It All Started with the Dreaded Ghetto Latte

The blogosphere is abuzz with the actions and the comments (and the reactions) from a man in Virginia who went into a hip coffee cafe and tried to order a triple espresso over ice. He was refused by the barista who claimed that this violated the shop’s policy. Then the owner of Murky Coffee made a complete jerk of himself by publicly bitchslapping the customer, ending up saying “Íf you show your face in my shop I’ll punch you in your dick.”

It all comes down to something that Starbucks employees are very familiar with—the dreaded ghetto latte. According to Wikipedia, this is a clever ruse by broke customers who order the aforementioned triple espresso over ice and ask for a bigger cup. Then they help themselves to the free milk, give it a shake, and voila, they’ve got a $4 iced latte for just $2.

As a cafe owner, I can weigh in with this…I’ve never had anyone order this drink, and hey, if they want it I’ll give it to them. I’ve learned after many of my own mistakes that it’s better to let them have what they want than to fight…remember last week’s post about Shoul’s famous watery beer at the Dirty Truth?

What it comes down to is that customers rule, over and over again, and the shopkeep or cafe owner who messes with them will wish he just handed over a new beer….or a triple espresso on ice.