10 Coffee Shop Etiquette Tips Your Barista Will Love

Visiting cafes (thankfully) doesn’t require the same type of manners your grandma expects at Christmas dinner. But common coffee sippin’ protocol does exist — here’s your mini-handbook. 

1. Only WiFi if You Buy

This may seem like a no-brainer, but if you go to a coffee shop to use their WiFi, buy something. Different places sometimes have rules about this, but typically it’s expected that you buy a drink or baked good for every 2-3 hours you stay, minimum. Think about it as an exchange — you get access to the entire World Wide Web for the cost of a coffee or two.

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2. Be A Human!

Unless Robobarista 🤖☕️ takes off sooner than expected, your baristas will all be humans for the foreseeable future. As such, talk to them! It’s easy to get lost in your phone, especially if you’re using it to pay, but a sprinkle of face-to-face human interaction goes a long way.

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3. Stay in Your Lane

Most coffee shops are on the smaller side and fill up in a flash. Even if the cafe is empty when you get there, it’s just not cool to throw your stuff all over and take up space. Keep everything as compact as possible so others can enjoy their zone too.

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4. TIP!

Have you ever tried to pull an espresso shot or make a latte? It takes a lot more finesse than you would think. Even if you’re just grabbing a cup on the go, you should tip your barista – tossing a dollar or two in the jar is like adding a shot of good karma to your coffee.

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5. Keep Phone Calls To A Minimum

If you’re working out of a coffee shop, it’s understood that you might have to make a phone call every now and again, but if your call isn’t going to be both quick and quiet, you should step outside.

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6. Clean Up After Yourself

A lot of coffee shops have a clearly-marked place for you to leave any utensils or dishware you used – if it’s not immediately obvious, just go up to the counter and ask. It’s generally seen as rude to just leave a mess behind you, since coffee shops don’t typically have wait staff. Baristas wear a lot of hats, so moving your mug from table to counter can be a huge help.

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7. Use Headphones

Listening to Rhianna’s “Work” on repeat can be fun, unless you’re hearing it second-hand through someone else’s Beats. We’re excited that you’re about to stream the new season of Game of Thrones, but please remember to bring headphones.

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8. Don’t Be An Outlet Hog

Staking out a spot by an outlet is always a personal victory, but don’t get greedy. Just use one outlet for whatever device you’re charging, and leave the rest open for others.

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9.This Isn’t A Picnic — Don’t Pack A Lunch

This might seem obvious too, but some people seem to think it’s ok to bring their own snacks into an establishment that serves food. It’s like sitting down at a restaurant and then pulling a homemade sandwich or salad out of your pocket. Just don’t.

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10. Be Friendly!

We can all get a little crabby before our coffee, but we’re in this together! Smile, hold doors, don’t scream at anyone who looks at you funny. You know how it goes.

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Think we missed any important coffee shop no-no’s? Let us know in the comments! Practice your newfound elegance: download CUPS on iOS or Android and we’ll buy your first drink. 

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