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The Best Coffee Shop in All 50 States

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Not all coffee is created equally: There’s the coffee you force down quickly to get that quick jolt and there’s the coffee that’s feels like a magical potion that keeps mankind running. To help you find a cup of joe so fresh and fragrant you hope it never ends, we’ve compiled the best coffee shops in all 50 states. So sip it up, breathe it in, and cheers to the lifeblood of us all—coffee.

1. ALABAMA // TURBO COFFEE

Location: Florence, Alabama

Located in the back of the Greasy Hands Barbershop, Turbo Coffee is quite literally a hidden java gem. Its ultra-hip vibe paired with a rotating list of roasters makes for one of the state’s tastiest coffee experiences, and with its upgrade to full cafe this month, expect the Turbo hype to grow.

2. ALASKA // THE GREEN BEAN COFFEE COMPANY

Location: Ketchikan, Alaska

This cozy, artistic coffee shop attracts Alaskan visitors far and wide. Whether it’s their unusual beans from Costa Rica or a fresh-made pastry for dessert, The Green Bean Coffee Company is a little taste of heaven—with a caffeinated kick.

3. ARIZONA // LUX CENTRAL

Location: Phoenix, Arizona

If you’re looking for an Instagram-worthy cup of coffee, Lux Central is your place. Their baristas are known for making stunning (and scrumptious) lattes and cappuccinos, and the cafe also serves gorgeous pastries, as well as some dynamite comfort food like biscuits and gravy.

4. ARKANSAS // EUREKA DAILY ROAST

Location: Eureka Springs, Arkansas

There’s a reason Eureka Daily Roast’s lines are out the door—it’s just that good. Go for a purely delicious plain coffee from beans roasted in house, or, to satisfy your sweet tooth, try the fan-favorite frozen latte with whipped cream.

5. CALIFORNIA // VERVE COFFEE ROASTERS

Location: Santa Cruz, California

At Verve Coffee Roasters, nearly every bean can be traced back to its original source—and you can taste the difference. Baristas concoct some beautifully caffeinated formulations (like a delicious mint mocha) as well as a simple, locally sourced good ol’ cup of joe.

6. COLORADO // EVERYDAY JOE'S

Location: Fort Collins, Colorado

Everyday Joe’s is much more than great coffee—it’s a gathering place for the Fort Collins community. Powered by 30 volunteers, Everyday Joe’s features live music, local art, community events, and of course, an appealing menu of java right from Colorado.

7. CONNECTICUT // THE COFFEE PEDALER

Location: New Haven, Connecticut

Locals and visitors alike flock to The Coffee Pedaler for its tasty coffee and beloved Montreal-style bagels. With the shop’s laid-back, relaxed vibe and always-smiling baristas, The Coffee Pedaler has quickly become one of New Haven’s most popular hangout spots, too.

8. DELAWARE // DRIP CAFÉ

Location: Hockessin, Delaware

Drip Café may be off the beaten path in a small village on the Delaware border with Pennsylvania, but with a rotating coffee list and out-of-this-world pancakes, it’s well worth the trip.

9. FLORIDA // PANTHER COFFEE

Location: Miami, Florida

Panther Coffee has developed a cult following in Florida for its nearly perfect assortment of beans and brews. Owners Joel and Leticia Pollock met at a coffee convention, and the two have turned their love of small-batch beans—which they prepare in a 1927 cast-iron roaster—into a trendy, java-filled paradise in Miami.

10. GEORGIA // AMÉLIE'S FRENCH BAKERY

Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Amélie’s is a fusion of Paris chic with Mad Hatter vibes, and a cup of joe that’s tres délicieux. Aiming for simplicity, Amelie’s (which also has locations in North and South Carolina) offers quiches, croissants, macarons, and a condensed beverage menu to ensure each item is prepared with tried-and-true perfection.

