When am I going to learn? Just because a cafe dresses itself up like a boutique espresso joint, doesn’t meant that it is actually deserving of the title.
I wander into [name redacted] this morning. It is situated conveniently directly between my bus stop and my office.
The place is pleasantly decorated and the staff are well dressed and courteous. There is a throng of people ostensibly enjoying their respective coffees while reading the paper, magazines or texting on their new smart-whatchamacallits.
I reach the front of the contextually lengthy queue and step up to the (ordering) plate.
“I’ll have a double ristretto flat white, thanks.”
The young gentleman behind the counter looks at me as though I were speaking Italian.
Well, I guess I was speaking Italian.
There was a pause. I bored holes in him with my pretentious coffee snob gaze, perhaps attempting to telepathically provide him with the knowledge he was so obviously lacking.
He shook off his confusion and promptly stabbed at a single button on the register.
“That’ll be $4.00 please.”
I hand over my hard-earned cash, secure in the knowledge that I will be handed a standard flat white any second now.
I stood there and watched as the gentlemen behind the dual-drip portafilter waste a perfectly good shot into his catch tray. I watched as the espresso shot changed from a lovely chocolatey colour, to a sickly off-white affair. I watched as he frothed the milk, lovingly cultivating huge bubbles which he would later hold back with a soup spoon while pouring the superheated remains into the cup. I watched the helpless little espresso shot writhing around as it drowned in a cascade of white-hot death.
I left with my cup of hot disappointment, casting furious looks around the room at the people happily drinking their coffees, their very presence seemingly designed to trap people in their venus flytrap-like maw.
Suffice it to say, if you want good coffee you would do well to remember to stick with trusted friends.