Sunday, 4 January 2015

The Hipster Coffee Barista - Modern Day Equivalent to the Snooty Maître d'

Do you remember when maitre d's had the worst reputation?

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Especially at French restaurants?

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Well the modern equivalent is definitely the hipster coffee barista!

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I was in a well known coffee place in Shoreditch today and 
the attitude was laughable. 
And has been most times I have been there.

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I didn't ask for something like the cartoon below.



And I am not any of these types below. 



I walk in, order my coffee without hesitation, 
offer my name before they ask for it.
I smile, I am polite and open to chit chat but don't bore them to death or try to start a fake deep and meaningful conversation.
I tend to have the correct amount and 
if I don't I know this is not the best time to be paying the bill by giving them 15 coins of 20 pence pieces.

And yet they are all...
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And just because I didn't order an espresso special blend but a pedestrian latte, they internally sneer.

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I used to get that same look when I thought I was the only one who ordered the second least expensive wine on the menu trick.

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Alas I am addicted to coffee and don't worry, 
I won't be writing a letter!  
However, I am thinking of making up a fake blend of coffee
 and vocally raising concern that 
they don't carry the latest bio dynamic blend 
from the lost gardens of Babylon.
Bottoms up!

60 comments:

  1. Bwahahaha! I don't speak your coffee language, give me a bloody medium already!

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  2. Oh you are clever. Reminds me of that Ab Fab episode when Eddy and Patsy were treated with disdain by a snooty assistant and said "You just work in a shop" as they skeddaddled out. Last day of holidays. Kill me xxx

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    1. Australia Day is coming up soon!!! Plus everyone will be exchanging Xmas and New Years stories so first week will a breeze! Xxx

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  3. It's time for you to visit the south and receive no shittin' real hospitality and customer service with a smile...may be missing a tooth or two.

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    1. I miss waffle house and their only one type of coffee...I prefer it to ihop.

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  4. hahaha! Love that second to last hipster collage. So true! I don't drink coffee, so don't have to walk the gauntlet. I just get the teabag in warm water with a sneer when I ask for tea though, as there's clearly disdain for the non coffee drinkers out there. I was reading quite a funny article about Starbucks recently (who had to sell their remaining stores in Australia last year after losing hundreds of millions and call it quits as the locals hated their crap coffee), and apparently they're introducing Lattes to the US market, which is apparently very confusing for those who like some syrup stuff in the coffees and have it in a takeaway jug. xxx

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    1. Yes but Heidi, you are still not immune from the right way to have tea!!! I still take sugar in mine. Even most builders have stopped that!! This reminds me I must share a really funny thing they had on the times about tea! xx

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    2. yes please! I nearly wrote a post about tea though. I read something by a well known Australian design person about how tea should be drunk, and nearly had a conniption because it was wrong - from both an etiquette and just in terms of how to make a decent cup perspective. They said it so categorically though that there are obviously other people that think the same thing.

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    3. I would love your post as this times was a socio point of view of British snipets. In japan they never put cold milk in English tea bc of temperature but also bc if you put cold tea then hot then porcelain can crack. I like practical reasons why as opposed to some minor royal who took tea a certain way where many Brits will then acquiesce!

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    4. I loathe tea, it tastes 'too wet' to me. The only way I'd put it in my mouth and enjoy it, is with half a bag of Tate & Lyle mixed in and a massive dollop of Carnation milk - I reduce tea to its basest level!

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    5. Egads! Hate tea! Wait till I share that snippet Tabs! Mind you that's why I love Vietnamese coffee bc it's usually with condensed milk!

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    6. Sounds like Tabs is still at the Kennedy Compound NYE Bash with her wet tea, massive dollops, and overdressed base levels...

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    7. carnation mill???!!! Eurgh! I like my tea black, which is actually the way it should be drunk - unadulterated by the dairy component.
      Tabs - funny about that you think it just tastes wet… do you have a strong sense of smell? I ask because tea is actually a fragrance, rather than a taste. I know I don't like drinking it when I have a head cold, and usually drink 4-5 cups a day.
      Having just written that I should probably cut down…
      Ok, I'm going to write a post!

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    8. Oh and realised I'd made an error - Starbucks are trying to introduce a Flat White to the US, rather than a latte. I think they've made inroads in NY as there are a whole bunch of hipster cafes run by Australian's there, but the rest of the country is confused.
      Of course I then read the New Zealanders are trying to claim they invented the flat white first, not the Australians!