11. HAWAII // COFFEE GALLERY

Location: Haleiwa, Hawaii

Whether you need your jolt of java before or after you hit the waves, it doesn’t get any better than Coffee Gallery, a Haleiwa-based coffee shop for the Hawaii Gourmet Coffee Roasters brand. You can watch the baristas roast the beans on-site, and the snacking fare—like a carrot macadamia nut bread—is locally sourced.

12. IDAHO // SLOW BY SLOW COFFEE BAR

Location: Boise, Idaho

With an array of local and national beans and friendly, knowledgeable baristas, Slow by Slow is a must-visit for coffee fans. It has an expansive, clean seating area and fresh pastries that further add to the Slow by Slow charm.

13. ILLINOIS // THE SOAP CO. COFFEE HOUSE

Location: Jacksonville, Illinois

What started as a soap business has evolved into an iconic Illinois coffeehouse, known for its scrumptious coffees and friendly staff. The Soap Co. Coffee House also offers some of the best desserts and bagel sandwiches around, so don’t visit on a diet!

14. INDIANA // BEE COFFEE ROASTERS

Location: Indianapolis, Indiana

Bee Coffee Roasters sees heavy foot traffic from its proximity to the Indiana Convention Center, but this is not your average convention center coffee. Bee’s baristas use local beans to create some of the state’s most artistic and delicious caffeine drinks.

15. IOWA // BOOK CELLAR AND COFFEE ATTIC

Location: Iowa Falls, Iowa

The Book Cellar & Coffee Attic combines two of life’s greatest pleasures—coffee and novels—under one roof. Opened in 2001 in a converted 1800s building downtown, the shop features a generous assortment of books that patrons can read while leisurely sipping a latte.

16. KANSAS // KANSAS COFFEE CAFE

Location: Olathe, Kansas

Kansas Coffee Cafe plays up its commitment to locally sourced products not just through its coffee beans and artwork by area artists—the beloved family owned coffee shop even named most of their sandwiches after local sports mascots (like the Chief, Royal, Wizard, Wildcat, and Jayhawk).

17. KENTUCKY // A CUP OF COMMON WEALTH

Location: Lexington, Kentucky

COURTESY OF A CUP OF COMMON WEALTH

Coffee shops are known to bring communities together, and nowhere is this more evident than Lexington's A Cup of Common Wealth. Through its "Pay-It-Forward Board," patrons can buy a drink for a stranger, with redemption requirements such as "cold brew for a marine vet" or "coffee for a sexy firefighter." Given the fact their coffee is delicious, I’d say that’s a pretty good gift.

18. LOUISIANA // HEY! CAFÉ

Location: New Orleans, Louisiana

Hey! Café promises that a "tremendous coffee geek" will be the one who nano-roasts the beans and prepares your beverage, and its knowledgeable baristas enjoy a measure of creative control over the entire crafting and brewing process. Plus, the cafe is dog friendly, and has Wi-Fi and occasional live music.

19. MAINE // BARD COFFEE

Location: Portland, Maine

Whether you’re grabbing a cup to go or posting up for the day, Bard Coffee is a must-visit for coffee fans in Maine. Ambiance-wise, the large, bright interior has a sweeping street view for people watching, and you'll never be far from a vase of fresh flowers. And for the coffee, Bard favors an environmentally conscious flavor-lock roast that reduces their energy consumption by up to 80 percent.

20. MARYLAND // ZEKE'S COFFEE

Location: Baltimore, Maryland

Zeke’s Coffee is a small batch roaster known for dark, delicious blends and a bright, friendly staff. The Baltimore icon has developed a cult following among locals; their beans are sold throughout the region and have even been turned into a beer, the Zeke’s Coffee Porter.

21. MASSACHUSETTS // WIRED PUPPY

Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Nestled amongst charming brownstones along the tree-lined Newbury Street, Wired Puppy not only has all the specialty drinks you'd expect, but also features a "Single Cup Brew Bar" with five different pour-over and pressing options. And, true to its name, Wired Puppy is pup-friendly—a rare bonus for lovers of all things coffee and canines.

