Quibbles with D’Arte

Dear Caffe D’Arte,

Let me start off by telling you how much I love you.
You truly are my first coffee love. Before Coffee Girl and before you, there was no coffee in my world. And aside from a sip of my Grandma’s coffee when I was younger and a terrible experience when I was 13 at Starbucks (I told the barista that I didn’t really drink coffee so could she suggest a good starter drink? I ended up getting a grande Caramel Macchiato – with two shots. As a barista myself now, I would’ve suggested a single shot mocha, but alas. Starbucks’ loss, I suppose.), your’s was the first espresso that touched my lips.
I love your coffee and I love Eirean, one of your trainers. I fell in love with latte art because of you. To me, there is nothing better than a perfectly crafted borgia made with D’Arte espresso and latte art on top. If I could only drink one espresso for the rest of my life, I would drink Caffe D’Arte. [Drip coffee is another story, as Columbia River Coffee Roasters Thundermuck and Frodo’s Cup have my heart always.]
The other day I was a bit homesick, so I stopped by your shop at 2nd and Stewart for my usual Coffee Girl drink – an iced 16oz triple shot Americano with a pump of Caramel and an inch of non-fat milk. It was home. It was wonderful. It made me happy and just a touch less homesick.
Whenever customers come into my shop and ask where the best place to get coffee is, I sent them your way.

I have a problem with your baristas.
Don’t get me wrong, they make great coffee (as well they should). But their customer service skills suck.
If I weren’t so in love and possibly slightly addicted to your espresso, I wouldn’t ever go back. And I’ve felt that way after EVERY TIME I’ve set foot in the 2nd and Stewart store. No “hello” or asking about my day. Just a blank stare and near scowl when I dare to order – f you’re going for snarky baristas, you really need to take some lessons from the Questionable Content ladies.
As a barista myself, it’s habit for me to tip $1 for every drink I order. However, I am seriously thinking about NOT next time I’m in, unless something changes. Today, after I ordered my drink and was practically glared at, then made to wait for the total and again wait for my change, IN SILENCE, I put a dollar in the tip jar – and nearly took it back out again when I realized that I was basically saying “yes, your shitty attitude and customer service is okay, please continue that”.

If that attitude garners $1 per drink, my customer service skills and general awesomeness should procure at least $5 per coffee I make. Does it? No.

So please, Caffe D’Arte, continue to rock on with your amazing espresso, but have an attitude adjustment so I can feel good about sending people your way.


p.s., this does not apply to the two lovely girls who closed today. I’m sorry I wasted my extra tip money on your less awesome coworkers. Please feel free to steal a dollar from them.


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