Have you worked at starbucks before anonymous? starbucks is more than steaming milk…unfortunately, due to the popularity of starbucks, other tasks around the store, and our desperate need to keep customers happy by providing their drinks in a 2-5 min time interval we are unable to accomplish the tasks of what maybe a hole in the wall coffee shop has time to do…also the meaning of macchiato is shots on top which is the exact way we make it and are told to make it…we must follow specific recipies provided to us during training…starbucks baristas are not just glorified milk steamers as you say…its a difficult job that many people are not cut out to do..here’s an article explaining that if what i say is not sufficient
Wait wait wait. Lemme start by saying I really enjoy the blog. I love the coffee appreciation and completely identify with the complaints about idiot customers.
That said, there are a few things about your response I have to take issue with. While Anon was rather rude and overly simplified our job, at the core they have a point. The tasks required of us (memorizing drink recipes, keeping the store clean, rinsing pitchers, keeping the line moving efficiently, etc) are the same in any coffee shop anywhere. If someone has a hard time keeping up with the “demanding” pace of working in a busy store it’s not because the jobs we have to do are too hard, it’s because for whatever reason they aren’t capable of or don’t feel up to actually doing those jobs quickly and effectively.
Secondly, your sweeping generalization that baristas at “hole in the wall coffee shops” have more time to do these tasks and implication that by virtue of not being a Starbucks, said stores are far slower, is totally off. I’ve worked in a number of independent shops around my city that are just as busy, if not more busy than any Starbucks around.
Finally, “macchiato” does not mean shots on top of the foam. That stems from a misinterpretation of the real meaning. Literally translated “macchiato” means “marked,” referring to the white foam stain in the crema early baristas left as a way for restaurant wait staff to differentiate between pure espresso shots and shots with a small amount of steamed milk (“caffé cortado”). I’m fully aware that doing it backwards is the way Starbucks instructs us to and we’re only doing our job by making them that way, but it’s still improper.
By the way, Anon’s arrogance aside, working in a self-respecting, independent coffee shop with a lot of integrity is FAR more demanding than working in a fast food style cafe like Starbucks. The only reasons I work there now are that the pay was far better than my previous spot and I had several close friends who worked at my current location encourage me to apply.
Cheers my friend.