What Not to Say at the Coffee Shop, According to TikTok's Favorite Barista

Baristas are an integral part of our mornings. They give us the delicious nectar that is coffee (which, let’s face it, we desperately need to get our days started). But according to TikTok’s favorite barista Morgan Eckroth, aka @Morgandrinkscoffee, it’s easy to get carried away and make a joke that doesn’t land well or divulge a little too much info. To help you avoid some uncomfortable moments, below are eight things not to say at a coffee shop.

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1. “are You Still Open?”

Anyone who has ever worked in the service industry knows that this is the kiss of death because it typically comes from customers who show up two minutes before closing. For Eckroth, it’s especially irksome because the question is usually followed by, “Great, I’m right on time!” and a scroll-length order that keeps everyone in the shop well past closing.

2. “are You Open Yet?”

Equally exasperating is the customer who shows up at 9:58 a.m. when the shop opens at 10 and proceeds to order. Keep in mind, baristas have opening tasks to complete—setting up cups, grinding and brewing coffee, selecting the playlist for the day and simply mentally preparing to talk for eight hours straight. Give them time to properly get their day started.

3. “i’ll Ring Myself Up.”

Listen, we’ve all been there—you woke up a tad late and you’re in a rush, but your barista seems tied up when you get to the coffee shop. As hastily as you need your morning order completed, under no circumstances should you grab the iPad and proceed to check yourself out. Odds are you don’t fully know how their system works and you’re going to cause a further delay. And honestly? It’s beyond rude to your barista. Be patient and let them do their job.

4. “i Want Light Ice…”

…Then complain when your coffee isn’t cold enough. Don’t force them to make and remake your beverage just because you don’t know what ice does.

5. “can You Dim The Lights?”

Unless you’ve rented the place for the night, remember your local coffee shop isn’t your living room, where you can create your own ambiance to impress a first date. Do not ask your barista to dim the lights. Do not ask them to play a specific song on the radio, turn down the music or customize your foam with a fancy, complicated design you found on Pinterest. Once, wrote Eckroth, someone even lit a candle in an effort to “set the mood.” Yeah, don’t do that either.

6. “is That Pastry Any Good?”

Here’s an easy way to put your barista in a dilemma. If the pastry is in fact, not good, how are they supposed to tell you that without throwing the establishment under the bus? And if it is good but you don’t like it, then there’s potential for an awkward back and forth. It’s just a tricky question to ask in the first place.

7. “it Doesn’t Matter.”

Don’t kid yourself, size matters—when it comes to coffee cups that is. If your barista asks you what size you’d like your cup of Joe, kindly select one so they don’t have to worry about surprising you with their teeny tiny version of a small. If it’s your first time there, there’s nothing wrong with asking to see what the cups look like, so you know exactly what you’re getting.

8. “this Drink Better Be Good.”

Wow, no pressure. Is your barista supposed to laugh? Do they take you seriously? What happens if you don’t like the drink? Even worse, don’t follow it up with, “Or there’ll be no tip.” Instead, wait for the drink to be made, try it, and if you like it, compliment your barista on how great it tastes. That’ll make their day (instead of giving them an ulcer).

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Resident Hufflepuff, Beyonce historian, self-proclaimed tea sommelier

Steph is a native of Zimbabwe who is both enamored and genuinely baffled by the concept of silent letters. From 2020 to 2022, she served as Associate Editor at PureWow covering...