22. MICHIGAN // J.L. BEANERY

Location: Mackinac Island, Michigan

J.L. Beanery combines a mouthwatering menu with gorgeous views of Lake Huron. For the ultimate Mackinac Island experience, grab a to-go cup and stroll up to the beautiful Fort Mackinac park, where you can peacefully enjoy your coffee under the Michigan sun.

23. MINNESOTA // MOJO COFFEE GALLERY

Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Mojo Coffee Gallery sells more than just coffee—it’s home to a unique collection of paintings and ceramics from Minneapolis-area artists. But that doesn’t mean it’s all art. Mojo also attracts java lovers from near and fair with its scrumptious offering of brews and creative coffee shop vibes.

24. MISSISSIPPI // STEAMPUNK COFFEE ROASTERS

Location: Natchez, Mississippi

Steampunk Coffee Roasters serves up its caffeinated creations in perhaps the coolest venue of them all—a restored brick cabin from the 1800s. With mind-blowing espresso, mouthwatering muffins, and a simple, good old’ cup of "Go Joe," Steampunk is a popular brew spot for locals and visitors alike.

25. MISSOURI // SUMP COFFEE

Location: St. Louis, Missouri

Sump is no ordinary coffee shop. With unusual brewing equipment and minimalist decor, Sump is like a trendier (and more highly caffeinated) version of your high school science lab. The shop’s staff pay close attention to the brewing process, taking risks when necessary or following tried-and-true tactics, all to get you the best possible taste and jolt.

26. MONTANA // FIRETOWER COFFEE HOUSE

Location: Helena, Montana

Everyone’s family at FireTower Coffee House. Whether you’re a regular face or first-time customer, the baristas will cheerily greet and converse with you, ensuring you feel right at home. FireTower roasts its beans on-site, and serves artistic, mouthwatering lattes in Helena’s historic Last Chance Gulch district.

27. NEBRASKA // HOWLIN' HOUNDS

Location: Omaha, Nebraska

Locals rave about Howlin’ Hounds and its personable owner, Greg, who chats up the shop's patrons on a regular basis. But Greg and his team (which includes the cafe's namesake hounds, Lady and Buddy) are more than just greeters; they’re java geniuses who serve up a wide variety of espresso, cold brews, and teas.

28. NEVADA // WALDEN'S COFFEEHOUSE

Location: Reno, Nevada

Walden’s Coffeehouse is Reno’s go-to breakfast spot, serving a variety of coffee and teas, and a full menu of eggs, bagels, and oatmeal. At night, Walden’s transforms into a beer and wine happy hour with live music featuring up-and-coming local talent.

29. NEW HAMPSHIRE // A&E COFFEE ROASTERY

Location: Amherst, New Hampshire

A&E Coffee Roastery has everything you love about New Hampshire—laid-back vibes, charming scenery—in one deliciously caffeinated setting. Try the cappuccino, or a cortado if you need an extra espresso shot, and feel free to ask the baristas for recommendations on the best beans to take home.

30. NEW JERSEY // EMPIRE COFFEE & TEA CO.

Location: Hoboken, New Jersey

Ask any Hoboken resident for a coffee recommendation, and nine times out of 10 they’ll point you to a bright-green caffeine haven known as Empire Coffee & Tea Co. With fresh, aromatic coffees and an assortment of unusual tea options (like a licorice spice or a flowery orange pekoe), it’s no wonder people line up at Empire each and every morning.

31. NEW MEXICO // ESPRESSO FINO

Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Espresso Fino has a five-star Yelp rating, heavily based on the cheery, unpretentious baristas who whip up beautiful lattes and cappuccinos for you to sip in their cozy space. And, on your way out, you can pick up some free coffee grounds for your home composting needs!

32. NEW YORK // BIRCH COFFEE

Location: New York, New York

COURTESY OF BIRCH COFFEE

When lines are out the door, you know there’s something good inside. Such is the case with Birch Coffee, a small, hip set of shops in Manhattan known for their high-quality coffee, and correspondingly long lines of New Yorkers clamoring for a cup. Try the signature Kyoto-drip iced coffee, a fan favorite among regular Birch-goers.

