What your choice of hot beverage says about you, according to a barista

Flat white? You’ve got your shit together

The barista is the ghost writer behind your hustling success story. By time you get to uni, coffee in hand, you’re ready to burn through your required reading with a reckless force that cannot be tamed. You’ll thank god for that coffee, but god has nothing to do with it, it’s all about that mysterious barista deity that grants you that extra shot latte every morning.

You know nothing about your barista other than how good they look in their apron. The twist is, they know a lot about you based on what you order when you get to the till. They know because there is a horoscope-like guide behind each hot drink and what cake you pick up on the side, and they will judge you if you refuse the Colombian Bean for an extra 30p.

Your beloved iced latte says a lot about who you are, and if you’ve ever wondered what your barista is really thinking when you ask for decaf, I’m here. After three years at two different Costa Coffee chains, here is exactly what your hot drink says about you:

A flat white means you are a smart king of the coffee world

The flat white is the best coffee to order because you get three shots of coffee and good thick milk. When someone orders a flat white, you know that they know their shit. Not only is it usually the cheapest on the menu, but you get the most out of it. Welcome smart king of the coffee world, let me froth the best milk I have ever frothed.

Ordering a large tea with an extra tea bag isn’t a creative value for money hack

Your cup of tea strictly and certainly only comes in a small cup. When someone orders a tea, but requests it to be upgraded to a large with an extra (and totally free) Twining’s tea bag, they are doing so because they’ve got an extra cup outside that they’re going to pour half the drink into.

It’s kind of mean when people do this, barista’s see straight through your value for money hack, and whilst at first we might deem it as “smart” after six months of being told by your manager that you need to up sales all you really want is for people to start buying two teas, instead of taking advantage of your flawless customer service and getting two for one.

If you order a baby hot chocolate you have commitment issues

Straight in at the deep end, one of the biggest barista bev peeves. If you order a baby hot chocolate specifically when there are no children in sight, you have commitment issues. Just buy a small.

They obvs ordered large

JUST a latte

Ordering “A latte” is basic. It’s JUST a latte for a reason. Step up your coffee game, try something new, it’s not even that good.

Requesting your milk to be extra extra hot makes you look like a dickhead

Insane coffee drinkers will order their coffee extra hot. But the most unpredictable, hard to handle coffee customers are the one’s that will pressure you to make it “extra, EXTRA hot.”

Fun fact about coffee: every milky coffee gets heated to 140, an extra hot coffee goes to 160. If you want me to heat your milk over 160, you are absolutely insane and are essentially asking me to give you burnt milk. This is one, really unfair on your taste buds and two, you’re essentially asking me to make you a drink that you will return in about fifteen minutes for tasting rank but in the end that is on you.

Ooh, he thinks he’s too good for a side of the raspberry and almond slice

We will always try to up sell cakes to you, it’s kinda our job to do that. If we’re feeling really nice, we’ll only attempt to up sell the raspberry and almond slice, the cheapest (and moist-est) cake on the shelf. If you refuse, we can only assume you think you’re too good for the raspberry and almond slice and will judge you indefinitely.

A reusable cup + Soya milk + “please can you make sure the steamer is rinsed” = vegan

It’s an easy equation that the barista starts trying to figure out from the moment you start digging your reusable cup from your backpack. Usually, we have already worked it out based on the style of your cup, the cake you’ve ordered and the vegan panini we just put in the oven. But please keep telling us to re-wash the steamer as we try and bang through about 30 orders.

“I don’t want any of that special bean stuff”

“The ordinary bean is perfectly fine for me”. A lot of barista frustrations come from you not allowing them not to up sell. We know the ordinary bean is fine, but have you seen this new Christmas bean? It smells like Christmas Eve, tastes like cinnamon and came straight from the North Pole.

A cappuccino

If you order a cappuccino, you fall into the pecking order of: definitely better than a latte person, but not even close to the god-tier level of a flat white person.

You can redeem yourself from this though, by accepting the chocolate sprinkles baristas want to put on top. Refusing chocolate sprinkles in the shape of a little love heart makes you look like the most boring person ever. I don’t think any barista has come up with any  reasons other than allergies or being boring as a brick wall as to why someone would refuse chocolate sprinkles on a cappuccino. It makes zero changes to the drink, other than that piece of art I just spent a minute constructing for you would be more attractive with a love heart on the top.

Next time you say “no thanks” to the offer of chocolate sprinkles, consider how you’re portraying yourself. Do you want your favourite coffee shop to think you’d be shit company on a night out? If no, accept the sprinkles.

The iced flat white

Unlike its God of a twin brother, the iced flat white is a spawn of Satan. The flat white is Abel, and the iced flat white is Cain. Anyone who orders an iced flat white knows they are pissing you off by doing so, and they always ask with a hint of straight up arrogance.

Alike to Cain, the iced flat white is devilish, producing it takes about five minutes and the milk is just a waste of time anyway – you are drinking a cloud that tastes of nothing. Maybe it’s what you deserve.

Black Americano

You mean business. You’re here probably before a really long day, and you need nothing more from us than an intense caffeine fix, we get it and we will ask no further questions. We see you, we hear you and we hope you have a nice unproblematic day.

There are, however, some black Americano customers who know this and very much want you to know. To downgrade from the appreciated black Americano drinker, ask for an extra shot and tell us exactly what you’re setting out to do for the day.

The Chai latte

Chai is a bit like Marmite, so if someone orders a Chai latte not only does this suggest that they really truly know themselves, but it also says they probably went on a gap yah.

Skinny, one shot, latte, with cream and a shot of vanilla

Not only does this coffee drinker reek of privilege, but they always know they’re being problematic. They almost always request their order in a Karen tone. Karen’s know they’re being a Karen, and they always seem to think their order is alike to algebra.

We got it the first time Karen get back to looking after your child that is climbing all over my sugar stand.

A hot chocolate with everything on top of it

A person who orders a hot chocolate, and agrees to have everything on top of it, is a god send among coffee customers. Every time they agree to cream, marshmallows and flakes the serving barista wants only to give them a knighthood.

Thank you kind soul, please accept this kind customer award. In accepting this award though, you’re also signing a secret customer-barista contract in which you can never ever say no to the extras again, thank you for being so kind, I hope your bank balance is ok.

Mint tea

You’re probably well into self care and you’re totally not against the idea of Scientology. It might be presumed that you wake up before 6am every day, sit down at your window and watch the sun rise as you meditate. Depending on what time of day it is, you’re either going to study in the library or you’re on the way to yoga. Namaste.

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• We asked bartenders what your drink of choice says about you