Complain or Not Complain?

Sep 26, 2016

On a recent day out I made a couple of enquiries as to the likelihood of getting what I would describe as a decent cup of coffee. I tend to drink less coffee these days and if I do part with my hard earned cash, then it’s fair to say I have high expectations.

In this instance the response I received was positive and I was given accurate directions to a particular coffee shop, I was even given the name of the coffee roaster they used.  Things were definitely looking up.

I found the coffee shop easily and was instantly taken by the friendliness, the cakes looked appealing and the menu was noted for future visits. The breakfast menu in particular sounded delicious. More good signs: the espresso machine was a very good make although the accompanying grinder was a little disappointing (more thoughts on this in a future post). I ordered a flat white and cappuccino, and was pleased to be asked whether I wanted chocolate on the cappuccino (a definite ‘No’ by the way). The machine was a three group and had a shot timer visible on each. Yet more good signs: the read outs were 25s, 24s and 25s.

The order before mine involved the brewing of a single serve filter coffee (V60 for those interested). The barista dealt with this order in a confident manner and I eagerly anticipated our order.  Then came the first hint of disappointment.  The next espresso ran at 19s. I had a brief flicker of hope – perhaps this particular shot was for another customer! But no, it was made into a take away cup and we were the only customers waiting in line.  I was willing the barista to discard this particular shot and make another. Surely they could see the shot time and would rather serve a better coffee. Unfortunately they chose to use the espresso and while I did have another momentary flicker of hope (the espresso was used in the cappuccino – not my drink), the next espresso ran at 20s.

So we were served two coffees which we knew were probably not going to be that great. To compound matters the cappuccino was sprinkled with chocolate, in spite of my earlier response. I am now faced with a dilemma. Do I accept the two drinks knowing that they are likely to disappoint or do I go through the awkward ritual of pointing out to the barista that their shot times weren’t good enough and I would like them to make my coffees again?