Wednesday, June 5, 2013

More on Philz

At the risk of coming off like a zealot, I have another Philz post. The other morning, while I’m waiting for my decaf Swiss Water Peru, I observed the following: A young woman with a child balanced on one hip was picking up her coffee. She tasted it, told her disaffected-youth barista it was good, put a lid on it and started to leave. Her barista glanced at her coffee cup, looked completely alarmed, and stopped her.
“Your lid’s not on right,” he says, pushing it down so it would not wreck her morning and possibly her child. And off she went to enjoy the vastly superior morning of a day begun with Philz.
Where did Philz find these wonderful humans to make its coffee? Or have they somehow incentivized caring? I’m just saying, I wish everyone I interacted with learned how to be in the world from Philz.
I have only had one interaction with a Philz barista that was not great. I had just handed my coffee back asking that it be made a little more sweet. The barista asked if I preferred one and a half sweet or two and one half sweet. When I looked at her blankly, she elaborated by telling me that heavy cream meant one inch of cream and medium sweet meant some measurement I forgot of sugar. Way to kill the magic. While we’re at it, why not just hit me with the calorie count too.
Now, the first time I went to Philz, I was put off by the lack of precision in well, everything. Without my husband guiding me, I would have taken one look at the chaos that passes for a line and decided there was no cup of coffee worth figuring out that mess. When I finally ordered, my barista listened to me mumble something like, “kind of sweet, with lots of cream,” and then started making my coffee.
I sat anxiously thinking there was no way this would work out well. It would be like walking up to a stranger in Tucson, asking where to get the best pancakes in Vegas, and expecting them to just know that you’re referring to the chocolate chocolate chocolate pancakes at Max Brenner’s.
And then I got my coffee. It was fabulous. They make you try it before they let you take it away, which is excruciating (at least to me), but it allows them to cultivate this kind of magician vibe. I usually hate that stuff.
Except that the coffee was fabulous. The little kid in me that clung to the existence of Santa Claus when all evidence pointed to fraud, looked up over the back of the couch and said, “really?”
And then the barista started talking about measurements and wrecked everything. Bad magician!

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