That barista totally wants your junk.


But how can you tell?

Dear Cyn,

It seems like every coffee shop in town has taped up a copy of that Onion article headlined SOURCES: BARISTA NOT ACTUALLY FLIRTING WITH YOU. Ha ha, I get it. But I know from my friends who’ve worked as baristas that romances actually do flower across the counter! How am I supposed to know when that barista is flirting with me? And how can I communicate interest without risking months of 8 a.m. awkwardness?

Hopped-Up Homegirl

Hello HuH,

While baristas are often annoyed by people misconstruing their charming hospitality for raging lust, flirting is actually fun for many baristas—and often enough, these flirtations do accelerate into caffeine-fueled fun beyond the counter.

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How can you tell whether your barista has the hots for you? Use your powers of observation. Has your barista:
• given you free drinks?
• lingered over conversation with you?
• made comments on your look?
• come to your table to check on you, more than other people in the shop?
Strike up (very) brief conversations letting him or her know about a great play or film you saw last night. Ditch the chick lit for a Dave Eggers book, and when your barista comments on it, ask what he/she is reading these days. If he/she keeps on chatting, to the point of keeping other customers waiting, that’s a good sign that you’re a VIP in his/her heart (and/or loins). Ask if he or she is interested in grabbing a drink with you. As a general rule, asking someone to join you for an alcoholic beverage as opposed to a caffeinated one is code for “I want to be on you.”

If, however, they turn you down like a press-pot plunger, well…there are other coffee shops, with new baristas to meet, right around the corner. If you just can’t stand the thought of another mano on your macchiato, you shouldn’t feel too embarrassed since (a) they’re used to it and (b) they don’t mind seeing you the next morning if you’re cool about it and shrug it off. (Leaving a tip is always a good idea too, whether or not you want to jump the counter.) It’s best to just go for it and take your chances—being upfront with your barista shows confidence, and doesn’t leave either of you wasting time playing guessing games.

Viva baristas! Have fun, HuH.


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