2/26/2013 10:59:00 AM

The 10 Most Annoying Coffee Trends

Twee latte art = unbearable
Newsflash: no one wants coffee that has "passed through an animal" and costs $13 per defecated glass. As part of this week's coffee survey, we asked you to sound off on your least favorite trends, and (perhaps fueled by caffeine) you didn't hesitate to let loose. From fatty Frappuccinos to ultra-pricey espresso machines, we rounded up the most frequent complaints in the slideshow below. Click through and let us know what else you’d like to see banished from the java world in the comments. Oh, and in case you were wondering what it's like from the other side of the counter, we got a disgruntled barista to dish about the most-annoying customer behaviors.

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51 comments :

  1. I don't mind the latte art, in fact, I actually like it--as long as the coffee is good and it doesn't take forever.

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  2. I never liked rude baristas, and that's probably the reason why I like home brew coffee a lot more. I am not a fan of those too fatty drinks neither. As far as those expensive coffee machines, well, some of them are really worth the money.

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    1. I've never experienced a rude barista anywhere I've been. Perhaps, its actually a projected type of behavior and insecurity within.

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  3. On latte art, a freepour rosetta or heart takes no longer than doing nothing. Not sure what the complaining is about unless it's somebody etching a still life into a cup.

    Cheap people should stick with dark/French roasts as they're cheaper beans. You'll save money and you'll stop annoying the people who actually prefer high quality beans roasted lighter. Everybody wins.

    If nobody likes civet coffee, who keeps buying that crap?

    And yes, a whole lot of baristas need to get over themselves.

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  4. This explains a lot about Zagat and their recent "9 Best Shops in Chicago" list.

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  5. god the comments in this slideshow smack of ignorance and privilege. coffee as a commodity is grossly under-priced.

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  6. As a barista, I really HATE it when other baristas are just plain mean. If you want people to have a better understanding about coffee, you out of all people should be able to give them insight without bias. Otherwise, they won't feel the need to understand and try that awesome Guatemalan you have on your menu. When you truly want to inform your customer and understand your point of view about coffee, chances are they'll be willing to listen. Just be nice about it.

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    1. Coffee is treated like fine wine and it's not. What bothers me is the so called "dark roast" when it's actually just burned coffee that tastes terrible. Starbucks even has "Blonde Roast" and that is only a slightly more palatable version of their usually undrinkable coffee. It shouldn't require a special roast to be drinkable.

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  7. Not sure that a DeLonghi could ever be compared to a Lamborghini. Perhaps an old run down Mazda. Try Kees Van Der Westen's Speedster at approx. $10000. Or the La Marzocco GS3. Also the amount of work that goes into a cup of coffee from farming to shipping to roasting to extraction more than justifies some of the prices.

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  8. I understand some of these complaints, like the rude barista, but others are a little ridiculous. Coffee is not cheap especially with the growing demand for it. If you want cheap coffee go for rubusta bean coffee at your local grocery store and make it at home. The process of getting a cup of coffee takes a lot more than people expect, I think. A good cup of coffee can be worth the money.

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  9. Being a barista I definitely don't play into the whole rude game, and don't appreciate it when I go out for coffee. But most of the other 'complaints' are BS. Coffee is a lifestyle - look at the cultures of Ethiopia, Turkey, France, and yes, the US. The good stuff does cost more, but its better tasting and is better for the environment (organic). Its also one of the leading imports/exports in the world, employs huge amounts of the population, and can educate people from places like NYC about life and agriculture in places they've only read about in national geographic. Shame on you Zagat!

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  10. Maybe I'm just lucky, or maybe I just take the time to say "hello, how are you?" to my local barista before telling them my order. In my experience, more often than not, I've had rude service from a barista at a cafe where the coffee is mediocre at best. I find that at a cafe where the coffee is truly the focus of the business, baristas and all staff are excited to talk about their product and educate anyone who is curious.

    Also, coffee isn't "just a drink" for some people. For some people, coffee is their job, their livelihood and their passion. Wine experts are somaliers, who are incredibly respected in the restaurant industry and the general public - why should coffee be any different? Simply because there isn't any alcohol content?

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  11. This article hates on independent "3rd wave" shops, Starbucks, and Kopi Lowak: three things that only have coffee in common. It seems the only thing people aren't annoyed with is gas station coffee, since, after all, it's still only 99¢.

    It's a shame no one is annoyed by farmers being underpaid or unsustainable farming methods to meet demand for cheap coffee.

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  12. I like light roast coffee. Who cares if its called blond. This article is rather whiney.

