Coffee Shop Etiquette

Erik Jorgensen, Staff Writer

Over the years, I have observed the proper way to behave in a coffee shop:

•  Wait until you are at the front of the line to decide what you want.  Reading the menu is just too much work if you are second or third in line – and almost impossible when you first walk through the door. The people behind you will admire you for taking your time to make such an important decision. Bonus points if you make the barista wait for you to finish gossiping on your cellphone.

•  ‘Regular’ coffee is for chumps. To show people behind you  how cultured and sophisticated you are, order the drink with the most complicated name – even if you have to make one up.  Latte? For losers.  Espresso? Especially so-so. Cappuccino? Pfft – amateur.  A real pro orders a double-decaf white chocolate soy latte with whipped cream and dark chocolate sprinkles. The key here is to take longer to name your drink, much less make it, than it would take for the guy behind you with exact change to complete his “regular” coffee transaction.

•   Wait until the end of the transaction to start looking for your wallet.  This demonstrates  that you are so rich and successful and don’t bother yourself with trivial transactions.  “Forgetting” where you keep your money gives you that “je ne sais quoi” that really separates you from the common rabble.  This trick also works at fast food franchises.

•  Block the cream and sugar while waiting for your fru-fru drink, preferably with an inane conversation.  This establishes your dominance over the plebian “regulars.” The tingle of control throbs harder when commoners have to ask your permission for the condiments.  “Oh *gasp* – am I in your way?  Here, I’ll let you use the cream and sugar!”  But make sure you let the cretin know how inconvenient it is to acknowledge their mere presence.

•  Most importantly, make sure you do all this when you see me standing behind you with exact change in my hand, trying to jumpstart with a quick jolt of coffee in-between my morning classes.