Educating Barista

What an outrage! What if I need a venti cappuccino on my way home tonight? Starbucks is closing its stores at 5:30 tonight for “barista re-education.” Starbucks continues its natural evolution into McDonalds.

Some of my loyal readers have pointed out that I have a fascination with baristas, or the ‘coffee sommelier.’ One went so far as to suggest I have a fetish for them. Disgusting. That reader has some balls to speak to me in such a manner.

This news bulletin from Starbucks puts me in mind of an anecdote I’ve been meaning to share:

Standing in line at cafe Intelligentsia, I risked contamination by de-activating my ipod, silencing Róisín Murphy. I wouldn’t normally break protocol like that, however, I find sometimes find it difficult to modulate the volume of my voice to be heard if I have music playing. I think I was also motivated by anthropological curiosity. After all, I do my best ‘field-work’ on buses and coffee-shops. I felt the need to give the outer-world another chance. Approaching the front of the line, I tuned in impatiently on the conversation between the lady in front of me and the barista. After placing her order, the lady decided to hold up the line with some bullshit chit-chat. She asked, “I’ve been wondering, what does the name ‘Intelligentsia’ mean?” This was the Intelligentsia in Boystown which always has an incredibly long wait, so I could feel myself make a short, impatient, in-take of breath. The barista was delighted to demonstrate his training.

“Intelligentsia refers to a kind of coffee shop you could find in the nineteenth century. It’s where you would find, uhm, different kinds of writers, artists, and …” His co-worker steaming the milk decided to cut-in and show him up by knowingly adding, “… and astronomers.” Beneath the jocularity, you could feel the tension between the barista and the sous-barista ready to burst into open, flagrant, homosexual confrontation.

This incident spurred me to new imaginings. Consider the knowledge that could be shared if all coffee shops, nation-wide, engaged in barista re-education? I look to the Barista Guild of America as well as the World Barista Championships for leadership on this. We could kick-start a new Age of Enlightenment.

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5 Responses to “Educating Barista”

  1. Zed Says:

    I envision you running Barista Reeducation Camps, where counterrevolutionary thought is rigorously expunged and the detritus of the old order are forced into tiger cages for self-criticism sessions.

  2. darknessatnoon Says:

    You know me and my Maoist ways well, Zed.

  3. Zed Says:

    You would have made a great cadre during the Cultural Revolution.Did you see this?

  4. darknessatnoon Says:

    I hadn’t, but I am mildly obsessed with Maoist propaganda. The man could walk on water. Healing deafness is nothing!

  5. Novaya Havoc Says:

    LMFAO!My insightful commentary. Just… LMFAO.

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