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  13. I really like how they bash Starbucks twice but can't mention them by name. I don't find this credible. As a barista it is evident that the "customer survey feedback" is not valid or is weighted. Latte art takes no longer than a standard pour. In fact latte art is a mark of perfectly crafted beverage including properly extracted espresso and perfectly textured milk. Coffee is a crop and is very expensive. It is dumbed down by so many lesser quality chains (DD, McCafe, BK, 7-11) so consumers will pay less for far cheaper quality and don't understand where coffee even comes from. This article is ANNOYING.

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  14. The only ones I agree with is rude baristas, burnt coffee, and blonde coffee. Realy? Blonde? Just makes me want to roll my eyes.
    Otherwise as an Ethiopian, former barista, and lifelong coffee lover and drinker I absolutely enjoy and am willing to pay extra for a good cup of coffee. Coffee may not be a life style, but it is a major part of my daily diet and definitely hav it more often than communion. Latte art has to be made just as quickly as other drinks or the latte will be cold. So come on lighten up! That's what it's supposed to do.

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  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  16. Pretentious descriptions? If you are into good coffee these things matter and make a huge difference. If you are not then yes it sounds like giberish and you have never experenced a natural coffee that taste like blueberries or cantalope. #7 To some of us coffee is a way of life not just a drink.

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  17. So disappointed in this article, but even more impressed with the feedback! I hope Zagat takes these comments into account when giving this writer another story. I agree with those that said "coffee is a lifestyle". Myself and quite a few friends are "baristas for life", coming back to it many times as an enjoyable, fulfilling and if you work your tail off and give excellent customer service, even a well paid career! Wine is just grapes, coffee is just cherries, with limitless love and education involved. They are from very similar backrounds and deserve to be respected as such! In my experience coffee is getting LESS complicated and going back to its roots, its a good thing. So happy to see so many, baristas, fans and general coffee drinkers defending its greatness. Booo Zagat, booo..

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  18. 'Blonde' is what Starbucks call it, explaining the roast is 'light' and specifying the roast is stopped right after 2nd crack.
    Light or 'scandinavian' roast is usually stopped right after 1st crack in the roasting curve. That's 'light'.
    The problem is, most roasters trying to follow the trend of light roasting are using mediocre coffees. In Scandinavia, only excellent beans are used for this. No wonder 'blonde' roast tastes shit: the amount of bad beans in the blend is too high; it can only be masked by a darker roast.
    Arrogant or bitter baristi is truly annoying, but latte art is worth waiting 4 seconds to comnplete.

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  19. Seriously? First rude people are in every business, ever had a rude bus driver, accountant, or chef? People can be rude, it has nothing to do with how they earn a buck.

    As for the rest of the list, why don't you go to Duncan Donuts if you want that kind of coffee? You're actually pissed off people want to deliver I higher quality product to you?

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    1. well stated... This "article" is nothing short of a rant... An ill conceived one at that lol

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  20. Use waste your time with this article. Every coffee I've had in the fine reataurants that get your highest ratings is undrinkable sludge. Coffee is part of dessert and a meal so use it in your ratings. I've never seen one rating of a restaurant affected by the coffee.

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  21. As long as Zagat's has the courage to get all truthy on coffee, let's address the real scourge of eating out: restaurants that list wines by those unpronounceable foreign names. I mean really, what's wrong with calling it what it is: red or white. It's just pretentious to have all those hard-to-say names. And what's with the prices that they charge? You know how many cases I can buy at Traders for the price of one bottle of a French wine at a restaurant? And don't get me started on cheeses.

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    1. is this sarcastic? I really, really hope it is.

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  22. The amount of ignorance in this list is ridiculous. I really hope people don't believe this drivel. I say fuck the demanding perspective that someone should pump out high volume garbage to fattened sheep that have been told they need their morning caramel garbage. The person who wrote this probably knows nothing about 20 year scotch, the same way they don't know anything about coffee.

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  23. absolute drivel. I thought about writing out why this article isn't worth anyone's time, but plenty of commenters have already done so.

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  24. I do occasionally still like to go to (name of big coffee chain deleted), but I have found that I can make much better coffee at home than any of those places have. I get dark-roasted Costa Rican beans from a shop in New York called the Sensous Bean, a "hole-in-the-wall shop where they have a lot of great coffees (no, I don't work for them:)) I mix this with "Newman's Own" dark roast beans (that's the only kind I can get in whole bean form at my local Price Chopper at 3:00 AM), grind it myself, and it's AWESOME! Who says we can't make our own "blends" ?! :)

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  25. The real problem with latte art isn't the time it takes, rather it has killed the true cappuccino.

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    1. what are you talking about? what exactly do you think a 'true cappucino' is? latte art is simple the direction you pour your milk, and if you steam it correctly and extract your espresso well, latte art simply displays this and incorporates milk and coffee perfectly, combining the crema with the foam to off-set the bitterness of crema and bringing out the sweetness of the milk.
      Latte art takes just as long as a regular pour, but it requires the barista to be far more deliberate and results in a far superior cup of coffee.

