Walk in Kansas State’s Student Union at any time of the day and you will see a line wrapping around Caribou Coffee. All morning there is a constant flow of people attempting to get their daily caffeine fix. As a result, barista’s must be incredibly fast paced. Sarah Whitmore and Phillicia Thomas, baristas at Caribou Coffee in the Student Union, shared their favorite tips to getting the correct coffee order and beating the lines.
During Busy Hours (7 a.m. to noon)
One of the biggest things agreed upon by both baristas is that people absolutely cannot whisper, especially during busy time. Between the amount of people at Caribou and the noise from the espresso machine it can make it difficult to hear. Thomas also added that a problem during busy time is that people will just assume a drink is theirs and not listen to the name called, as a result taking someone else’s order.
Whitmore’s tip if you don’t have a lot of time but want a quick coffee: skip anything with espresso. Those drinks take the longest to make. Rather, opt for a cold press or daily brew and add your own milk and flavor.
While the busy times can be stressful, both baristas love their jobs.
“I love working at Caribou because you constantly get to talk to people and know what is going on in the Union,” said Thomas.
Always specify if you want a drink made cold or blended. If you do not specify, it will always be made hot. This is a frustrating problem for baristas since it sets them back because they must remake the beverage. Another common woe is customers ordering drinks from other coffee chains.
When is the best time to get coffee?
Both baristas agreed, after 1 p.m. is absolutely the best time to order a drink. There are often no lines and you can get your drink faster.
Is There A Secret Menu?
While there is no specified “secret menu”, every barista has their own personal concoction that is available if people ask.
“My secret drink is pretty basic, it is just our cold press coffee with either vanilla or hazelnut flavor added. It’s classic and good, “ said Whitmore. Thomas’s secret drink is a Raspberry Sparkling Peach Black Tea.
Here is something for all caribou fans to look forward to, later in spring they are going to debut coconut flavor that can be added to any drink. Visit Caribou Coffee’s website for more information and product details.