The Most Obscure Coffees You Make As A Barista – A Little Rant

 Last Updated April 2, 2022

Every barista knows that person. You know the one. The half-skinny-half-full milk person. The latte with 12 sugars person. The double shot latte with a scoop of ice cream and chocolate sprinkles person.

Yes, we know them too well and they are the bane of our coffee-making day. They get us out of rhythm and always come at the most inconvenient time. But the customer is always right, right?

I say no.

A good coffee takes time to make. By the time you steam your milk, pull the shot and plate up your drink it takes at least a good minute. So I’m sorry my fellow customer when you come in during the morning rush I cannot help you.

Yes, you the body builder that comes in and orders his latte with 6 shots. I say no. The woman who likes her hot chocolate burnt to a crisp. I cannot help. And you the man that asks for a soy chai latte with honey and milk exactly 75 degrees but not “too much froth” – I just don’t like you.

Don’t get me wrong I’m happy to make a special request when I have the time. But when you’re getting through 300+ coffee dockets a day with multiple orders on them it’s just not practical.

If you want to make good coffee consistently and efficiently obscure coffee orders can really put a spanner in works. Not to mention it throws the whole system off track and creates a longer queue.

Alas, not all of us can have this luxury to say no. We bite the bullet, do the time and make the coffee regardless. This is the life the barista and there are annoyances in every job. However it’s always good to have a little rant and get your frustrations off your chest.

So, what’s the most obscure coffee you’ve ever made at work? Tell us below.

You may also like to read our guide on the difference between a mocha and latte.


About The Author 

Ivan Bez

Ivan is the founder of Latte Art Guide and a barista with 10 years of experience. He loves coffee and aims to help people improve their coffee making skills.

  • Non-fat, sugar-free vanilla latte, no foam, extra hot, decaf.

    Or…. an iced white mocha americano

    Anything "extra-hot" I mean, seriously? One guy wanted it exactly 190 degrees. Um… can your tongue measure temperature???

  • Long Macchiato – in a mug!!! After explaining its not really a long macchiato if its in a mug (politely of course 🙂 ) &#39But thats how we like them&#39… 3 shots in a mug, topped up 3/4. Not a problem. Then returned to me because they wanted them topped up all the way. Basically a flat white in a mug with an extra shot, anyone would think I actually knew what I was talking about by this point – but still I was the complete imbecile

  • I had a regular who wanted a 12 oz skim milk latte with two splenda, double blended. She wanted us to make the drink, put it in a blender, pour it out and run it through again. And of course she’d come in with a group of equally picky friends. I just could never understand where people come up with stuff like that.

  • One gentleman asked for a extra dry, decaf, skim cappuccino with no chocolate.
    What’s the point?? Just get a cup of tea.

  • A regular where I work asks for a 1/4 of a single espresso, Coconut milk, hazelnut syrup, Ice frap with Extra steamed-milk (dry) foam (No cream)…and a dash of cinnamon on top….
    Another with a Small Extra hot Decaf Almond “Cappuccino” with chocolate and absolutely No foam because he has intolerance to the foam. (he brings his own no-pro almond milk) LOOOL
    Another with Extra Hot, Extra strong (but not an extra shot) “Americano” with a dash of hot Half Coconut, Half Almond milk heated together. Absurd!!

    But the prize goes to A lady regular always asks me for an Extra Hot, Small, 1/2 a shot Decaf salted Caramel Mocha, with protein powder, Half almond, half Soya, No Foam and grounded hazelnut and chocolate powder on top…. HELL!

  • Airports always bring you the best ones. One lady wanted a large sized T/A cup full of foam no milk.Like a giant babycino. another a dry cappuccino with double shot in a large T/A container. The half shot people and there friends would like the 1/2 of the shot added to their coffee…. and the list goes on.

  • My favorite espresso drink is a tad off “normal,” but seems — to me, at least — simple enough. What I want, and make at home, is two shots in a small (cappuccino) cup with milk foam filling it the rest of the way. NO MILK! I love to suck in some foam, then a sip of coffee and mix it around in my mouth. Heaven.

    My usual order is, “Double, dry cappuccino. No milk.” Sometimes, “Two shots in a small cup, with only milk foam filling it the rest of the way.” I tried, “Macchiato” for a while, but usually got only a dab of foam.

    Even if they get the rest of my order right, most baristas cannot resist pouring in some or even a lot of milk. This I think of as the Starbucks influence. I used to send the really milky ones back, but usually got the same thing in return, along with some serious attitude. So, I don’t do that anymore, resigning myself to the whims of an uncaring marketplace.

    I do know of two local espresso bars that get it right just about every time. My dream is not impossible. Alas, though, I primarily find frustration. If this kind of order would disrupt your rhythm, kind barista, I feel sorry for you. And for the espresso-consuming public.

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