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    9. carnation milk is delicious. maybe not with tea but if i was on a desert island i will have it with my tea. The flat and long is def a Aussie thing - no one really knows what the hell is going on in those aussie cafes in London but everyone is too polite or too cool to ask publicly!

      So glad you wrote your post!!

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  5. Lattes have been here for years. It is time they moved on.

    Coffee places and their inhabitants are infesting Paris, giving lessons in "Supercilious" to the natives.

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    1. We don't have the drip method thing here yet...But I just can't do espresso!

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  6. Oh my god this is so true, especially in Northern California!! Our local Peets is for those who find Starbucks too pedestrian. Starbucks has a special clover machine at select locations that coffee snobs like my husband loves, but it's almost a secret...Worse of all is Philz which is opening a location in my town. It's so confusing, I will not go without my husband..You have to select your beans, grind and drink. Intimidating and they don't make it easy and have serious attitude.. This was hilarious!! Happy New Year! xxoo Kim

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    1. I don't know these places but I am so curious to find out. There were places like this in Colorado who took everything soooo darn seriously! It seems attitudes will manifest in whichever platform eh? xx

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  7. I can't do the hipster coffee bar scene and the baristas as you mention are quite ridiculous and in my neighborhood known as mostly a bohemian enclave (I'm here for the cheap rent), the customers are even more ridiculous with their studied poses.

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    1. But it's that initial they hate everyone before they even order look. I checked it out and no one was safe so I don't take it personally thank god!

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  8. Well I am so fortunate then to drink tea:).

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    1. I drink both and err in ordering both beverages!

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  9. Hahaha! Sydney is full of up-themselves baristas and coffee snobs.... Luckily we make our own fantastic coffee at home. There's a bakery nearby call 'Brickfields' where it's almost impossible to get served if you don't have a huge beard. Luckily we always carry a fake beard just in case....

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    1. Isn't Australia so advanced with their coffee though? There was one star barista in Melbourne and it was so funny bc he had all these groupies bc he just made the best coffee ever. He would never look anyone in the eye. Don't know if he is still at the exchange in the manchester unity building...But yes a beard is mandatory ;P

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  10. Haahaa, so funny!.. I don't drink coffee, but I can imagine a coffee bar in Shoreditrch.
    What they need is a really awkward customer or too.. to out-awkward them! :)

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    1. I thought I was a coffee snob but really I am just a another dot in the coffee masses.

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  11. As I read your post I realised I am actually a coffee snob. Quite unapologetically. Loathe the coffee in Starbucks/Costa etc. Hope I wouldn't be too intimidated by a hipster barista, though fear I might be - there aren't any of these in Cambridge, mercifully.

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    1. I thought I was a coffee snob bc I don't go to a chain unless it is an emergency but these people take it to another level! Just wait though - one sneering fair trade organic coffee place is coming near you!

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  12. Am in NZ at the moment. They make good coffee and always with a double shot.
    Am in coffee happy place

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  13. Ah, the smell of coffee in the morning : )

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    1. I actually like the smell more but need caffeine otherwise i can't stay awake past 3 pm...

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  14. I don't really like tea or coffee, I like hot frothy soya milk, with just the right amount of froth/not too wet/not too dry, the temperature must be extra hot too ( without singing the milk)- I am worse than any snotty barista! They roll their eyes when they see me coming, I can outdo Goldilocks.

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    1. Lucky you not to be a caffeine addict! Getting a cuppa right is a true pleasure so give em hell I say. But can I ask you don't overdo soy and change with a nut milk in your rotation? So much oestrogen in soy...

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  15. So funny Naomi! I live in a University town and the poor kids working at the Starbucks always seem so stressed out. I take my daughter there occasionally but never order for myself, I stick to coffee in the morning only from my Moccamaster, world's best dripped coffee maker (it's true even says so on box).
    My builders return this morning to finish our reno and I'll be on tea/coffee duty! ;)

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    1. In Starbucks those baristas do work hard bc their customers come up with the most elaborate orders. I don't go there because they don't pay the staff properly in the UK whereas I heard in the States they get healthcare which is a huge pull. I love coffee from a moka as well but Mr CSW is always changing roasts. Yay to return of the builders!!

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    2. I don't do starbucks either for the tax scandal - but also the terrible espresso.

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    3. ...and I thought Lady Sarah only did Radical Chic on Tuesdays & Thursdays

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    4. Ha ha- No darling! Radical chic is a full time job.

