About 6 years ago when I was an apprentice roaster, a little Italian woman came into the shop I was running.
Her first question: “What’s your nationality?”
“Irish” I quickly responded.
“Your a Mick. Shouldn’t you be in a bar selling beer?”
I laughed it off and explained that I had been a barista for 4 years.
She then said, “I don’t know what THAT is but I do know coffee seeing as I AM from little Italy.”
So, in my best Italian accent, I asked “Where is the coffee capital of the world?”
“Italy, of course” was her fast retort.
“Sorry, try Seattle” I regretfully informed her. She just gave me a dirty look.
“Who invented the espresso machine?” I asked. The game was on!
Once again, she answered “Italy!”
“Hmmm, sorry, try the French!”
This little trivia game went on for another few minutes. After enjoying her espresso, she left the shop to go about her daily business.
Don’t get me wrong. I do understand the customer is always right. But remember, this biz is about educating the customer also.
Well I didn’t think I would ever see this lady again, but wouldn’t you know it. In she walks at the same time the very next day – accompanied by three other Italian lady friends.
This time, before I could even greet them, the first thing out of her mouth was, “Don’t worry ladies. He might be a Mick, but he sure knows his coffee!”