Two Female Barista Workers

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‘Remember y’all you can decaf a caf but you can’t caf a decaf‘: Barista jokes about ‘decaffing’ rude customers

‘I did that. Or I'll give them a bad shot.’


Phil West


Posted on Jun 11, 2023

A barista recently joked about the rumored tactic of Starbucks baristas “decaffing” rude customers—though it’s a practice that at least one barista has previously confirmed.

As the Daily Dot wrote in April, one barista boasted about serving decaf coffee drinks to rude customers expecting a dose of caffeine to help them through their day. That barista confessed in a TikTok video, “I worked at Starbucks for six years and I decaffed hundreds of people. I decaffed you if you were a b*tch, I decaffed to you if you were rude, I decaffed you if … I don’t know, if you were an annoying f*cking person, you got decaf.”

In this recent video on decaffing, creator @jorlala—recently covered in the Daily Dot for her takedown of Sunday morning Starbucks customers—teamed up with a co-worker to address the practice. Using SZA’s “Blind” as a soundtrack, the video shows the pair covering their eyes to punctuate the on-screen caption: “When my coworker hits the decaf button for the rude customer.”

@jorlala bliiiiiiiiiiiiinddddddddd (for legal reasons this is a JOKE) ((😉)) #baristalife #baristaproblems #baristatok #customersbelike #bgd #coworkerfun #coworkersbelike ♬ SZA blind – divinity

She then includes in the caption, “For legal reasons this is a JOKE.”

With more than 200,000 views in a single day, the video’s capturing a lot of attention—including from baristas who weighed in on the issue.

“I did that,” one confessed, “or i’ll give them a bad shot.”

“This was my favorite thing to do :)))) lmao,” a second wrote.

“I personally let the shot sit as long as possible,” another admitted.

Someone else said, “Omg I used to want to do this all the time but I was to scared I would get fired for some reason.”

Another revealed a system they worked out: “Back in the day when we still wrote cups(stone ages) I had a co worker that would put a dot next to the name if the customer was rude lmao decaf otw.”

Others talked more abstractly about decaf vs. caf and protecting people who can’t have caffeine.

“Always decaf a caf, never caf a decaf,” one observed. “Same concept for diet drinks. make a coke a diet coke, but never make a diet coke a reg coke.”

Another said, “Remember y’all you can decaf a caf but you can’t caf a decaf.”

Finally, one commenter had a solution to eradicate this phenomenon: “Don’t bully food service workers and you should be good!”

The Daily Dot contacted @jorlala via TikTok comment for further information.

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*First Published: Jun 11, 2023, 11:09 am CDT