Thursday, March 16, 2017

Confessions of a Dangerous Barista, Part 2





Psychology is everywhere.

It’s in the frequent disputes between dysfunctional relationships, it’s in the abandonment of children by their imaginary friends, it’s in the nursing of a traumatized victim of a cow-tipping accident.


At one point, I applied this psychology to those who entered the coffee shop where I worked. After doling out many beverages, I realized that certain types of people ordered certain types of drinks.

And so begins my thesis:

Those who drink regular black coffee are go-getters who don’t like prune juice. Their typical statement is how “caffeine doesn’t bother them,” even though you can’t understand a single, stuttering word they’ve said, while knocking things over as they try to multi-task everything: an e-mail, phone conversation, the bathroom, changing a baby's diaper and trying on new shoe, and complain about how fast their heart beats. They are all business. All. They have no understanding of down time, and that might be because they they have to wake up early, and the black coffee is the medicine to cure the sunless morning commutes.

Those who drink black decaf coffee are also strictly business, but they enjoy no thrills whatsoever, and they definitely don't like prune juice. For some reason, they want all the things coffee brings, but none of the repercussions. They probably also drink Caffeine Free Diet Coke. It's like they're afraid of living. These people will never be caught white water rafting. They admit to themselves ‘how good coffee tastes’ when they could be a) a recovering smoker ridding themselves of both caffeine and nicotine b) in complete denial of their halitosis, or c) have an oral fixation. It’s just something about paper cups and parched lips.

Those who enjoy flavored drip coffee are fun, whimsical and don’t enjoy the ordinary. They can’t be strictly business because on their lunch breaks, they’ll take that caffeine and go for a brisk jog, bungee jump off their office building or saran wrap the toilet seats in both the men’s and women’s restrooms, no wait, they're up-to-date and use Glad’s “press n’ seal” to cover the toilet bowls. Those who drink caffeinated flavor drip coffee be cray.

If you drink shots of espresso you are definitely of Italian descent, or from South of the border, primarily Brazil (and regions nearby). You are an elitist, drink with your pinky up, can balance books on your head when you walk, and you enjoy things in their purest form. You love limoncello.

So, you drink cappuccinos ? Oh, you’re definitely continental, well-traveled and sophisticated. You’re airy, enjoy being lackadaisical, since the beverage is mostly foam and is extremely light, and you inhale way too much foam for your own good and probably belch too much. Although there is espresso in your beverage, you can’t settle for being an elitist because all that foam fills your innards and you push burps out like a fowl dog. Not that I’m calling you a fowl dog, I would never…

And then there are your latte drinkers: You are unadventurous and definitely a mid-westerner (and if you live in large cities, you’ve either come from the mid-west or you have family from the mid-west and you have visited them). For the flavored latte enthusiasts, you must have melodrama in your life and this is evident because lattes are a heavy drink since it’s made mostly of milk and sugary syrups.

This is where I fit in. I'm the person that wants none of my own drama but all of yours.

Drinkers of the flavored latte are almost sophisticated. Almost. Some flavored latte drinkers just don’t have time to worry about Nautica and Nike stock because they're rushing their kids off to soccer practice in the minivan. Thank God for that shot of espresso, otherwise you wouldn’t have been able to grocery shop, pick the kids up from school and take the golden retriever to the vet all in fifteen minutes.

If you enjoy soy lattes, just don't tell us how much of a vegan you are. We get it. You made muffins out of almond flour you ground yourself and water you squeezed from a rock. Unless you're lactose intolerant, then you're basically like any other latte drinker (heavy on melo, heavy on the drama), with one exception: cheese makes you gassy. That's a drama I want no part in. The bathroom is that way.

If you drink breves (lattes made with half and half), you haven’t had your heart or cholesterol checked lately have you? You definitely are having the time of your life enjoying the richer tasting things. It's seen that those who enjoy breves don’t think twice about some of their more destructive choices. If I were you, I'd go to the doctor and have a blood panel done.

Then there is the oddity of all lattes, the sugar-free, nonfat, flavored latte. It's like you're afraid to live. You peak out from behind the curtains. You support life but can't handle living. Or maybe you're a want-it-all-but-can’t-afford-it person. You don’t carry the true Kate Spade bag but the cheap imitation you found at Value City for 80% off the markdown price (girl, that bag is going to break in, like, a month).

Not everyone fits into the above categories. Some people are able to come up with their own brand of crazy. There were mornings when a lady ordered a decaf soy latte with half a pack of Sweet and Low. That lady was artificial, tanned a lot and her farts smelled like burning plastic.

The above, along with more psychology, can be found in my new book “Coffee Makes Me Think and Poop,” which will be out in May. It will hold recipes for new coffee drinks that Martha Stewart lost copyright over when she was indicted, and it will also discuss the psychology of adding sugar, whipped cream, Equal and other additives to the brewed beverage.

So, think before you drink. Your coffee says a lot about you.