A great little bit from Doug Cadmus...

The care and feeding of a professional barista. It takes education, dedication and some serious skill-building effort to be a really good barista. To be a great barista requires exceptional sensory skills, lots of experience, gobs of personality and really thick skin. Here's a few tips that your barista will thank you for knowing:
  1. Don't get in the line until you have a pretty good idea what you want. It's just rude to hem and haw and dither while the queue behind you grows.
  2. Hang up the cell phone for a few minutes will ya? Or if you simply must take that call, step out of the line.
  3. Unless it's on the menu, don't order a ristretto or a lungo... both require the barista to adjust the grinder for your drink, which is not cool in a busy espresso bar. [Sure, the barista could "cheat" a pull to make it... but that's not what a pro wants to do.]
  4. If the shop is busy, it's probably not a good time to riddle the barista with a hundred questions about beans, blends and roast styles...
  5. Don't ask your barista to "reheat" your drink for you.
  6. Let your barista know when you've had an especially good drink. Sometimes that means more than dropping something in the tip jar. Especially if the barista's boss in in hearing range.

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