one transaction.
  • Don't charge me for a babycino, unless you're going to do something spectacular with a marshmallow - it's just leftover froth. And don't put hot milk in a babycino, they're for babies remember.
  • Drop the attitude - you make coffee for a living, this does not make you better than the rest of society.
I know this is a bit of an angry blog, but it's something I really feel needs addressing. To lighten things up it's time to announce my inaugural cafe excellence award. While this winner will be a bit controversial in my household, I have to say they have never had a suspension from me, they consistently serve great coffee without fuss and attitude. And the winner is..... (drum roll)


Bertoni, Darling St, Balmain. 

Have a good weekend and I hope your caffeine hit is a good one.

12 comments:

  1. Wow you have tough rules! I am kind of glad that I am not a barista! Luckily I know how very unscary you really are. My issue with Bertoni is that I really don't like their skim coffees - good full cream tho. Have you tried the hole in the wall near the Red Lion Hotel? I have only had a couple - both very good.

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  2. Tough, but fair I think. Yes, I have been once but then gave them a suspension. Good coffee, but confusing shop layout. I went through the door and then stood in the kitchen feeling like an idiot as I then saw the order window. I wasn't sure if I'd accidently walked into their kitchen and wasn't supposed to be there or not. I think you can order either way, but being sleep deprived I was completely confused, which is something you don't want at 7am on a Sunday. Thanks for reading!

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  3. I do agree - tough but fair. And it is incredible how almost every babychino I (ie, Henry) get is boiling hot. I can see that the hole in the wall layout is confusing so yeah, they deserve a suspension (esp since Rozelle is full of sleep deprived parents).

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  4. I love your rules and the idea of a suspension list. My new fave espresso bar is Workshop on George Street. I go there every Saturday morning on the way to work to pick up my Bonsoy latte. They don't say sweetie or honey but they're friendly, quick and good.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I think I'm in love with you. Heart-stopping, leave my husband,Elizabeth and Mr Darcy-Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe in love.

    Marry me. Run away and drink coffee with me.

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