I had the weirdest coffee shop experience today. No, I wasn’t working at my beloved shop in Pittsburgh. I was visiting a different shop. And it was bizarre.
I walked in and immediately appreciated the atmosphere- comfy couches, a few tables, a fireplace… no, it wasn’t Caribou. You’re not gonna guess where it was, I promise. 🙂
A couple things simultaneously impressed me and made me wonder. First of all, the menu was huge- there were sandwiches and baklava and pastries and coffee and smoothies and hookahs and ice cream and a wall of about 20 different roasts of coffee to buy by the pound. That is impressive, but hard to do well. Which is when I started wondering. Well, actually I started wondering when I saw three different cash registers at three different places- I was wondering where I was supposed to order.
I chose a register at random and found the specialty coffee menu. It was huge. Like they couldn’t leave anything off or it might feel bad. I was standing there being overwhelmed when I realized that the register girl was waiting on my order. There was no line, but I still felt rushed, so I ordered one of the most common coffee drinks ever.
“I think I’ll have a medium mocha with 2%, please,” I smiled.
And she looked at me in an almost hostile fashion. “With 2%?”
“Um… yeah.” Smile faltering. Confusion returning.
She turned around to another girl who was looking bored. “She wants it with 2%.” She turned to me again, “2%?”
She turned back to the other girl. “We’ll have to make it from scratch, won’t we? I think we’ll have to make it from scratch.” Then she turned to the manager. “She wants it with 2%. Will we have to make it from scratch?” He nodded.
WHAT???!!! You don’t usually make your mochas from scratch?! What does that mean?! How do you make it not from scratch?!
The other girl started on my from-scratch mocha as I doled out $3.85 and hoped it was worth it. I stood back to wait as another guy decided to split the difference between two registers, stood between them, and ordered a smoothie. The register girl looked at him like he was stupid and walked over to the furthest register. “You order smoothies here,” she said and tapped the list of smoothies that was hanging above her head.
He confusedly walked over to her and ordered the smoothie again. She promptly interrupted the girl making my drink and made his instead. Then the manager (owner?) got involved. He reprimanded her as she finished the smoothie. He re-steamed everything to do with my mocha and handed me my drink as he was yelling about how bad it was.
I’m sure you can guess how it tasted.
Forget snooty baristas- mean, incompetent, non-baristas-who-make-coffee are worse.
But no worries- it’s the weekend, baby! Weird coffee shops are mere blips on the radar of summer weekend awesomeness. 🙂