Don't sit there all day with one drink in front of you
You would never sit down in a restaurant for lunch and stay there until dinner, would you? OK sure, it's fine if you're at an all-you-can-eat buffet and you're trying to get your money's worth. But it's not cool to camp in a coffee shop.
"If you're taking up square footage in a cafe with limited seating, you're potentially driving away a customer that would be spending money," says Carl, an anonymous owner of a trendy coffee shop. That's not his real name, but don't tell anyone. "Two people might want to come in and have cake, coffee, and a conversation. But they might be stopped by someone sitting at a laptop for three hours sipping a cup of tea."
If you want your favorite coffee shop to survive, don't be that person. Or if you must sit there and work all day, buy food or drinks more often. Remember: You aren't entitled to free Wi-Fi, you adorable tea-drinking freeloader, you!
Definitely don't ask for coffee you can only find at that one giant coffee chain
Instead of ordering a triple-shot, extra-whip, half-caf Caramel Frappuccino from a coffee shop that does not have a green lady mascot in it, try talking to the barista and telling them you want a cold and sweet java. They might surprise you with a similar drink you've never had and might like, such as a cold brew with house-made vanilla syrup!
And keep in mind that coffee is often different at Starbucks than it is at a third-wave shop -- even if it has the same name. A popular Starbucks macchiato comes in a Big Gulp-sized cup. But any shop serious about coffee will serve that same drink in a 7.5oz glass with a mark of milk. It's not your fault for being confused, Starbucks just has its own language.
Don't ask for an enormous cappuccino or latte
Matt Cronin, who's now a roaster at New Orleans' Mojo Coffee Roasters, was a barista for more than a decade. And he's been asked for everything under the sun, including a demand that he pour coffee into enormous cups many, many, many times. "We have certain sizing limitations on specific drinks -- lattes and cappuccinos are prescribed sizes because we have the ratios dialed in for the overall drink quality," he says. "So it's frustrating when someone accustomed to being able to order a 20oz cappuccino comes in and asks for it." He says he always wants to be accommodating, but not at the expense of pouring you hot garbage.
Don't be impatient
The baristas gets it, you need to go to work. But if you're ordering a specialty drink like a pour-over coffee, it takes time. That's because the barista has to complete an involved process before the java is ready: measuring and grinding the coffee, prepping the filter, and then carefully pouring the hot water in a steady spiral that "stirs" the coffee. Seriously, check out all the steps. Roland Baker of Miami's Vice City Bean says the drink takes at least three to four minutes to make, even if the barista is hustling. On the plus side, good things come to those who wait... three to four minutes. Like delicious pour-over.