33. NORTH CAROLINA // BEYÙ CAFFÈ

Location: Durham, North Carolina

Come for the coffee and stay for the jazz at at Beyù Caffè—a coffee shop, restaurant, bar, and jazz club all mixed into one. Coffee-wise, Beyù’s locally roasted beans are on point, with fan-favorite drinks like the Oprah Mocha, Caramello Macchiato and, of course, a simply delicious cup of java.

34. NORTH DAKOTA // URBAN STAMPEDE

Location: Grand Forks, North Dakota

Set in a 19th century saloon complete with chandeliers and tin ceilings, Urban Stampede has been pairing flavorful coffee with impeccable pastries since 1992. With an ample seating area and relaxed vibe, coffee lovers flock to this spot to read, study, and catch live performances and art shows.

35. OHIO // COFFEE EMPORIUM

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

There’s a reason Coffee Emporium is packed at all hours of the day—its drinks and dining options are unbelievably delicious. Plus, this Over-the-Rhine staple even has growlers of their bourbon barrel-aged cold brew for purchase, for any necessary pick-me-ups between visits.

36. OKLAHOMA // CUPPIES AND JOE

Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City’s Cuppies and Joe puts its specialties right in its name: cupcakes and coffee. The dessert cafe also carries pies, cookies, and a delicious plate of biscuits and gravy, but if you want a side of chocolate buttercream with your mocha, this is the sweet spot for that.

37. OREGON // EITHER/OR

Location: Portland, Oregon

Either/Or offers a new twist on the popular beer flight with a sampler of its own—the espresso flight. Whether you try the assortment of espressos, stick to a standard cup of joe, or try one of their coffee mocktails, you’ll instantly see why Portland natives flock to Either/Or for an early morning jolt or an afternoon pick-me-up.

38. PENNSYLVANIA // BIDDLE'S ESCAPE

Location: Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania

In a town adjacent to Pittsburgh, Biddle’s Escape is filled with funky, eccentric décor from around the world. But beyond its decorative conversation starters, you’ll find a relaxing outdoor seating area, an assortment of vegan and gluten-free items to complement their coffee drinks, and, if you visit on Wednesdays, a host of the area's most popular food trucks.

39. RHODE ISLAND // THE SHOP

Location: Providence, Rhode Island

Obsessed with iced coffee? The Shop takes iced coffee to a new level with its cold brews on nitro. And with those beloved beans from Stumptown Coffee Roasters, it’s no surprise their hot brews are a caffeine lover’s dream, too.

40. SOUTH CAROLINA // BLACK TAP COFFEE

Location: Charleston, South Carolina

COURTESY OF BLACK TAP COFFEE

With unique beverage choices like a lavender latte, Black Tap Coffee knows how to keep it interesting—and keep its customers coming back for more. The coffee shop’s minimalist vibe (they aimed for a "serene, almost colorless space") is soothing, and the brews, which come from their house roastery on nearby James Island, are the definition of southern comfort.

41. SOUTH DAKOTA // JOSIAH'S COFFEEHOUSE AND CAFÉ

Location: Sioux Falls, South Dakota

What Josiah’s lacks in frills it makes up for in flavor, with simple, tasty brews, high-quality espressos, and, for pastry aficionados, a mean caramel sticky bun. After four successful years, Josiah’s has become a staple in the community with Sioux Falls locals singing its praises across social media.

42. TENNESSEE // BARISTA PARLOR

Location: Nashville, Tennessee

This hip Nashville establishment is still relatively new, but it’s quickly becoming the hottest coffee shop in town. While its wide-open seating area feels more brewery than coffee shop, the unassuming vibe and locally sourced beans and ingredients are among the many reasons Barista Parlor is packed day in and day out.

