No Fancy Name
Friday, May 13, 2005
Dear Barefoot Coffee Roasters...
...I tried to love you, I really did. Your coffee is really wonderful, and your commitment to craftsmanship, quality, freshness and sustainability is admirable. Indeed, every coffee and espresso drink I've purchased from you has been exceptional. The Borgias I've gotten have been especially lovely, not that nasty orange syrupy crap you find everywhere else.

As a former barista, although by no means an award-winning competitive barista like some of your employees, I understand and appreciate your explanation that espresso not meeting these requirements is "just a hot brown beverage" and any cappuccino not meeting these requirements is "just a hot milky beverage," and as such I have no problem at all—not one—waiting ten minutes for my drink to be prepared. You have a wonderful set of couches and tables, and the CDs that you play are at an appropriate volume for those who want to enjoy their drink while reading or studying.

Unfortunately, several times my plans for quality studying—which no doubt would have resulted in the purchase of nearly $20 worth of coffee drinks each time—were thwarted by the actions of one exceptionally self-absorbed barista. He sings. Loudly.

I'm all for humming along or singing when you're in the back room washing dishes or what not. I'm also big on enjoying life and music in general—these are good things. But singing along very loudly to a CD is annoying, distracting and overall bad customer service. If the morning were billed as "Avery sings the Best of Elvis Costello," then we would all be aware and could choose to stay or go. What's worse is when there is a CD playing, a lovely CD, and he starts singing a completely different song. Loudly. Without recognizing that people are leaving without finishing their coffee, people who probably—like me—had planned to stay there for many hours and drink (purchase! with money! money that you need to pay for your business!) more coffee.

You have Open Mic nights. You have other nights on which bands play. Sometimes you overbook and the better of the two bands has to come back another time after bringing lots of people into your little corner of the Bed, Bath & Beyond strip mall. In other words, you have plenty of time to have live music. Saturday and Sunday mornings, when people are trying to relax and read/study/whatever, are not those times.



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