Coffee Nazis

At a coffee shop in Silverlake, CA, waiting for my iced cappuccino

“No modifications to the Classic Cappuccino. No questions will be answered about the $5 Hot Chocolate (during the months we offer it). No espresso in a to-go cup. No espresso over ice. These are our policies. We have our reasons, and we’re happy to share them.”

At his cafe yesterday, Cho explained the policy: “The way we do espresso is different than what people are used to. It’s a very exacting technique. . . . When you pour it over ice, it creates a certain acidic reaction that makes the drink sour.”

He also said some customers have the audacity to order an espresso over ice, then fill the glass with milk at the dairy bar — creating their own iced latte, at a significant saving.

In his letter on Murky’s site, Cho wrote: “To others reading this I will say that if you don’t like the policies, I respectfully recommend that you find some other place that will give you what you want, or select something that we can offer you.”

Washington Post

I despise coffee nazis. I was frustrated in Seattle by the lack of places serving iced coffee drinks (Starbucks being a notable exception—but I would have liked to try some of the smaller places). I have an espresso machine at home. I make iced cappuccinos (including frothed milk) all the time. But you can’t get that drink anywhere, because, as one particularly snotty barista at a Starbucks once told me—it does not exist. Apart from powdered mixes at the supermarket, I suppose.

But at a little shop in Silverlake, the guy behind the counter went ahead and made me one, in disrespect of all the rules of snob coffee. I felt like taking out an ad—the world didn’t come to an end, the sky didn’t split open just because someone combined steamed and frothed milk with espresso and poured it over ice. Sheesh!