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Handbook on How to Annoy your Barista

Working as a barista, I have a long list of annoyances that customers do. But for the purpose of this guide, I asked Montreal baristas on Facebook what bothered them the most about customers. Well, within hours, I had received almost 100 comments, and in a few days, over 200. Here are a few that stood out or were repeated:

  1. Don’t Ask, Demand to be Served

Quite a few customers have a tendency of skipping the pleasantries and cutting it straight to their order. Before the employee can finish their “Bonjour, Hi,” the customer blurts out the most irritating phrase: “Tu va me donner” (You’ll give me). If you really want to your to annoy your barista, that’s your golden rule, be flat out rude.

  1. Take the Wrong Drink

Your barista calls out the drink and name for a reason. Don’t grab the large green tea latte, take a sip, and complain that that’s not your drink, when you ordered a plain latte. Hint: one drink is green, the other beige. So, to aggravate and slow down your barista, don’t listen and don’t pay attention.

  1. Make a Mess

There are garbage cans around the store and on your way out, but forget them, just leave your trash on the table. Crumple up your napkin and stuff it in your mug with coffee residue. Your barista can remove the used napkin to dump it for you. They’ll wipe the tabletop where you spilled coffee and sugar everywhere. That’s what they’re there for, right?

  1. Don’t take a Breather

By this, I mean order a long list of drinks and pastries, but don’t let the barista have time to punch it all in the cash. Also, don’t mention any sizes. This way they will have to ask you what you ordered repeatedly, and you will have taken extra time

  1. Keep an Eye on Them

You just never know. Fixate on them as they prepare your drink in case they make a wrong move. Interject when they take out the soy milk when you asked for cream, even though your drink is five cups down the line. Complain that baristas usually put too much foam in your latte, and don’t know how it’s made.

  1. Ask for the Impossible

“I want a non-fat, no foam latte,” is probably the worst order they can hear. One of them anyway. Anything no foam that’s not regular milk is a hassle to make, so order that. If you want foam, ask for extra dry.

Bonus: Do all steps during a rush. Their busiest time is the perfect time to forget you’re lactose intolerant, you took the wrong drink or your drink is too sweet.

These were just a few out of many. If you want to annoy your barista next time you go for coffee, you now know what to do. If you were unaware that these were annoying, now you know what not to do. In the end, remember that baristas are just like you, and they’re just doing their jobs, so don’t be rude.


Amanda is a Journalism and Creative Writing major at Concordia University in Montreal. Writing has been her passion for as long as she can remember, and is the reason why she's been pursuing it throughout her University career. She has been working on a novel-length story since high school that she hopes to one day publish. Journalism pricked her interest in her last year of high school when she took an optional class. Amanda joined a group in class, and they had to make a plan for a contest on how they would document the humanitarian work in Peru. They won first place, and had the chance of traveling to a small community in Peru where they had the chance to interview and meet volunteers and citizens. It was at that moment that Amanda knew what she wanted to do in life. 
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