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February 9, 2007

There is no X in Espresso

"I'll have a double espresso, con panna."

I get the look of confusion. So, I revise. I dummy it down for her and repeat my order, "I'll have two shots of espresso topped with whip cream."

She twirls her green apron ties the way I once twirled my hair (when it was long and I was young). "Just eXpresso?"

I inhale s-l-o-w-l-y. I have not yet had my coffee. I am here because I am in a strange city that does not have a Peet's Coffee & Tea. Focus, Lisa. Focus on the most important issue first: your coffee. "Two shots, espresso, (emphasis on the letters 's') and a dollop of whip cream." I know she's about to ask, A dollop? What's a dollop? I quickly add, "The barista will understand." Of this I am sure.

"Your name?"

Today is not a Julio day. I say my name, but pronounce the "s" in Lisa with a zesty "z" sound. I hand her my money. She hands me back a few coins. I do not immediately drop them into the wide mouth jar. I haven't decided yet if a tip is deserved. I pause, and, then, just before the coins fall from my not-so-relaxed palm, I inform her, "There is no X in espresso."

Like I said, I haven't had my coffee yet. Fortunately, I do not have to wait long before I hear the barista call out, "LiSa? Double eSpreSSo with whip." Emphasis on the letters 's'.

February 16, 2007

What a rip-off!

I know better. I know better than to order an espresso in most restaurants. I certainly know better than to order an espresso when I haven't checked out the coffee station. There are little tell-tale signs that indicate the quality of drinks served. Signs like the cleanliness of the steam wand on the espresso machine. I am certain that in THIS establishment the steam wand is caked with dried, burned milk.

This particular drink was really, really bad. Really bad. The liquid was the color of faded cardboard. I complain to my friends. They laugh. They know better than to let me order an espresso in a restaurant. One of my friends launches into a story that finally explains to me precisely 'why' I should not order espresso in most restaurants.

"When I was a waitress I never understood why people would order espresso. I'd go to the back and fill that little cup and handle 'thingy' with the ground coffee and hit the button and out would come this little bitty dribble of a drink. I'd look at the tiny cup, less than half full, and think, You're paying two bucks for that pissy amount?! What a rip-off! So, I'd hit the button again and, at least, the cup would be almost filled up."

Yes, indeed, what a rip-off!

About Barista Banter

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Tall, Grande, Venti in the Barista Banter category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Empty Cup is the next category.

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