Espresso, Extra Bitter
Man's Tiff With Barista Spills Onto Internet
Thursday, July 17, 2008; Page B01
Who knew a cup of coffee could create such a tempest in a teapot?
Not Jeff Simmermon, whose request for a triple shot of espresso over ice at Murky Coffee in Arlington County turned into a heated Internet squabble, sparked debate about whether the customer is always right and provided a reminder about the intended and unintended consequences of blogging.
The drink request Sunday, said Simmermon, who was visiting from Brooklyn, was denied by a barista who told him that Murky doesn't do espresso over ice. Irked, Simmermon said he asked for a triple espresso and a cup of ice, which he said the barista provided, grudgingly.
Service. No smile.
Then -- and this is Simmermon's account -- the barista scolded him, saying that what he was doing to his espresso was "not okay" and that the store's policy was to preserve the integrity of the drink. The employee said that allowing customers to dilute espresso was not in keeping with said policy.
Coffee-rage moment in 3, 2, 1 . . .
Simmermon, 32, said that he interrupted the barista with an angry blast about how he would have his coffee any way he pleased, thank you very much, and that he told the barista he had his own policy about doing what he wants with the products he pays for. He mixed in a couple of expletives, but that was the essence of it.
That might have been the end of the saga, but Simmermon did what comes naturally to literate victims of perceived everyday injustices in the 21st century.
He blogged about it.
In a post on his Web site, And I Am Not Lying For Real ( http:/
He also posted a picture of the dollar bill he left as a tip, on which he wrote "[naughty word deleted] you and your precious coffee policy."
Since coffee shops are little more than way stations and IV drips for many bloggers, it's not surprising that Simmermon's post quickly made the rounds in cyberspace. Murky's owner, Nicholas Cho, was alerted to the dispute and responded with an open letter on the cafe's Web site ( http:/