12 customers you’ve probably served as a barista

Try not to tear your hair out...


Ah, the world of coffee making. Whether you dabbled a bit part time while studying or it’s your full time job, you’ll know that being a barista really tests your nerve. No doubt about it. Working in catering gives you patience like no other – you interact with some of the most impossible people to walk this earth, and do it all with your biggest, fakest smile… Most of the time, you deserve a medal.

We’ve compiled some of the most difficult to deal with customers that you’ve definitely served at least once during your career as a coffee connoisseur. And, if you’ve never worked in a coffee shop, rest assured you’ll leave here with a newfound respect for your barista.

The one who orders a “coffee”…

… Then asks where their latte is. You have to fight the urge to say, ‘your latte would be ready by now if that’s what you had actually ordered, sir.’ But alas, the customer is always right, and a latte is what you must make. Begrudgingly.

The one who complains that their drink is cold…

… After they’ve literally been sat gossiping with their friend for twenty minutes. You don’t need to be a scientist to understand that your coffee is going to go cold if you leave it for that amount of time. But no, of course, I’d be so happy to make you a fresh one free of charge, please don’t worry about it.

The one who clearly knows more about coffee than you do…

‘Them: Can I just get an Americano?
Me: Sure, tall or short?
Them: Huh?
Me: 8 ounces or 12 ounces? Same shot in each, so the 8 ounce is stronger.
Them: Yeah, I get how it works. Umm… well, I just spent a year in Italy so just disappoint me with whatever you want.’ From Reddit user haterquaid

Source: via Giphy


The one who orders a triple shot decaf skinny soya macchiato with sugar free hazlenut syrup…

… Enough said there, really.  

The one who thinks they’re better than you because you work in a coffee shop…

‘One guy ordered two decaf espressos for him and his lady… Got one shot pulled great. Served it to his lady (she was way out of his league btw). He then patronisingly explained to his lady how to taste the espresso step by step. Really, the whole thing was a way to show me how much he knows.

‘I forgot to mention that every time I pulled a shot he got up from his seat at the end of the bar to poke his head between the grinders to watch me tamp (and everything else) and then went back to watch the shot pull. But the kicker is that he KEPT TRACK OF THE TIME HIS SHOT WAS PULLING WITH THE STOP WATCH ON HIS PHONE!!!!

‘So I asked him if he’s a barista or something as a way of kinda saying, yeah I get it, you know how to make coffee but let me do my job. And he just casually says “no I went to college”.’ From Reddit user swearbear3

Source: via Giphy

The one who wants their drink to be “extra hot”…

It takes ALL of your strength to go against your training, in which you learned to heat the milk to optimum temperature so that it didn’t burn, because someone has asked for their drink to be ‘extra hot’. Your heart is practically breaking as you watch the milk boil away. That coffee is going to taste crap and there’s nothing you can do about it.

The one who raises a lot of eyebrows…

I know of someone who was once asked if it was possible to have an egg sandwich without the mayo because the customer was a vegan. Yep. Really. I’m pretty sure they then ordered a whole milk latte, too… But the customer is always right, so, you know.

The one who orders their drink…

… But doesn’t actually know what it is they’re ordering. Please do not order a macchiato, without finding out what it is first (especially if you don’t like strong coffee). It is just plain stupid and you are wasting your own time.

Source: via Giphy

The argumentative one…

Technically not a coffee request, but this was a real test of the “customer is always right” principle. When asked what was in a roasted vegetable medley (peppers, mushrooms, onions, courgettes, the usual), one gentleman laughed in my face and told me it was clearly cucumber. Really? Not only did I watch this being cooked, but who ON EARTH would roast a cucumber? Just no.

The one who asks for a large…

After watching you prepare their standard-sized drink. For which they paid the standard-sized price. But still expect to upgrade to a large for free. I’m almost positive people do this on purpose just to wind their baristas up.

Source: via Giphy


The one who just won’t believe you…

… Or your colleagues, for that matter. ‘We had a woman in the other day who was bringing back a ground bag of our coffee (which is only sold whole) and asked to return it because she was allergic to multiple flavours. After one coworker tried explaining to her that the flavours listed are not actually ingredients in the coffee, that the coffee was made up of ONLY coffee beans, she asked to speak to someone else. My coworker referred the situation to the barista, who cracked up laughing at the idea that the tasting notes were ingredients. The woman then shouted, “You wouldn’t laugh at someone who’s diabetic for not wanting sugar!”‘ From Reddit user nurasidenotes

The just plain weird one…

‘I once had a lady order a latte in a chilled pint glass. A hot latte. In a chilled pint glass. “It tasted better that way” Oh yeah? Does shattered glass taste good to you? Because that’s what you’re gonna have if you order a HOT LATTE IN A GODDAMN CHILLED GLASS. She then insisted on pouring her own flavourings in because we “never get it right”. Okay, lady. Whatever you f***ing say.’ From Reddit user shufu

Oh, barista life. You’re never dull.

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