43. TEXAS // PATIKA

Location: Austin, Texas

By day, Patika is a trendy coffee shop filled with locals on laptops. At night, it transforms into a lively wine and beer bar, with jazz nights and happy hours—and, a particular favorite, "yappy hour," for your four-legged friends.

44. UTAH // DEEP CREEK COFFEE COMPANY

Location: Springdale, Utah

Is anything better than good coffee and the great outdoors? Deep Creek Coffee Company pairs a tasty variety of coffee, tea, and espresso with 360-degree views of Utah’s beautiful Zion National Park

45. VERMONT // UNCOMMON GROUNDS

Location: Burlington, Vermont

For more than 20 years, Uncommon Grounds has kept the city of Burlington happily caffeinated. They roast their beans right at the front of the shop, and the downtown cafe puts an emphasis on supporting local business, serving baked goods and other products from area vendors.

46. VIRGINIA // BAD ASS COFFEE

Location: Virginia Beach, Virginia

With a name like Bad Ass Coffee, you know your java will be anything but ordinary. This Hawaiian brand's Virginia Beach outpost is located on the ocean, serving up a taste of the Pacific right along the Atlantic.

47. WASHINGTON // POULSBOHEMIAN COFFEEHOUSE

Location: Poulsbo, Washington

Instead of fancy artwork or rare woodwork, Poulsbohemian Coffeehouse is decorated with stunning views of Liberty Bay. Locals come here to work, chat and relax over a cup of fresh, flavorful coffee while taking in some of the state’s most beautiful scenery.

48. WEST VIRGINIA // THE BLUE MOOSE CAFÉ

Location: Morgantown, West Virginia

From flavored lattes to espresso milkshakes, the Blue Moose Cafe caters to the daytime laptop crowd as well as the lively locals who show up at night for the frequent live music.

49. WISCONSIN // THE COFFEE HOUSE AT CHESTNUT & PINE

Location: Burlington, Wisconsin

With all-day caffeine and specialty dishes and treats, The Coffee House at Chestnut & Pine is one of Burlington’s most popular cafés. It sources beans from Milwaukee’s Anodyne Coffee Roasting Company, and the baked goods became so popular that The Coffee House now accepts bakery orders in bulk. (A dozen double chocolate chip muffins for one, please!)

50. WYOMING // COWBOY COFFEE CO.

Location: Jackson Hole, Wyoming

What pairs well with the great outdoors? A good old cup of coffee. Jackson Hole's Cowboy Coffee Co. has a charming, laid-back vibe with out-of-this-world views. Perfect for staring at snowcapped mountains while sipping a flat white.

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11 Behind-the-Counter Secrets of Baristas
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Being a barista is no easy task, and it’s not just the early hours and the don’t-talk-to-me-unless-I’ve-had-my-coffee customers. While people often think working at a cafe is a part-time, temporary gig, it takes extensive training to learn your way around an espresso machine, and most baristas are in it for the love of coffee, not just to pay the bills. Mental Floss spoke to a few baristas working at the New York Coffee Festival to learn what exactly goes on behind the counter, and why you should never, ever dump your extra coffee in the trash.

1. THEY REALLY LOVE COFFEE.

One of the biggest misconceptions about the profession, says New York City-based barista Kayla Bird, is “that it's not a real job.” But especially in specialty cafes, many baristas are in it for the long haul. Coffee is their career.

“It's a chosen field,” as barista Virgil San Miguel puts it. “It's not like you work in a coffee shop because it's a glamorous job,” he explains. “It's more like a passion.”

2. THEY GO THROUGH A LOT OF TRAINING.

“Being a really good barista takes a lot of studying,” explains Jake Griffin, a wholesale representative for Irving Farm Coffee Roasters who has worked in the coffee industry for almost a decade. “It can take a few years. You have to start to understand origins, production methods, where your coffee came from.” You have to go through an intensive education before you start pulling espresso shots for customers, so it's possible that the person taking your order and fetching your pastry isn't even allowed to make you a drink yet. “They have to be what we call 'bar certified' before they're even allowed on the machine,” he says. “Usually people start off in our cafes in various support roles, then start to go to classes and go through the training program.”

