If At First You Don’t Succeed, Chai Again, Part 5

| Working | April 28, 2016

(I live in an area where tiny, locally owned coffee shacks are incredibly common. Darn near every establishment has one in their parking lot or built into their business one way or another. Unfortunately, this does not guarantee that whatever barista you’re ordering from knows what they are doing, so I’ve learned to ask what more experienced coffee buyers would consider no-brainer questions. Sometimes I’m still painfully disappointed. This particular shop is part of a flower shop that also hosts the weekly farmer’s market, and I stop in to get drinks while at the market to reduce my number of stops that afternoon.)

Me: “Okay, we’ll do a small hot chocolate, but for a kid so not so hot. A large quad mocha. And I see you have chai, is that in a latte or black?”

Barista: “Oh, no, sweetie. Chai is actually a kind of tea and doesn’t have coffee in it!”

Me: *taken aback slightly because while I’m not old, I’m definitely not young enough to be called “sweetie” by the early 20s barista* “I know it’s tea. I just want to know if you serve it in a latte or black?”

Barista: “I don’t get it. Are you wanting me to add a shot of coffee and make it a latte?”

Me: *confused, starting to catch on to where this is going* “Latte means it has milk in it…”

Barista: *suddenly extremely condescending* “No, it means COFFEE. Like a mocha latte is a coffee drink.”

Me: “Actually latte comes from same root word as lactose. It means it’s a drink with milk in it.”

Barista: “Well I don’t know how to tell you this, but latte means it’s a coffee drink. But, yes, our chai comes with milk in it, and I can add coffee if that’s what you want, but it’s 70 cents per shot…”

Me: *finally snapping after having a bad day, I turn and start toward the door while trying to remain as cold as possible* “You know what? I changed my mind about getting my coffee here. I’ll just go now.”

Barista: *sarcastically* “Wait! Don’t go! I was learning SO much from you!”

(While I heard she didn’t last long, I haven’t had the heart to go back there even for flowers after that exchange.)

 

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