I’m working on a machine when a guy dressed in a full suit, wearing Ray Ban shades indoors, spots me from the entrance and strides directly up to my counter (walking past the cashier, who is supposed to take his order.) No hello, how’s your day been? Instead: “Do you know how to make good coffee, or should I not bother?” he grits out curtly, glancing down at his iPhone as he’s clearly an important business man with important business things to attend to and doesn’t have time for this.
Offering him a tight-lipped smile, I reply “I’d like to think so.”
“Mmm. Blend?” Still blunt, but this time spoken with an added air of superiority. A pretty vague question, but nonetheless I answer as best I can, which seems satisfied with.
“Do you know how to make ristretto?” (Italicized because he affected a slight fake Italian accent.) I tell him I do. He asks for a ristretto piccolo latte – well, demands it, really since he ‘can’t stomach’ a full regular shot. Makes zero sense, but okay buddy, sure thing. Normally I’d send him to the register where he’s supposed to place his order, but whatever, we’re not busy.
So I take his change and start making his coffee to go, of course, his valet is waiting while he sends a few texts. I imagine those texts were tersely worded, too.
Wanting to get some kind of revenge on this arrogant man, but not being to spit in his coffee while he’s standing so close, I do the next best thing. I make him a normal shot of coffee.
Outrageous, you say! You’re scandalized, I know; a shocking and defiant display of breaking the barista code with wild, reckless abandon. Admit it, you’d do the same.
What makes this petty crime worth sharing, though, is that after making his drink, he takes a sip and looks genuinely surprised. “I know quality, and that,” he says with another taste, “is an excellent ristretto.” He also mentions something else about ‘the ristretto difference’ which I don’t quite remember because my mental laughter drowned it out. I smile and thank him, he unexpectedly thanks me in return, and we part ways hopefully forever.
Turns out he really just prefers ordinary coffee.
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