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  16. That's hilarious. I often want to try something new but as I've mastered an order that does not get me mocked (openly at least) I stick to it. It's quite sad, really.

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    1. I only say - latte or cappuccino. If I am daring I go macchiato. I wouldn't dare dream up a order with a twist but I doubt they follow through anyway!

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  17. Honestly! If one more hip person says Americano when I ask for a black coffee... Restrain me please! I remember the days when you could not get a decent coffee anywhere in London, unless you went to the ritz or something. Most places are still unable to do a decent espresso, just try any starbucks to see the rubbish they come up with.

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    1. It's funny bc I feel like saying Americano is actually espresso with hot water so their assumption is wrong!! But I do like all press so I shall have to keep my blinkers on!!

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  18. Hilarious! I order a doppio con pana that always stumps them heehee! Robyn

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    1. In London they would love you bc about a quarter are itslians who don't speak English in London!

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    2. The best coffee ever we had was at breakfast at our hotel in Antibes a couple of years ago. The Italian barista had molto attitudino but he did produce fabulous coffee despite his curled lip. About two days before we left he discovered we were Aussies (apparently he'd thought we were Brits) and suddenly the attitude disappeared and he couldn't have been nicer - personally delivering unordered extra cups to our table. He'd worked in a coffee place in Sydney for two years and loved Oz and Aussies. We were so looking forward to seeing him again last May in Antibes - but sadly he'd disappeared, replaced by a coffee bar automatic machine which produced execrable everything! Ultimately I told the staff how distraught I was at this so they made us our own coffee as a special favour every morning - quite passably good but still not up to his standard. We return again this year so will be interesting to test the coffee situation yet again.
      On the whole France doesn't seem to be brilliant with coffee though you can in some establishments quite surprisingly get a rather good pot of tea. Darjeeling seems to be the favourite. We love tea and madeleines! Very Proustian. (Currently reading de Botton's book on how Proust can change your life.) Pammie xxx

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    3. The best coffee for me is still in Melbourne hands down. In fact most of the good places here are Aussie run and started or the baristas are from Oz. I must say I don't think the French nor the Italians do my style of coffee. I drink a cup in a Parisian cafe of course but that is more for the ambience rather than sitting there with a mineral water. I love madeleines with everything Pammie!! xx

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  19. This is a funny post indeed, and such truth. I thought it so very funny when I visited London on one of my trips there during the past five or six years, and tried to order "a small coffee" which confused the heck out of the server. Came to realize that is called an "Americano", which sounded so odd to me as I live there (America) and there is no such thing. Never got the logic of that, and never got the logic of a Starbuck's "tall" coffee, which is everyone else's "small".

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    1. small coffee doesn't exist!!! there is the secret and unpublicized "short" in starbucks but they never put that on the board. I asked once why bc they said the possiblities are endless so they cant put that on the board!!

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  20. So funny, CSW! I don't like starbucks at all and only imbibe at airports, where there is no other choice. What sort of rabbit hole do you have to tumble down where a small coffee is a tall? Black only, please, and no other nonsense.

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    1. I like diners myself bc they have a common sense approach to it and if you ask for an espresso most places have one so they just get one with it with a smile!

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  21. We were at sydney airport departure lounge early one morning and I went to get buy us our morning coffees. 3 different cafés were close together but each had a different look with one definitely having a barista with attitude. I accidentally ended up near the little doorway leading to their back kitchen and saw a blackboard with time sheets for all 3 cafés - the hipster, the suit & the family patch!!! So there you go all owned by the one person/ entity & I bet using same coffee! Den xxx

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  22. So funny! I can't imagine why, but I don't have that problem here. This is Dunkin Donuts country of course, and though I do not like their coffee, I enjoy their lattes & cappuccinos. Dunkies is more of a blue collar establishment and there is no coffee arrogance there. Then again, I do not encounter it in the little coffeehouses or the starbucks-type chains either, despite my refusal to speak in their coffee lingo.
    Oh dear, I have the feeling that I have just cursed myself....

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  23. Love this roundup of cafe culture in the 2010s...

    SSG xxx

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  24. Do it, do it, do it. I look forward to hearing about your new creation of coffee. Is Shoreditch kinda posh these days? I don't do coffee so I've not experienced this but no doubt there will be smoothie/juices snobbery soon! x

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  25. My father in law taught me the order the second least expensive wine trick. Better go before my half strength almond milk flat white cools less then 80 degrees- it has to be 80 degrees :)

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  26. Spot on, Coulda. Hope you go ahead with your fake coffee order!

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