It all started when I had a coffee shop in Sydney at one of the best places in the world: NIDA. The theoretical birthplace of some of Australia’s superstars. A place where you can mingle with the likes of Cate Blanchett and Geoffrey Rush (Yes, I can drop names with the best of them) and all the new up-and-comers. I had one goal: to convert everybody there to drinking my coffee. It was easy to get all the existing coffee drinkers, they already bought everyday; they couldn’t go without it. However, I quickly realised that you can’t just split it into non-drinkers and drinkers. There are a whole world of subcategories underneath both streams and each one needed a slightly different approach.
These guys are the people who (I have no idea how) can go an entire week on just one coffee. They drink sh*tloads of tea but only one coffee. They enjoy the taste, and they love a good coffee when they eventually do have one, but they don’t need to have one to survive like the rest of us – lucky bastards.
SKINNY COFFEE WITH ONLY 1 BUCKET OF SUGAR
I love these guys, it’s like they got stuck as a kid wanting to be an adult but not wanting to taste coffee that could be described as: yummy like the inside of an ashtray. What do you do? Just add sugar. There’s no point in getting just the meagre whiff of sugar, you might as well go ALL. THE. WAY. Three heaped spoonfuls later and they are enjoying a lovely hot cup of diabetes. They occasionally even slip a few packets of sugar into their bag, just in case, you know, the next thing they eat or drink just isn’t quite sweet enough for their toddler tastebuds.
You would think these guys would be hard to convert since they only drink the leftovers, but these guys were usually the easiest. They wanted to drink delicious coffee but they just didn’t like the effect. So they sit quietly, sipping secretly on their decaf latte and chat along with their friends. The best is when they exhale in satisfaction after their first sip, as if the caffeine they have been fiending for has finally hit their bloodstream.
I KNOW WHAT I WANT AND I WANT WHAT I WANT
Unfortunately, I now preside in this category myself but hey, if the shoe fits… We people are not afraid to send back a coffee if it isn’t right, and so they should. We want what we pay for and we aren’t gonna settle for anything less. You’d send back a badly cooked steak, so why wouldn’t you send back a badly made coffee? These guys ended up being my favourite customers, because once you gave them what they want, they kept coming back for it.
Basically these guys are finding new and exciting ways to destroy coffee. I appreciate that some *may* have dietary requirements, but you can usually tell if you can hear them yelling from the back of the queue about the newfound benefits of an Ayurveda detox cleanse that they read about on Goop. The people are willing to try anything that the internet has said holds health benefits, whether it compromises the taste, quality, or enjoyment of the coffee.
TRIPLE SHOT LONG BLACK
You’ll find these guys in the shadowy corner of the cafe, usually hunched over their Macbook or vintage Penguin Classic, smoothing their waxed hair or adjusting the sleeves on their flannel shirt to best display their collection of flash tattoos. The best thing about black coffee drinkers is that they’ll usually down about 3 coffees an hour, or until their productivity working on their absurdist Brechtian epic play is hindered by shaking hands or the desperate need to dash to the bathroom.
As for non-coffee drinkers, in my eyes they’re all the same, until they become a convert!