When ordering coffee in Melbourne, there’s a simple etiquette that you should follow. You should wait your turn. You should know what coffee you are going to have and you should try to avoid ordering any drink with more than three syllables ( I’ll grant you four if you order a cappuccino).
Anyone who has worked as a barista in Melbourne will know that customers are very particular about the way that they like their coffee. Most of the time these orders are totally fine. However, occasionally a customer orders a coffee that is so complex, you can only assume that they’ve taken your coffee shop for a dating agency- because surely strong, skinny and super hot is the description of their ideal partner and not a caffeinated beverage.
For this post, I thought it would be fun to do a rundown of Melbourne’s most annoying coffee orders. So, whether you’re guilty of being a polysyllabic coffee orderer, or if you’ve worked as a barista, here are some difficult coffee orders that you might be familiar with.
Magic Coffee: Let’s be honest, you are ordering this because a) you want to see if I know what it is and b) because you want to prove that you know what a double ristretto is.
Requesting particular brands of milk: One of my first jobs was working as a barista in a supermarket cafe back in the UK. I remember one of our most annoying customers was a woman who made us go and grab a particular brand of almond milk from the shop floor, just for her coffee. The joke of it was that we’d do it: the customer is always right after all. Here in Melbourne, I’ve had customers walk off because we don’t have the milk brand that they want. You can’t win. Whichever brand you buy, there will always be someone who’s just not happy.
Short Macchiato with soy/almond milk: Short macchiatos involves spooning just a couple of teaspoons of foam on to the top of an espresso. Therefore, I can’t understand why the type of milk that you order would matter. It’s incredibly annoying to have to heat a jug of plant-based milk just for the sake of a couple of spoons of foam.
¼ shot weak coffee: Another annoying yet quite common coffee order is any ¼ weak coffee. I understand that not everyone likes coffee but ordering a coffee that weak will give you neither the taste or the caffeine hit. It would be better just to order hot milk and save wasting the rest of the espresso shot.
Skinny coffee with sugar: I always find this a strange one but it’s a pretty common coffee order. I guess they are compensating the sugar calories by switching to skimmed milk however it just seems a little contradictory to me.
Extra hot but not burnt: Extra hot coffee is a request that a lot of baristas find pretty frustrating. Good coffee is very dependent on the variables of good coffee extraction and the temperature that you heat the milk too. Anything above 160 f will cause the milk proteins to break down and spoil. It’s kind of coffee sacrilage.
Coffee orders longer than a sentence: These are coffee orders comprising at least four of the following: Weak, strong, skinny, quarter strength, 3/4 full, extra hot, almond, to have in but in a takeaway cup etc.
An Americano: It’s a common order from Europeans, but heads up, it’s called a Long Black here in Melbourne.
Have an annoying Melbourne coffee order that you think should be on this post? Leave a comment below and I’ll add it in.