I'm tired of this whole "4 star" silliness.
I'm tired of people wanting coffee bars to be restaurants, of whining about baristas not sucking up to customers - of the whole stupid idea.
There is a reason it's called a coffee bar.
"Barista" is a bartender.
Coffee bars should be like bars.
Baristas should be bartenders.
Is there a "4 star" movement in bars?
How many times have you heard people talk about "lovable surly" bartenders?
When I go to Toronado in SF do I get cranky about the fact that it's beat up? That there are no linen tablecloths? That it's kind of a dive? Do I refuse to tip because the bartender hasn't smiled at me and in fact has been a bit abusive.
Why? Because they are the best beer bar in the US.
Why? Because the beer they serve is incredible, the bartenders know their beer, their selection is amazing and their commitment to (or even obsession with) these great beers is incredible.
Do they serve panini? Do they offer blended drinks?
They are a BEER BAR.
And this is the model we should be following.
Passion. Committment. Taste. Vision. Single-minded obsession.
So... with that...
I announce the formation of the B.W.A (Baristas With Attitude).
We're bastards, we're surly - but we know coffee, we're passionate about coffee and we're going to get you the best damn coffee you've ever had.
'Cause if what you want is someone to blow smoke up your ass there are a thousand places for that - but if what you want is to share a passion for great coffee and get a great coffee drink, then a crumb scraper isn't going to mean shit to you.