10 Things Your Barista Wishes You Wouldn’t Do

Updated: Feb. 10, 2022

Keep your barista happy by avoiding these annoying behaviors.

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Pretty barista making a cup of coffee at the coffee shop

For many of us, coffee stops are part of the morning routine (it is the best time to drink coffee, after all) which means we spend serious face-to-face time with our local baristas. During the morning rush, baristas are trying to keep the coffee flowing and line moving, but some things can interfere. Here’s what to stop doing at your favorite coffee shop!

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A man holding a iPhone 6 opening spotify app
Jinna Sardsongvit/Shutterstock

Order While on Your Phone

Sure, it’s easy to pass the time waiting in line by scrolling through your phone. But when it’s your turn to order, give the barista your full attention. Not only is it rude to order while you’re looking at a screen, but it’ll slow down the whole process if you miss any of the barista’s questions. Addicted to your phone? It could be harming your health.

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Caramel macchiato float
Taste of Home

Overcomplicate Things

During the morning rush, we all want things to move quickly. That’s why baristas are annoyed when you suggest a needlessly complicated drink to other customers so they’ll order it, too. Stick to your order, let others stick to theirs and everything will run smoothly.

Even if it’s complicated, try making your favorite coffee drink at home!

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Barista Cafe Restaurant Cafeteria Customer Serve Concept

Expect Secret Menu Items

While most baristas are happy to make secret menu items upon request, don’t expect them to know the recipe off the top of their heads. Since baristas aren’t trained on secret menu items, you may have to provide the recipe. Love Starbucks? Check out the secret menu items you won’t want to miss.

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bearded barista tamping ground coffee
Olena Yakobchuk/Shutterstock

Watch Their Every Move

We all need space to work, right? Baristas are no different. As they’re frothing the milk and creating latte art, don’t stand at the counter and stare at them. Creepiness factor aside, it can distract the barista from the task at hand.

Speaking of milk frothers, they make great gifts. Find more gift ideas for the coffee lover in your life.

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Ranks of paper tumbleres. Coffee glasses.

Help Yourself

Similarly, respect the barista’s workspace. Behind the counter is the barista’s workstation, so avoid reaching over to grab straws, lids or refill water cups. Helping yourself could disturb their supplies, not to mention infect the area with germs. Baristas are happy to assist you! Here are the things your bartender wishes you’d stop doing.

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Bottles for syrup in coffee shop.

Ask for Extras

Don’t put your baristas in the awkward position of adding upcharged modifications to your drink after you paid for it. While sometimes we forget to modify our drink when placing our orders, constantly asking for upcharges like extra espresso shots, syrups or specialty milks (such as almond, soy and coconut) at the end of the bar is a no-no.

Love changing up your drink? Find an unexpected add-in that will take your coffee to the next level.

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Barista making two cappuccinos in a paper cup to go, cups on a counter
Milos jaksic/Shutterstock

Ignore Baristas

You’d be surprised at the number of people who don’t pay attention when their names are called at the bar. Even worse, some customers ask the barista to remake the cold or melted drink! Pay attention to the names being called to save you and the barista from extra time and frustration.

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small business, people and service concept - man or bartender serving customer at coffee shop
Syda Productions/Shutterstock

Forget to Check the Name

When you hear (or think you heard) your name called, be sure to read the name on the coffee or food order. Asking the barista who the order is for or taking someone else’s drink is annoying for the barista and customer whose order you took. Always double-check to be safe.

Is your coffee habit healthy? Here are 11 ways to make it healthier.

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Young handsome Caucasian unshaven man in plaid shirt and with headphones around neck using tablet and drinking espresso while sitting in coffee shop.
Dusan Petkovic/Shutterstock

Play DJ

The barista’s music choice is totally up to them. Don’t ask them to change it (unless it’s something obscene or offensive.) And don’t try playing your music louder than the in-house speakers—that will just annoy everyone seated near you.

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Empty coffee Cup and the remains of biscuits are on the table.

Forget to Pick Up After Yourself

Most coffee shops have bussing stations for customers to clean up trash and dishes. Help out your baristas and leave the table clean for the next guest by taking an extra minute to clean up after yourself. Your barista will thank you!

Keep these tips in mind as you check out the best coffee shop in every state.