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Jun 26, 2012 08:30 AM

Room for cream?

When and why did all cafes become obsessed with this question?

It seems cheap for a Peets to ask and obsessively keep track of customers who want "room" and those who don't.

The other day an absent-minded barista at a small independent cafe in Rockridge asked me if I wanted room for cream in my mint tea. Yuck. ;)

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  1. They're obsessed because customers complain if they don't get it right. Leave room for a customer who doesn't want it and the customer feels cheated. Don't leave room for a customer who does and now the customer is forced to pour some off or otherwise deal with the issue. Customers hate dealing with issues :-)

    By the way, I think that on occasion some milk and sugar in mint tea can be really tasty...

    1 Reply
    1. re: davis_sq_pro

      It is amazing how unreasonable people can be; a couple of days ago I heard a woman making a huge scene at a restaurant about ONE unopened clam and how she felt "gypped" and wanted a discount on her dinner! Having witnessed near-apoplexy while waiting in line for my cappuccino I can totally imagine an enraged pre-caffeinated Peets customer going postal about not having his/her coffee topped up to overflowing.

    2. I think it's a perfectly reasonable question, especially since it doesn't hurt to ask! All you have to do is say "no"! I personally drink my black tea with a lot of cream. I usually ask for "small" tea in a medium cup so there's plenty of room to add cream and still not have it slosh over.

      1. I'd much rather they check, even if it seems unlikely that someone would want room for cream. And I guarantee there are people in the world who want cream in their mint tea. Doesn't sound bad to me, actually.

        1. Sorry but I think this is a totally standard and very reasonable question to ask, though I usually proactively specify whether or not I want room when I order.

          1. I think this is a totally reasonable question, and most of the people I grab coffee/tea with are happy they inquire. I don't put anything in my coffee or tea but really wouldn't mind if they left room for additions. On the other hand, a lot of people I know add milk, cream and/or sugar, and it seems to me to be an unneeded hassle for them to sip a scalding hot beverage or be forced to pour it out somewhere so that they can make their additions.

            The establishment is just trying to give the customer precisely what they want. There's nothing wrong with that in my book.

            1 Reply
            1. re: MonMauler

              Yup. I've had to pour out hot tea to make room for cream -- it's a nuisance!