I am Sally Albright

I am a coffee snob.  (I can admit it now).

For example ...

When I go out for coffee, this is how I order:

I'd like a small, regular coffee, please.

What this actually means in my head:

12-16 ounces of non-acidic regular drip coffee that is not too dark but certainly not light, was brewed no more than two hours ago, and has just enough regular (non-powdered) half-n-half so that, when mixed, it becomes this perfect shade of light brown - in a to-go cup with a cardboard collar, please; no sugar.  Addendum: If the coffee is especially dark and tastes more like espresso, then I'd like one packet of regular sugar and maybe whip cream.  Addendum: If there is no half-n-half, then nothing, thank you.

Of course I'm not going to say all that because, hello, what did you think when you read it?

Wow, what a high-maintenance [fill-in-the-blank].  Am I right?

I'd much prefer the barista to think I'm just so low-maintenance that all he/she has to do is press down the little lever on the coffee canister, hand me the cup, and say, "$1.75, please."  (Unless I'm at Starbucks, in which case they say: "$1.75 and your firstborn son, please," and then hand me a cup of Pike Place that, quite frankly, tastes like pure mud .... which is why I don't go there anymore).  

But I always tip really well because ... well, you've read the above monologue.   Even if I don't actually say it out loud when I order coffee, that is essentially what I am thinking.  So I feel like I owe it to the barista (gotta' level out that karma).

Not to mention the fact that when I actually taste the coffee and discover that it is, in fact, horrible (as suspected), I will inevitably sit in a corner and stew about how nobody can make a good cup of coffee anymore.

...And now that I'm done with this rant, I'm beginning to make an unfortunate connection between myself and that scene from When Harry Met Sally.  You know, this one:

Harry Burns: There are two kinds of women: high maintenance and low maintenance. 
Sally Albright: Which one am I?
Harry Burns: You're the worst kind; you're high maintenance but you think you're low maintenance.
Sally Albright: I don't see that.
Harry Burns: You don't see that? Waiter, I'll begin with a house salad, but I don't want the regular dressing. I'll have the balsamic vinegar and oil, but on the side. And then the salmon with the mustard sauce, but I want the mustard sauce on the side. "On the side" is a very big thing for you.
Sally Albright: Well, I just want it the way I want it.
Harry Burns: I know; high maintenance.  

Also this one:

Sally Albright: But I'd like the pie heated and I don't want the ice cream on top, I want it on the side, and I'd like strawberry instead of vanilla if you have it, if not then no ice cream just whipped cream but only if it's real; if it's out of the can then nothing.
Waitress: Not even the pie?
Sally Albright: No, I want the pie, but then not heated. 

So there you have it.  I am Sally Albright.


  1. I am SOO happy to see that someone else hate Pike Place. I refused to serve it (even when I was told it was the only thing we were to serve).

    No worries. I'm a coffee snob too. :-)

  2. like my coffee so black that it looks like tar with a wee bit of sugar free coffee mate vanilla creamer.
    I know what you mean about no one knows how to make a good cup of coffee anymore, sometimes I get lucky but not as often as I would like. Funny thing, the coffee at my daddys nursing home is GREAT!

  3. i am a grudging coffee snob. i don't want to be one but my almost 3 years working with coffee has forced me into becoming particular about it.

    the trouble is, it was pure luck that we serve the best coffee [fidalgo bay] that seems to satisfy even the grumpiest coffee snobs. and now it's my favorite coffee and i know all about IT but NOTHING about any other coffees, except that they don't taste as good to me.

    i've never had someone return a drink unless they ordered a cappuccino thinking it'd be a sweet nectar like at the gas station. most of the time, here i go tooting my own horn, i have people tell me it's the best latte / americano / hot chocolate [okay, okay, not a coffee drink but i still make kick ass hot chocolates] they've ever had.

    it's not me, i tell them. it's fidalgo bay. and the fact that i actually went TO the coffee roasters lair [an industrial building out in the middle of nowhere that smelled like heaven] where they taught me how to prepare coffee in all of its forms.

    it's fidalgo bay. they are responsible for my coffee snobbery.

  4. Hmmm I will have to try some of that. My favorite coffee grinds come from Laos. I want this to be my "house blend" when we open the coffeehouse. As of yet, they don't import for businesses but they'd like to so I'm hoping I can get it in bulk by then.

  5. hahaha, what an awesome post! "and your firstborn son" made me laugh out loud! this was really stinkin cute.

  6. And this is why I don't drink coffee! haha :)

  7. ahhhh ME TOO!
    i've got a few friends who kinda love sbux though.
    the experience (not the whole coffee part;) is what's blinding them to see that smaller, better quality places are what i go for. and why.
    shoot. i just try to keep my mouth closed about sbux.
    it really is over-roasted. and i heard about this one blend they were going to make (rumor? dunno) about beans from all. over. the frickin'. globe. in one bag. eww? how about some good, pure coffee? simple flavors.. carefully tended?

    we go to sbux because that's the nearest coffee place that's open when we want to get out of the house with friends....ya give and take. and sometimes lose.
    the give-them-your-firstborn-son thing? LOL. so true.

    i flippin' love this.
    and i sooo want to go to a coffee roaster's place sometime.....there's this adorable turkish coffee with turkish people place that we go to about twice a year....we're due for a visit there! they've got the roaster in the front room. fascinating!!

  8. I didn't used to be a coffee snob...but as time passes I find I am more and more so. Today I stopped at starbucks (its still raining here) and ordered my venti skinney, no foam, carmel machiato (sp) and when the guy asked if I wanted sugar free carmel, I laughed...and said, no. I want the sugar, I just dont want the fat. I think he got annoyed with me. Ah well.... How do you make carmel with no sugar anyway? Carmel is all Sugar...


  9. Lol, as a former SB barista, this is hilarious. I hate Pikes Place too. Nasty stuff. You can always ask for a french press or the bold brew of the day. I just stick with a doppio espresso. With plenty of half 'n' half. Oh, and, for the risk of sounding a snob, a tall coffee, iced or hot, is $1.61.

    Oh, and Courtney R., he asked that because skinny means sugar-free in SB. :)

    After working at a coffee shop, you inevitably become a snob. Like my espresso? I like it iced, fill the cup up with it, pour a good amount of breve in the cup, then pull the shots on top so you don't lose them. I cringe when I see shots sit more than... 4 seconds.

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  11. I like your When Harry Met Sally connection, a classic scene from a classic movie.
    Thanks for putting a smile on my face:)


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