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  26. On blonde roasts, I would note that lesser quality beans, like the ones the big chain most probably uses, yield a flat drink like sour grass. On the other hand, I know a coffee purveyor, who roasts generally lighter, not really "blonde" -- but light. Their better quality single origin beans really shine when more lightly done. Really exquisite, nuanced flavor. But..., in the same way that a fine wine or scotch or whatever is savored as more of a moment than daily fare, I really don't prefer it as my morning cup. It's good stuff, but not just at-your-desk drinkable.

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  27. What? Blonde roast is the bomb! It has slightly more caffeine than other roasts and requires less cream and sugar for me. I gave it a shot and love it!

    And know how I tried it? One of those "pretentious baristas" you mentioned actually took the time to teach me. I love baristas, love good coffee, and didn't realize I was the super rare person this article implies.

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  28. While there's no excuses for a rude Batista, I must say they are the product and reflection of the kind of customer that visit these kind of places. I manage a coffeehouse and I have witness some of the most ludicrous, bratty, petulant behavior from patrons who didn't get their latte at "360°F" in temperature (that was an actual request). It's only coffee people!!

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  29. This article is extremely offensive to people who work in the coffee industry. There is a reason people continue to go to coffee shops. You can never get a cup of coffee at home that is as good as a professional making you one. Being a barista is like being a chef or other culinary expert. That does not give reason for arrogance on the part of Baristas though. Coffee can be treated as an artisan product just as any other food/beverage can be. To think otherwise shows extreme ignorance.

    Dear Zagat, please don't give a megaphone to ignorance. your not fooling anyone.

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    1. I'm a barista at a shop, and while I do have my head in the clouds when it comes to coffee, I don't let it get to my head when I'm on the bar.

      If you just want a fast cup of coffee, then you really shouldn't be in a nice coffee shop, go run like the rest of the world on shit coffee that takes no skill to make.

      A Delonghi $1200 machine is a lamborghini? I think that just about sums up how much research was ACTUALLY put into this article. The author obviously searched on Amazon for the priciest machine they can buy there. That is FAR from the actual truth of the nicest/priciest espresso machine for home use (arguably the LM GS3). $1200 is almost in the budget range for home espresso.

      You don't go to a wine tasting and complain that the sommelier about it taking too long, so if you're coming into a 3rd wave coffee shop shut the hell up for five minutes and enjoy your pretty, delicious latte.

      I'm with Anon here, coffee, just because you decide to drink it every day due to an addiction that many baristas have the self control to avoid, is still a mysteriously complex beverage well deserving of any fiddling or magic that goes into it.

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  30. This was a poorly researched article about a culture that the authors clearly don't understand. As someone who works in specialty coffee, I never understand the hate that it generates in some people.

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  31. How about "Mom and Pop" coffee shops? That would be my number 1 annoyance. They need to get over themselves. Those are the ones with the snobby baristas that treat coffee like "God".

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  32. Idea for an article: The 10 Most Annoying Blogging Trends. Your first entry can be poorly researched listicles and the second entry can be artificially increasing page views by putting each entry of the list on a separate page. Good job, Zagat.

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  33. I wouldn't drink that coffee with the bear on it - it appears to have formed a crust. The rule when I was making coffee was 30 seconds after extraction to add milk or whatever and get it out.

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  34. I do not mind the expensive coffee as long the price is equivalent to taste. The fatty ice cream drinks are the worst always gives me stomach ache feels like they use the worst coffee in it. The worst is snobby barista, to give them the benefit of the doubt I go back a few times. If it still persist, I avoid the place and rather drive through Mickey D for coffee though I have to say their Arabic roast is quite good.

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  35. Please add k-cups to the annoying coffee trends. It kills me people leave our roasters because we don't pack in k-cups. Please find a better way to brew coffee.

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  36. this is one of the worst articles related to coffee i have ever read. most of these complaints are unjustifiable and from people with little to no knowledge of how the industry works. good going, zagat. stick to food, you do that far better than you understand coffee.

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  37. Most of the time I like home brew coffee and avoid those fatty drink. But some time I goes to outside to take the experience. You can have full control if you have coffee machine.

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  38. The only thing more annoying than the pretentiousness relating to coffee preparation and consumption is the silly whining and complaining about coffee culture and particular kinds of coffee and espresso drinks. If you do not like some coffee purveyor or shop, do not patronize said establishment; if you find certain types of drinks to be unappealing, do not order them! Find something important to worry about, like the destruction of the middle and working classes by the ever-rapacious oligarchs.

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  39. Coffee is not cheap especially with the growing demand for it. It is also a style of life about sharing. If you just want to have cheap one, you could make it at home instead.

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