I went to the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf near my house yesterday. Everybody calm down! I know that’s a hell of an intro but relax.
I usually go to coffee shops is the 3–4 pm time frame. Low tide for coffee shops. The three baristas are posted up behind the counter drinking their own coffee concoctions. Two are in a heated discussion about the Clippers (I didn’t know it was possible either) with a bearded guy in horn rim glasses whose waiting for his drink.
I order an Americano. I walk over and wait for it to be finished. I look something like this:
Except take away the suit and the scrotal inflation fetish (I can tell just by looking at him this man pumps his balls to the size of grapefruits when left to his own devices–or in this case just one device) and I would never order a red drink at a coffee shop. And also remember that I haven’t received my drink yet. Pay attention. We’re moving fast people.
The barista calls out my name and slides my drink to me. I turn to the condiment table. The place where everything goes wrong. They could start adding Colombian cocaine to their newest specialty drink, the MochaCocainyo and it wouldn’t make up for two things that are about to go wrong at the condiment table.
I know before I’ve even turned to that station that I could walk over to the half and half thermos and turn it upside down and shake the shit out of it and nothing would happen. There would be no mess. I know in my heart of hearts: that motherfucker is bone dry. I could take it and hold it over the head of the horned rim glasses guy and his Chris Paul jersey (Lob City!) would be none the worse for wear.
Perhaps a craven hipster came by and drank the whole thing but I have never (I say that without hyperbole) walked up to a coffee shop condiment station at 3:41pm and found a half and half container that had any more than a spit of creamer in it. Thus Tip #1:
REFILL THE CREAMER AT 3PM.
I know every coffee shop has a list of side work posted somewhere. I’ve taken the liberty of making a universal side work list that is compatible with all English-speaking coffee shops. Feel free to use it.
Boom! That’s like two extra stars on Yelp right there. You just went from the default: “If I could give this zero stars I would!!!!” to a three star review. 15% of the words will still be misspelled but hey, three stars. Pretty good for a place that serves scrotal inflationists.
While I’m there waving the empty half and half canister around like it’s a gun and I’m George Zimmerman I watch horned-rim glasses pour out about two inches of his latte, pause a beat, and then pour out another inch. You’re thinking: Well what’s the big deal about that? That’s what the pour hole is for.
What, Himbo? You’ve never seen a pour hole?
Yes I’ve seen a pour hole. I’ve also had a garbage bag full of cold coffee/various milk types/mocha sauce split all over my legs as I heaved it out of the depths of the pour hole (yes, I to have been a humble barista at one time). So here’s Tip #2
ADD A DRAIN AT THE CONDIMENT STATION
I’m not the first person to bring this up. I won’t be the last. The argument is that it’s cost prohibitive to add plumbing to the 10.2 billion coffee shops in the world. That argument is way over-thinking this. It would be very easy (and cheap) to add a drain to all condiment stations.
- Step 1: Cease wearing your ass as a hat.
- Step 2: Drill out a slightly smaller hole next to your current pour hole
- Step 3: Attach a funnel beneath it.
- Step 4: Place a grate over it.
- Step 5: Attach a two foot length of hose to the end of the funnel.
- Step 6: Have that drain into a two gallon bucket.
- Step 7: Put blown mind back together so that you can check the time and make sure it’s not 3pm yet.
There you have it. Two simple steps and your coffee shop is basically the best coffee shop that’s ever existed. Was that so hard?