In addition to peddling caffeine and flirting for tips, baristas have another serious responsibility: the sacred role of the DJ. No matter how good the coffee or free the Wi-Fi, terrible tunes are the aural equivalent of spitting in your drink, and nobody wants that type of dirty chai.
Java-slinging iPhone jockeys take note, here are 13 such tunes that should never reverberate off walls hung with crappy local artwork ever again.
Modest Mouse - "Float On"
Alright, already. It was understandable to enjoy this when it came out in 2004, but after 11 years reigning as the ultimate indie crossover hit, there's simply no joy left to squeeze out of this song. Especially in the context of a coffee shop, where this type of jangly guitar is the equivalent of pink sugar packets: always present, but for no discernible reason.
Feist - "1234"
The dainty vocal style of Leslie Feist is like pumpkin spice grated directly into your eardrums.
Bob Marley - "Is This Love?"
Although Jah may strike me down, the smoother style of the latter-day "Natural Mystic" does not pair well with coffee, even if it's grown by Rohan Marley himself.
The Beatles - "Come Together"
After the age of 25, use of Beatles songs should be restricted to seducing hippie princesses and placating parents. At this point, playing this free-spirit anthem in your coffee shop means it is anything but free-spirited.
Anything by The Postal Service
This melancholy, rainy day electro-pop deserves credit for soundtracking many a dorm room dry-hump, but in the context of sipping a coffee and writing emails, it makes you feel like you're in a post-crisis scene in the second act of a romantic comedy.
The Cure - "Friday I'm in Love"
Any day of the week, this song is the equivalent of an iced, skim milk, vanilla latte. With extra skim.