I find myself in the unlikely position of being unable to pick a side in an argument. I’m a coffee addict. Seriously, I’m nothing without caffeine running through my veins. I found this story about an hour after it was posted and, while not exactly following it, I hoped the customer got some kind of apology for his awful treatment by the barista that served him. When the head of the company involved posted a public reply saying “Fuck you” to him the story kind of got picked up by the public to the point that it started to be reported in American national newspapers and on websites everywhere. Personally I held off posting about it until the heat had died down.
All the guy wanted was a coffee to his own expectations (triple espresso over ice) but was told that company policy wouldn’t allow it, then berated for ruining the essence of the drink. Now I’m all for decent customer service as it’s something that’s seriously lacking in this country, so I was disgusted to hear that and rooting for the customer, but only partly. The thing is, espresso when served over ice produces a particularly bitter and sour drink. The sort that can turn someone away from your establishment if they’ve never tried it before and think all the coffee is like that. The trick is to serve it normally, then pour it over a hot (but colder than the coffee) metal spoon onto the ice. The problem with that is that many health and safety regulations prohibit it so I can see why they just stopped serving that style altogether.
One final thought on this. Currently the price of a regular Americano, one shot of milk and one sugar is seven and a half pence to make including the coffee used, the electricity to heat the water and wash the cup, and the salary of the person serving it, based on average sales. The coffee alone with the electricity to heat the water and wash the mug is four and a half pence. The cheapest coffee that Starbucks serves here is £1.40. That’s one hundred and thirty two and a half pence that goes to profit. Surely with profit margins like that coming out of our pockets we can expect to be treated with some courtesy and have our coffee however we want. Hey, looks like I did pick a side after all.
Oh well, gotta go. The kettle’s just boiled.