Rule 34: Please always tip your barista
“Tipping is this imperfect thing,” Michelman says. “It has super racist and classist roots back in American society -- it’s as imperfect as the Electoral College. But it’s this thing we’ve been doing because they always used to do it, and there’s a lot of things about it that sucks. Here we are, and it’s the world we live in. The thing we do is to make the best of that and always tip.”
You gotta do it, hombre. He notes that it’s important to do because it can account for a lot of your barista’s income, not to mention your restaurant server, Lyft driver, bartender...
Rules 38: Baristas know the coolest stuff in their neighborhood
Sure, you know all the best bars and shops in your own neighborhood, but what about when you travel? Trust the baristas. “Everybody comes into the [coffee shop],” Michelman says. The people who own and work in the record shops, cocktail bars, new restaurants, vintage stores, and bike shops go to the local cafe because “coffee is a delicious, legal drug, it tastes really good, and the places to drink them in are nice.”
The barista gets to know all these people -- they’re regulars! -- and then when they finish their shift in afternoon, the coffee-shop employees spend their cash in those same bars and restaurants. “The barista is the [neighborhood] watchtower guard. They see everything,” he says. Trust the all seeing eye of the barista!
Rules 45: Let your coffee cool down a little bit
It’s tempting to just dive right into a hot cup of coffee the second you get it, but instead you should be more like N.E.R.D. featuring Rihanna and wait a minute.
“Diving into a cup of coffee while it’s too hot to taste and burning your tongue or whatever is not conducive to a positive tasting experience,” he says. “There’s more in-depth physiological reasons like how our tongues access taste and what does or does not get shut off when [you consume something] above a certain temperature.”
Basically you taste more of the coffee when it’s not so damn hot, so let it sit for a bit.
Rule 53: Coffee is a gateway drug
Michelman says that while he grew up drinking Starbucks and eating Thanksgiving dinner straight out of a Betty Crocker cookbook, he had some mind-blowing experiences with coffee that made him realize it was more than just a black liquid that helped him stay awake.
“You can have the the same experiences with tea, wine, restaurants, and all this stuff in life that if you like things that taste good, they’re the most important kinds of experiences that you can have,” he notes. “Coffee is the thing that flipped my brain around to be like, ‘Oh yeah, I have this flavor computer on board of my unit that I have been deeply neglecting and need to think about more critically.’”