Strangest Orders in the Coffee World

During my years working behind the coffee counter, I know I experienced only some of the strangest coffee orders in the world. Maybe these people were just choosy in their coffee drinking, but according to my co-workers, it was a matter of claiming one’s self-importance through complex (ridiculous) orders.

Of course as anyone who’s worked in Customer Service knows, the customer is always right. So, while a cappuccino is a creamy concoction of espresso, frothed milk, and steamed milk, you can figure out how to make it iced on demand, whether you want to or not. Gross!

Sometimes no matter now clearly you explain things to a customer, you have to give them what they think they want, even if they don’t understand. So, espresso, iced, with a dollop of foam on top it is. It may not have been one of the strangest orders we received, but one we never replicated for ourselves when business was slow.

Because citrus doesn’t fare well with dairy, we stayed away from combining the two. Perhaps that’s why there wasn’t such a combination on the menu! But, no, we must insist. Regardless of how we explain that mixing the two will result in curdled milk, some lady insisted. When she took a swig and almost hurled because of the chunks in her cup, I don’t know how or why we were required to re-make her drink.

But, there were always orders or coffee recipes we wanted to try – just to see how bad they were or at least to figure out if there was a valid (sane) reason why people must be so difficult. (Or, if it was a supposedly sneaky way to get more “bang” for their buck.)

The tall double one pump vanilla one pump hazelnut nonfat latte: good enough.

Grande caramel macchiato with a pump of mocha syrup: I can see that.

Decaf Venti nonfat no whip one pump mocha? A cup of water would’ve made more sense.

But sometimes, people just wanted to be difficult.

I want a Grande Hazelnut Frappuccino, but I want it made with a Venti amount of Frappuccino mix. And then I want extra ice. And then, put the extra in a Grande cup and just top it with whipped cream.

Keep in mind, these customers always know exactly how much it would cost should the barista ring them up for merely one drink. As a matter-of-fact, they’ll tell the poor (literally!) soul at the register exactly how they “ought to” be rung up.

Then, should anyone argue the order, they’ll throw a fit until they get their way. Based upon experience, these are the people baristas laugh at when they spill their drinks in their freshly-detailed Maseratis.

Now, don’t get me wrong. When you’re a perfectly likable individual, feel free to present one of the strangest orders ever in the history of coffee shops. As long as you’re nice (and tip!) you can go right ahead, in my humble opinion.

Please keep in mind that your goal, when entering a coffee shop, is not to see how difficult and frustrating you can make the lives of the baristas. You’re there to get coffee. Pure and simple. Do not, for the Love of God, order something to “prove” how important you are, based on the difficulty level of your drink prep.

Order, and get, what you like, please. Just understand that you’re not under pressure to go down on record for having one of the strangest coffee orders in the world.

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