New series: Coffee for the Average Josh


If you have a thing for Starbucks light roast coffee, my friend Jordan Farris advises to be careful how you order it.

“I’ll take a tall, hot, skinny, blonde latte” just might malfunction a nearby steam wand.

But what if you didn’t know Starbucks serves a Blonde Roast coffee — or what a steam wand is, for that matter?

Enter a new series of posts called “Coffee for the Average Josh,” an informal approach to answering common questions about all things joe — from the bean to the shops to caffeinated culture.

I’ll play the role of curious journalist. I’m coffee interested, but I’m still a long way from coffee informed. That means I am not above asking the “obvious” questions:

  • How much should I tip? Does that change if I want to stay and work on my laptop for three hours?
  • Where does decaffeinated coffee come from?
  • What separates a latte from a flat white from a cappuccino?
  • If I bought whole beans and used a burr grinder for home brewing, will it really make any difference?
  • What about my question? (Email it to; I may use it in a future post.)

This is not a series for coffee elitists. It’s for the inquisitive, the slightly caffeinated, the person in line in front of you who is still warming up to the vernacular.

Like the customer Blissful Whisk Lead Barista Tasha Branning told me about.

Customer: I’ll take a decaf coffee with steamed milk but no coffee in it.

Tasha: Soooo, you want steamed milk?

Customer: Well, I want a drink with steamed milk in it but no coffee. But I’ll have decaf, I think.

Tasha: So for your drink would you like it to have any coffee in it or no coffee? Let’s start there.

Customer: Well, I don’t know.

(This continued for a while. In the end, the customer enjoyed a decaf drip coffee with cream.)

Been there. Done that. Wait a minute, Tasha, was that me?

For those who could use a jolt of fun-but-helpful coffee knowledge, check out the “Coffee for the Average Josh” series.

Want to gain a little coffee confidence and enjoy a couple laughs along the way? Follow the “Coffee for the Average Josh” post series by signing up for the free CoffeeJosh newsletter. Other great spots to check out include Instagram or Facebook (where the Blonde joke originated — thanks again, Jordan).

What’s the craziest coffee order you’ve ever received? Some of our favorite coffee friends chime in.

Check out the series:

  1. Where do coffee babies come from? (Oct. 2, 2020)
  2. Growing up on the coffee farm (Oct. 9, 2020)
  3. 3 reasons to pay more for your coffee (Oct. 16, 2020)
  4. 5 factors of great-tasting coffee (Oct. 23, 2020)
  5. How do you take your coffee? (Oct. 30, 2020)
  6. What is espresso? (Nov. 6, 2020)
  7. What’s the difference: cappuccino, latte, mocha, americano? (Nov. 13, 2020)

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