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  • Surly barista.

    Called into one of the better known and well rated coffee places on the Main North road in Adelaide a few days ago, ordered a cappuccino for my wife obviously without any drama, then instead of ordering my usual doppio espresso when out and about thought I would test the water by asking for something different.

    I asked the young lady behind the counter for a lungo, and the response was, whats that, I explained that if she told the barista what I wanted he would understand, which she did, I could see their interaction, it ended with mr barista shaking his head, she came back and said no can do.

    Soooo, I had the temerity to approach the barista and plead my case, and was told in a surly manner that their beans are not suited to that type of drink, when I attempted to explain that what I wanted was not a long black or an Americano but a slightly courser grind with an extraction of approx 90ml in 30 seconds he shook his head and went on with his work.

    My wife enjoyed her coffee, I ended up not ordering anything.

    No, they were not busy, I suspect the guy didn't know what a lungo was and was certainly not prepared to listen to my explanation or even attempt to make what I requested, regardless, his attitude has cost them a regular customer, I won't return.

  • #2
    I would have at least expected a verbal response from the barista as to why. A head shake is just rude...and there's only one decent roaster / cafe on main north road that I know of and typically they have been ok for me the times I've been.

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    • #3
      Have been fine with me over the years as well, the statement that "their beans are not suited to that type of drink" floored me, guess I shouldn't have rocked the boat.

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      • #4
        Pitty, maybe the owners of the establishment would be keen to hear this and have a chat with one barista! Have always enjoyed both the coffee and food served there.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Yelta View Post
          Called into one of the better known and well rated coffee places on the Main North road in Adelaide a few days ago, ordered a cappuccino for my wife obviously without any drama, then instead of ordering my usual doppio espresso when out and about thought I would test the water by asking for something different.

          I asked the young lady behind the counter for a lungo, and the response was, whats that, I explained that if she told the barista what I wanted he would understand, which she did, I could see their interaction, it ended with mr barista shaking his head, she came back and said no can do.

          Soooo, I had the temerity to approach the barista and plead my case, and was told in a surly manner that their beans are not suited to that type of drink, when I attempted to explain that what I wanted was not a long black or an Americano but a slightly courser grind with an extraction of approx 90ml in 30 seconds he shook his head and went on with his work.

          My wife enjoyed her coffee, I ended up not ordering anything.

          No, they were not busy, I suspect the guy didn't know what a lungo was and was certainly not prepared to listen to my explanation or even attempt to make what I requested, regardless, his attitude has cost them a regular customer, I won't return.

          I don't think he'll be sorry to see back of you, going around testing people, it's quite rude to do that imo, infact it's tantamount to showing off.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Brevillista View Post
            I don't think he'll be sorry to see back of you, going around testing people, it's quite rude to do that imo, infact it's tantamount to showing off.
            I don't agree.

            I think a customer knowing what they want is a great start, and if there is enough time and the customer is happy to pay extra for the wasted coffee shots in changing the grinder then I can't see a problem asking.
            ...far worse than a customer saying "oh... whatever is fine" and then nit-picking what they receive.

            I agree, tell the owner. If it's his policy then at least you know where it came from.

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            • #7
              If it's not on the menu and this sounds like it wasn't, then you already have an idea that you're on dicey ground. We can all make better coffee at home 95% of the time, so prepare to be disappointed sometimes.

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              • #8
                I once asked for the first coffee listed on the menu, asked the order taker to check with the barista that he knew what it was ,and still got nothing like what I ordered.
                So be prepared to be disappointed whether it's on the menu or not.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Brevillista View Post
                  If it's not on the menu and this sounds like it wasn't, then you already have an idea that you're on dicey ground. We can all make better coffee at home 95% of the time, so prepare to be disappointed sometimes.
                  Your probably right Brevillista, certainly won't make the same mistake again.

                  Testing people, showing off, far from it, naive? probably, I thought a (trained barista) would have known what I was on about, I certainly won't make the same mistake again, from now on when I'm out and about its a doppio every time.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Brevillista View Post
                    I don't think he'll be sorry to see back of you, going around testing people, it's quite rude to do that imo, infact it's tantamount to showing off.
                    You mean kind of like being a coffee-"snob"?

                    the least the barista could do was to respond and not ignore and shake his/her head.

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                    • #11
                      ^

                      Sorry about that Yelta, I'll take those remarks back.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Brevillista View Post
                        ^

                        Sorry about that Yelta, I'll take those remarks back.
                        No harm done mate, I've got broad shoulders.

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                        • #13
                          I can understand him not wanting to mess with the grind settings for a one off drink, but he should have dealt with the request more politely.

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                          • #14
                            I would likely refuse it too as it's not something I've played around with enough to have any confidence in serving it well.

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                            • #15
                              Yelta has correctly raised a real issue ( note opportunity) with the Aust Cafe scene as I see it.
                              * Over-rider, First off Aust fresh coffee (cafe's) can in general be rated as good as or better than
                              Most if not anywhere else in the world.
                              What I am about to say is as a result of years 'experience' in trying to find out / know what I'll be served once ordered.

                              ....That is that most cafes do not have trained, nor do they train, the behind counter staff. 'The Barista' is shown
                              how to offer what is on the menu, and unfortunately that's as far as it goes.
                              IME on avge approx 6 out of 10 cafes in a straight walk up and try situation will not serve a quality cup.
                              What's a quality cup ? Well we all know what we like - in my case if it is not sour bitter or burnt, andthe shot has an inherent
                              Sweetness plus character to its flavour as well as the temp that it is served at ( flarvwhite) is near were I requested it
                              - then it will easily pass My subjective taste test.
                              I'm happy to try new cafes however I only return to those that I have confidence will (and have previously ) passed that simple test.

                              IMO some of the responsibility could to be sheeted home to the fresh coffee industry (some suppliers.... note). That is that
                              the training given to the cafe is lacking. In general the training by suppliers of the beans ( and then often machine and grinder)
                              It appears they only train how / what's required to serve a cup / this is how you do iut etc ertc rote form
                              In general the operator cannot answer basic questions regarding the cup they serve.
                              - Do you serve a single or dble shot? What size basket / amt of grnd coffee is in your shot? What temp do you serve the cup? (flat white) Etc etc.

                              What I tasted as coffee in London just recently was very disappointing - burnt and bitter!
                              So really Aust does offer a very good coffee in general - when compared fairly against the rest of the world, but
                              There is lots of room for improvement ( read bringing the low hanging fruit up to the mid rating ) so that at least
                              The cafes / retailer supplies what the customer wants !

                              There end of rant n off my chest !

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