Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The coffee conundrum

Okay, so this is pretty much all over the internet right now, but since I am a guy who likes coffee I thought I would post it anyway.


Jeff Simmermon at AND I AM NOT LYING posted an experience at a local coffee shop that wouldn't serve him the coffee the way he wanted it. In this instance he wanted some shots of espresso served over ice.


The barista informed Jeff in an (apparently) un-friendly manner that they did not serve espresso over ice. The theory being that diluting down the espresso lessened the quality of the drink, and this establishment prided itself on the quality of its beverages.


I can definitely see where the customer is coming from. When I know what I want, that is generally what I expect to get, but I believe that businesses (in general) definitely have the right to deny making certain types of products if they don't believe them to be of a quality level befitting their establishment.


What really throws me is that when he goes back later, the barista offers to make him an Americano over ice. Yet an Americano is just shots of espresso watered down.  Wait.... wasn't that the exact reason why they didn't want to serve the iced espresso? WTF?


What do you all think?


Chickenbells said...

Yeah...that's totally nuts. I understand wanting to bring a certain amount of quality to your business, but if someone orders their coffee a certain way, they must know what they're talking about...perhaps they should have a waiver that their customers could sign after they place their order...just in case the quality isn't good, that way no one could come back and say, "ick ick ick" And yes, and Americano is a watered down version of espresso...so, it's almost the same thing...

I think he should have ordered 2 shots of espresso topped with coffee over ice...or even a double espresso and a cup of ice...and then he could have watched the barrista have a heart attack...heh heh

TomboCheck said...

Chickenbells - exactly what he did. He ordered a triple espresso and a cup of ice. The guy said something to the effect of "i know what you are going to do, and I can't stop you, but it is seriously not cool".

That's a little nuts.

melissa said...

Did you see the linked response from the owner of murky coffee? Boy did that blow up huge. I can see the guy's point, but I can also see the owner's point. Sorry. Maybe it's cause I'm not a coffee drinker, so I think maybe all of them shouldn't take it so seriously. ;)

TomboCheck said...

Melissa - Yeah, I saw that comment. It's probably not the way I would handle the PR if I were the owner, but hey; different strokes for different folks. :)

I like how Accidental Hedonist compared it to ordering a 10 year old single malt and cola. Some places won't do it because it is 'ruining' the drink (which also helps to maintain the mystique of a high-end place). Other places just give the customer what they want, sometimes with a mention that it could be better enjoyed differently.

I can't think of ANY coffee shops that are high-end enough to tell a customer they can't have a drink the way they want it, but apparently some places fancy themselves as such.