Not getting good coffee lately… 25. March 2016

 Coffee, cherries in chocolate

 Barley porridge with butter

 Coffee and rum pastries

 Seaweed snacks

 Roast pork and vegetables, rye bread with butter and marinated cucumber

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I haven’t bought coffee from coffee shops as often as I used to lately, but all the times I have done so, I’ve gotten really crap coffee 😦 The coffee often tastes burnt and bitter and when I order a latte in the hopes of the milk masking the bad taste in case I get burnt coffee AGAIN, they manage to fuck up the milk as well. A pet peeve of mine is when the baristas take a previously used, unwashed, steaming jug, add a bit of fresh milk to it and steam it for my coffee. That’s the worst thing to do ever. Sometimes I catch them doing that, so I usually stop them and ask them to use a clean jug. That usually results in a very irritated barista who sometimes even tries to argue with me that it won’t make no difference in taste and that they don’t want to waste the milk that they had left over from the previous coffee.

First of all, it is possible to learn to steam an exact amount of milk, not a drop more or less, than you need for the coffee (trust me, I know that from experience) and secondly, re-steamed milk does not taste the same as freshly steamed milk; especially if it accidentally got heated too much the previous time or it got to a boiling point. Plus, finding chunks of milk skin or clumped up milk fat, that the reheating can cause, in your coffee is not an experience I recommend to anyone.

And I know it’s sometimes corporate policy. We had that at the coffee shop I worked at: no wasting milk, re-steam it and only take time to wash the jugs when it’s not busy. I actively rebelled against it and I learned how to measure the milk so it wouldn’t get wasted. Because to me selling a cup of bad coffee was embarrassing… not because it would have been bad feedback to the company, but to me personally. And I am aware that sometimes there is nothing the barista can do about the quality of coffee. For instance when the equipment is malfunctioning or the coffee roast is messed up. Like this one time we had bags of coffee beans in our café that had been accidentally burnt a bit while roasting and the coffee made from them was horrendous… Most upsetting week of my life working as a barista. But we found tricks to try and fix it somehow; for instance we only added half of the espresso quantity to lattes/cappuccinos and less people complained about the taste afterwards, because the milk hid most of the burnt taste. I ended up shoving a cup of that terrible coffee on the owners table, when he came in, saying that this was the best we could get out of the beans currently and if he didn’t find anything wrong with that I would quit. To my luck for whatever reason he happened to like me, so he got us some decent coffee beans the next day. However, knowing him, the bad beans were probably simply moved to one of his other cafe’s where the baristas wouldn’t throw such a fuss.

Mostly I’m upset, because when I buy coffee, I am all excited to drink a cup of good coffee and then I don’t get it. Also then I feel depressed about the money I spent on that crap, because coffee is expensive. Blah. So yes, baristas tend to hate me, because I actually say something (most of the times at least) when I am unhappy about the coffee they made and that is very uncommon in Estonia. But hell, I pay for the coffee, so I’d like it properly made thankyouverymuch.

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