Percolating no more


My local coffee shop closed down recently.

In its place now stands a nail salon. Maybe they’ll be a little less snobby.

This was a coffee shop that took itself way too seriously. The coffee was good but by the manner the staff carried on you’d have thought what they served in the cups was an elixir so precious that the barista doubted the customer could be trusted with it.

Their business model included suspiciously eyeing and then ignoring any customer who walked through their doors as if that person were some kind of bare-butted Beverly Hillybilly in-bred.  Dressed in their black noir aprons 30 years after funk/pop group BIG PIG (1985-1991) first coined the fashion, the staff would smile eventually when you went up to order but never with their eyes. It was the smile of a predator to its prey. Fairly predictably the uniform would be accompanied by some kind of goatee beard, a Che-Guevera t-shirt, and an overpowering righteous air. I’m betting a few of them even owned guitars. I’m guessing some may even have grown up down Melbourne way.

In their part-defence, I might offer up the theory that many workers in jobs such as theirs are probably so used to customers taking a superior tone as soon as they walk through the door, that as soon as they come upon someone who might actually bother to preface their order with a ‘G’day’ greeting in a gesture of ‘level playing field’ humanitarian acknowledgement, they’re tempted to think to themselves –  ” The master-servent code may just be on hold here. Time to punch back!”

I remember watching the look of barely disguised disgust spread across the face of a coloured-frame-eyeglasses-wearing female employee when I handed her a loyalty card to stamp that belonged to, and had just been used a minute before, by my bearded mate.

Then there was the time I was greeted by uppity surly face just because my order was a little more ‘complicated’ then they were used to. I mean what part of –

“Triple venti chai tea latte, double-pump, cinnamon dolce soy milk, extra whip, extra shot, then extract that shot, foam on the bottom, with salted-caramel drizzle served at 48.8 degrees celsius” did this person not understand?

Anyways, gone now. All gone.

My new go-to hipster cafe?

Maccas, of course.


PS. Does coffee really taste any better if it’s brewed in a whimsical contraption?

12 thoughts on “Percolating no more

  1. Oh I remember the heady days of my local barista romancing me with his talk of cold drip coffee when his establishment first opened.

    These days he is too busy prancing around in his too tight t-shirt doing, well, I’m not sure what exactly, while his minions serve the caffeine addicted.

    They don’t smile with their eyes either. Now I happily drive through Maccas where, somewhere along the assembly line I get a cheery greeting and genuine smile. It’s the simple gestures that make my day.

    And coffee.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You speak with sage wisdom there Jenny and you’re right – those clean cut kids at McDonalds are well trained, natural acting and genuinely courteous without the air of pretension of their coffee shop cousins.
    Lovin’ it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good post, thank you for sharing.

    How difficult it is to get a good coffee shop these days. I’ve lost touch, I’ve stopped going, and mainly for the same reason as you, and the way they seem to be organised these days. There is nowhere for the writer to hide in a corner, and write!

    Macca’s just doesn’t do it for me, not because of the coffee, it’s those blasted kids! I know, I once was one, I had a few of them too, but seriously, Maccas is best left to them nowadays. They travel in gangs at our local, and there’s no communicating with them.

    In my next life, I’ll open a huge coffee shop with a bookshop above it and rooms where writers can go and write and talk to other writerly folk.

    And a sign over the door that says WELCOME, yes really…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Maria.

      On a side issue, my local Maccas has exactly one copy of the daily newspaper stocked for patron reading.

      More than once I’ve witnessed disagreements between customers wanting to monopolize the reading material.

      A recent trip to Sydney revealed that Maccas managers down there have seized upon the revolutionary idea of providing a stack-high pile of copies of the paper each day in their restaurants and cafes to get around the possiblity of customers wrestling each other on the porcelain tiles over who gets to read what over their bacon and egg McMuffin.

      Savvy that.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Glen, you are on fire. I can’t believe I’ve missed so many now my weekends are consumed with being a soccer mum. I have a solution for Maccas. The staff room is always full of newspapers, and I can’t imagine anyone seriously reading one. Surely we could just deliver a pile of them to Maccas?

    You have me thunking out loud now about what the baristas are really saying with their eyes when I pick up the coffees. My work has me frequent a few baristas on the Bay side of Brisbane, and all are not franchises except for Maccas. The hologram baristas are definitely sincere and genuine types who keep me coming back for more, at least in a virtual sense.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have to say I have been disappointed with the standard of soccer mums in the comps I’ve frequented with my boys. I can’t say they have taught me anything about being truly obnoxious. I’m so disappointed, I wonder if I could find someone to blog on it?

    Liked by 1 person

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