3. THEY’RE PROBABLY PRETTY WIRED.

Sure, baristas take full advantage of all that free coffee. And if they work in their company’s training programs, their whole job is to drink coffee. But it has its downsides. “I taste—at minimum—ten shots of espresso a day,” John Hrabe, who trains baristas at Birch Coffee in New York City, says. On his busier days, it might be as many as 20. You get used to all the caffeine, he claims—at least until you take a few days off. “Then when you go on vacation and you're not working ... everyone's like, 'Why's John so tired?’”

Other baristas who have worked in the field for a long time say the same. “I’ve been doing this for 15 years, and I used to have five or six coffees a day,” Michael Sadler, who helped develop the barista education program at Toby’s Coffee, says. “Now I do two,” he says, both because of the caffeine-induced anxiety and the withdrawal headaches he would get on his days off.

4. OR THEY’RE DRINKING … SOMETHING ELSE.

Like any job, there are things that go on in coffee shops that the boss would definitely not approve of. According to one barista who has worked at both a corporate coffee chain and specialty cafes in Delaware and New York, coffee shops can get pretty rowdy behind-the-scenes. “If you see a barista with a lidded cup behind the bar, there's probably a 50/50 chance: It's either coffee or beer,” he says. “You never know.” And it’s not just the booze, either. “I’ve been a part of secret menus that have cannabis-infused coconut milk,” he explains. “I had a pretty good cappuccino.”

5. THEY GET ANNOYED WHEN YOU SKIP THE PLEASANTRIES.

You don’t want to hold up the line telling a barista your life story at 7 a.m., but even if you’re in a hurry, don’t forget to say hi before you jump into demanding that large coffee. “Walking up to somebody and saying 'Almond latte,' when they just said 'How are you today?' is probably the biggest thing you can do to get on a barista's bad side,” Toby's Coffee's Sadler says. “It's like, exchange pleasantries, then get to business.”

6. IF YOU’RE NOT NICE TO THEM, THEY WON’T BE NICE TO YOU.

Not everyone is super perky in the morning, but if you can’t be civil, you’re better off making your own coffee at home. At some places, if you get snippy with the employees, you’re going to get worse than furtive eye rolls between baristas (though you’ll get that, too).

“Be nice to your baristas, or you get decaf,” warns one barista. While it varies from cafe to cafe, multiple baristas told Mental Floss that it happens. Rude customers might get three letters written on their cup: “They call it DTB—‘decaf that bitch.’”

There’s a less potent way a barista can get back at you, too. If the hole in your coffee lid lines up with the seam of your paper cup, you’re going to get dripped on. And sometimes, it’s not an accident. “When a barista puts the mouth on the seam, they want it to leak on you,” a New York City-based barista explains.

Others are a little more forgiving of rude patrons. “I like making them the best drink that they've ever had, just to kill them with kindness,” one coffee shop employee says. “I don't want them to be like, ‘She’s a bad barista.’” Just to be safe, though, it's better to be nice.

7. THEY PROBABLY KNOW WHAT YOU WANT BEFORE YOU DO.

“The longer you work in coffee, the more when someone walks in the door you read their personality type and say, I know exactly what you're going to drink,” Jared Hamilton, a self-described “espresso wizard” at the Brooklyn-based chain Cafe Grumpy, says. When I ask him to predict my drink, he proves his skills. “What you're going to drink is like, an alternative milk, flat white or cappuccino. So maybe soy, probably almond. Nonstandard. You don't want a lot of milk, just enough.” He’s not too far off—my go-to is, in fact, a non-standard, some-milk-but-not-too-much drink, a decaf cappuccino, though I drink regular milk in it. He points to another festival visitor who is dressed in business attire. "That guy right there, he drinks espresso all day," he guesses.

