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you mocha me crazy.

December 20, 2009

I noticed recently that a large majority of my tweets (yeah, i actually like tweeting, we can talk about that another day) and facebook status updates involve the word coffee, like, a lot. that i’m drinking it, enjoying it, needing it or NEEDING IT.

my love affair with coffee started young. my moms very favorite ever ice cream has always been hagendaaz coffee. i remember starting when i was 5 she would share her pint with me (seriously a loving gesture only a mother can do). she’d get the pint, 2 spoons, and wrap the container in a kitchen towel and we’d sit and watch whichever movie it was that week that i insisted on watching daily (it went something like this : bedknobs and broomsticks for 7 days, pollyanna for 5 days, mary poppins for 11 days, repeat repeat repeat and OMG i wanted pollyannas dresses and shoes SO BAD).

when Scot and i got engaged, i moved to a new town and quit my desk job that i’d had for 6 years. thanks to pension (yeah i was 24 years old and had a pension plan) and cleaning out my 401k (p.s. NEVER do this, it’s stupid and please for the love of tax penalties, promise me you’ll never DO THIS), i didn’t have to work for the 6 months leading up to our wedding. after the honeymoon, i had to get a job. but what to do? i decided it would be high time to try something new and fun. i became a barista.

kind of a weird choice at 25, as was reminded to me as i sat in tully’s orientation with highschoolers and college students, but i wanted something different. and different is what i got.

whilst i got seriously into coffee, how it’s made, how to make it, and how to steam milk to the perfect fluffy foam, i also got a one way ticket to crazy town courtesy of the people who buy coffee. after a few months of the insanity (i really do mean INSANITY, anyone who has ever been a barista before can back me on this), i began doing things really out of character for me. like burning shots when someone was rude, making decaf drinks for the guy who brought in a list of his co-workers drinks and then didn’t tip, and way overcharging the lady who wouldn’t get off her bluetooth long enough to order and pay for her coffee (you came in here, remember? i’m not interrupting you, you’re interrupting me). i promise you i am not a mean person, but these coffee drinkers? a different breed of people.

(please pay NO attention that i AM totally one of those people, however i am now an impeccable coffee customer. and you should be too : you think i invented any of those moves? uh, no.)

[this would be the part where i insert a photo of me being perky behind an espresso machine circa 2006, except i refused, refused, to ever have my picture taken because there is nothing flattering about khakis, a white polo shirt and one-size-fits all apron. nothing.]

there were days that were fun. i was in charge of the art on the chalkboard and would be unreasonably proud of myself for the puns i would come up with. “Oh my Ganache! Orange you glad it’s chocolate month?” and sending people off with “thanks a latte!” (the line to be my friend is over there…). but then there were the days where the homeless lady on the corner (who i unfortunately always gave free coffee to and repayed me by peeing standing up on our sidewalk in front of the store in broad daylight) would try to smoke in the store and/or try to take a bath in our sink. not to mention the 4:30am start time but, at least i had free access to copious amounts of caffeine and unlimited everything bagels (what? i gained 10 pounds while working there? what?).

these days i do NOT miss being a barista (well, except the free coffee part and the fact that no one can make my americano/breve chai/doppio con panna to my liking), and the extent of my coffee art is pressing “delay brew” on the mr. coffee. but when i do decide to pay someone to make some for me,  i always ask for my drinks in the correct order, tip appropriately and never, ever, pee standing up on the sidewalk in broad daylight.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. kerri permalink
    December 21, 2009 6:14 am

    bah ha ha ha ha ha!

  2. December 21, 2009 9:11 am

    Mandy, you are a riot and the bestest ever new addition to my blog rounds.

    • Mandy permalink*
      December 21, 2009 11:02 am

      i feel the same way about you. would it be awkward if we hugged?

  3. December 21, 2009 9:14 am

    i just got a keurig single serve coffee maker (yesterday) and i’m about to write a blog post about it, i love it THAT MUCH. i am not, however, a coffee person. not at all. but this thing could make me one.

    • Mandy permalink*
      December 21, 2009 9:49 am

      pam, we totally sold those and YES they are amazing!

  4. December 21, 2009 10:02 am

    Ok, first of all I am taking the above Keurig convo and printing it out for the hubs because I really really want one and he thinks it can’t possible be that good.

    Second of all, I think it’s cute that you were a Barista. I’ve always said I would like to try it, but I don’t know that I would really like to DO it. However I do my best to order properly and always tip. Because on some levels food service is food service and I have been there, done that, and not been able to afford the t-shirt because my tips were so incredibly dismal.

    • Mandy permalink*
      December 21, 2009 11:05 am

      i’m glad i did it, but i was really miserable most times (perhaps it was all the youngsters i was in charge of?). oh and tell Topher that it’s the best thing evar. seriously. one cup of coffee in less than 90 seconds.

  5. December 22, 2009 11:51 am

    OMG my favourite job was being a barrista! I had the same 430am start, and I agree, people are CRAZY for their coffee. I assume as a barrista at 430am, you’re akin to a drug dealer…GIVE ME THAT COFFEE.

    And I think we ALL play tricks on the crappy customers. Part of the joys of coffee making.

    We used to get bored and see how much coffee was too much coffee…for the record, it’s about 12 cups.

  6. Jenn permalink
    December 22, 2009 6:15 pm

    mandy-
    i am totally a coffee person too. i mean, i LOVE it! it makes me happy. it helps me shop, concentrate, work, you name it. i loved this post because i was seriously about to write the same one, well minus the barista part :)

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