TELL ME HOW YOU ORDER YOUR COFFEE AND I’LL TELL YOU WHO YOU ARE
On working days and holidays, for breakfast, after lunch or mid-afternoon, when exploring a new city or at their local espresso bar, ordering coffee at an espresso bar is an everyday routine for many Italians. We spot a bar that looks nice, go in, say hello, order, drink our coffee standing at the counter, pay, thank the bartender and leave. Most times, we don’t say much more, and that’s all there is to it. We believe we have gone unobserved among the hordes of anonymous customers.
But nothing could be further from the truth! As soon as we placed our order, the barista will have a fairly good idea of who we are, so that he or she will have the impression of already knowing us even if we’ve never visited that particular bar before. This identity will be automatically assigned to us, however accurate (or inaccurate) it may be.
Want to know what the baristas you’ve ordered coffee from think of you? It depends what kind of coffee you order:
So few people order a classic espresso these days that in order to make themselves understood, they have to use the adjective “normale”: a regular cup of espresso. If you’re a member of this endangered species, your barista probably believes you to have a particularly bold personality,
capable of standing out from the crowd.
Caffé corretto – Espresso with a spot of liquor
Caffè corretto is very trendy these days, and so you probably think your barista believes you to be a cool, trendy type. But that may not be the case: he or she may figure you are simply pretentious, or in search of attention.
Caffè macchiato is espresso with a drop of milk in it, and if you order it, you may be considered a person who likes to be pampered and spoiled. And if you go on to specify that you want foamed milk, or you want it served in a larger cup, things will only get worse! On the other hand, spontaneously specifying right away that you want your spot of milk either hot or cold may attenuate this initial judgement, making you appear bolder, more resolute.
A short or a long shot?
If you ask for a caffè ristretto, a short shot of espresso, the barista will immediately recognise you as highly demanding, with yourself and with others. But order an extra long shot, and you’ll be considered a sociable person who likes to chat and make new friends.
Many people drink decaffeinated coffee simply because they need or want to cut down on caffeine. This may seem simple, but the barista doesn’t see it that way! He or she may consider you a health food addict anxious to impose your impeccably healthy and super-trendy diet on everybody around you.
Now if you order a short shot of decaffeinated coffee, with a spot of hot milk, and a couple of drops of quality grappa…
Well, we won’t even get into that!