The importance of honest feedback

Morning's dial-in tasted clean and sweet. An hour and a half later we served an espresso to a customer whom I have known for almost a decade. I saw him taking a sip and making a really unpleasant face, then taking a sip of water. I asked "is the espresso alright?". He said "yes, it's fine". It felt weird, but I wasn't asking anymore. So when he left I made myself an espresso and it was pretty astringent. Then we noticed that the group went from 93 Celsius to 96 without noticing us. There's no display on the DC Mina, you check the settings and flow rate via an app connected to the machine. So unless you check, you don't immediately know. It could have been an easy fix if the customer said it doesn't taste right. We would notice the issue and remake the shot and serve the tasty one. My point is:

*When I ask you „How was your espresso?“, it's not because I'm trying to be polite or something. I really am curious

*Be it a WBC winner or a barista who's new to the job – no one can really know how the espresso tastes unless they ask or they actually taste it

*Your puck prep can be great, recipe set, but you have no chance of knowing. That is why we baristas ask you „How was your espresso?“

*If the espresso doesn't taste right, please tell it to your barista – they need to know, they want to know

*Espresso is incredibly complicated and full of variables that are fragile – sensitive to tiny details being different. That's why the baristas ask you how the coffee was (and also because they might be insecure). But to my knowledge – as complicated as espresso is, every good barista will be insecure about it.


So let's start telling the truth when we're asked, please.