Depending on the coffee shop, the barista might know what customers want more than they do. Dominique Richards, who started her first barista job in Brooklyn three months ago, says she has to order for her customers around a third of the time. “Usually if someone's looking at the menu for more than 30 seconds, I jump in and say, ‘Hey, what would you like?’” She then asks them a few questions, like whether they want hot or cold coffee, and goes from there, often recommending lattes for people who are just getting into specialty coffee. “It's kind of a learning experience for the majority” of her customers, she says.

8. CUSTOMERS CAN BE REALLY PARTICULAR.

“People treat cafes like they're [their own] kitchen,” according to Cafe Grumpy’s Hamilton. “My favorite thing people do is when they walk in and they rearrange the condiment bar. Then they order, then they go use the condiments.” Apparently, some people are really particular about the location of their sugar packets. And if you throw off their routine, watch out. One of his colleagues describes a customer who threw a fit because the shop didn’t have a cinnamon shaker, demanding a refund for both her coffee and her pastry. (They eventually found some cinnamon for her.)

9. YOU SHOULD NEVER, EVER DUMP EXTRA COFFEE STRAIGHT INTO THE TRASH.

Even if you ask for room for milk in your drip coffee, the cup is still sometimes just a bit too full. It’s tempting to just pour a little into the trash can, but whoever has to take out that garbage is going to pay for it. “Please don't pour it in the garbage,” Bluestone Lane barista Marina Velazquez pleads. “Because at the end of the night, it ends up on our feet.” If the shop doesn’t have a dedicated container for you to pour out your excess coffee, take it back to the counter and ask them to dump a bit in the sink. Your baristas will thank you.

10. MAKING ESPRESSO DRINKS ISN’T A ROTE SKILL.

When you’re waiting in line, it may look like baristas are doing the same thing over and over for dozens of drinks. But in fact, every order presents its own challenges.

“There's probably not an appreciation for how much a coffee can vary,” explains Katie Duris, a former barista of 10 years who now works as a wholesale manager at Joe Coffee. High-quality coffee is “really dynamic as an ingredient,” she says. Baristas “have to make micro adjustments all day long. You have to change the grind based on the humidity in the room or a draft or how much coffee is in your hopper—if it's an espresso machine—so they're tweaking all day long … good baristas are making adjustments all the time.”

11. IT’S PHYSICALLY TAXING.

Making espresso drinks all day long can wear you out, and not just because you’re on your feet all day. There are also repetitive stress injuries to consider. “There's physical wear and tear on your joints when you're a barista,” Birch's Hrabe says. He’s worked in coffee for 11 years, and says that tamping espresso shots (compressing the grounds before brewing) day after day has given him tennis elbow. “It's totally common for baristas,” he says.

In short, baristas are probably doing more work behind the bar than you give them credit for, whether it’s dealing with customers or actually making coffee. “Being a barista is fun, but it's hard work,” Bluestone Lane's Velazquez says. “Everybody should be a barista at least once. I think it teaches humility.”

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Can You Get to the Bottom of This Coffee Brainteaser?
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Is your brain awake and energized? If not, you may want to grab a cup of coffee to figure out this head-scratching puzzle.

According to IFL Science, the brainteaser was shared by Twitter user @_herbeautyxo and has been stumping web users ever since. The image shows coffee being poured into a network of pipes and boxes. It seems there are four places the liquid could end up and each is represented by a numbered cup. Based on the shape and arrangement of the pathways, you have to guess which vessel will catch the coffee first.

Plenty of users had guesses, but few of them answered correctly. But once you know what to look for, the puzzle becomes deceptively simple (scroll down if you want to find out the answer). 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Three of the four pipes are blocked off, so the only possible spot for the coffee to exit from is the remaining pipe above cup five.

Your brain doesn’t always interpret what you see in front of you accurately, even when it’s given a caffeine boost. If you need more evidence, check out these award-winning optical illusions and brain puzzles.

[h/t IFL Science]

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