Coffee Shop Customer Service

Common Questions and How to Answer Them: Barista Edition

Discover the most frequent questions asked by customers and learn the best ways to provide informative and helpful answers as a barista.

Common Questions and How to Answer Them: Barista Edition

As a barista, you are not only expected to create delicious coffee concoctions but also to provide excellent customer service. Part of providing a well-rounded experience to your customers is answering their questions in a helpful and informative manner. In this blog post, we will explore the most frequent questions asked by coffee enthusiasts and the best ways to address them.

1. What is the difference between a latte and a cappuccino?

While both drinks contain espresso and steamed milk, the key difference lies in the ratio and texture of the milk. A latte has more steamed milk and a light layer of foam, while a cappuccino has equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and foam.

2. Can you make my coffee extra hot?

While it’s possible to steam the milk to a higher temperature, doing so may scald the milk and alter the taste. It’s best to inform the customer of this and ask if they still prefer their drink extra hot.

3. What’s the difference between a cold brew and an iced coffee?

Both cold brew and iced coffee are chilled coffee drinks. However, cold brew is brewed at room temperature or cold water for an extended period (usually 12 to 24 hours). In contrast, iced coffee is regular hot brewed coffee poured over ice. Cold brew generally has a smoother and less acidic taste.

4. What is a cortado?

A cortado is an espresso-based drink with equal parts espresso and steamed milk. It hails from Spain and has a creamier texture than an Americano but less milk than a latte or cappuccino.

5. How many shots of espresso are in a medium-sized drink?

A medium-sized drink typically contains two shots of espresso. However, this may vary depending on the specific coffee shop, so it’s always a good idea to check with your location’s standards.

6. Is there a standard macchiato?

A traditional macchiato is an espresso shot with a small amount of steamed milk, often presented as a small foamy dot on top. However, be prepared to clarify with the customer as many chain coffee shops have popularized “caramel macchiatos” that include caramel syrup and whipped cream, deviating from the traditional recipe.

7. How can I make my drink less sweet?

If customers wish to reduce the sweetness of their drink, baristas can adjust the number of flavor pumps or suggest a sugar-free alternative. For example, for a less sweet iced latte, simply use less syrup or opt for a natural sweetener like honey or stevia.

8. Do you have non-dairy milk options?

Most coffee shops offer a variety of non-dairy milk options such as almond, soy, or oat milk. Make sure to be knowledgeable about your shop’s offerings and suggest suitable alternatives for customers with dietary restrictions.

A successful barista must be prepared to answer these common customer questions and provide informative, helpful responses. For more great content to help you excel in your barista role, check out Voomer and stay up-to-date with industry tips and trends.

Disclaimer: This blog post is purely for informational and marketing purposes. While we strive for accuracy, we cannot guarantee the completeness or reliability of the information presented, and it should not be used as a substitute for professional advice. Decisions about hiring or interview preparation should not be based solely on this content. Use of this information is at your own risk. Always seek professional guidance when making important career or hiring decisions.