the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

LA Coffee


I went to my local coffee “bar” for a cup of coffee.  As I was about to order, a rude woman burst in and stepped in.  She said she was in a rush and needed to order her coffee NOW, so I let her go first. 

She ordered a cup of coffee, but insisted that her coffee must be made at 114 degrees.

“What an asshole,” I thought to myself. 

But the “barista” didn’t bat an eye.

I just got home and did a Google search.  I was surprised to read this on a “coffee FAQ” about getting rid of the caffeine:

“Heating the water to 114 degrees Fahrenheit (45.5 degrees Celsius) destroys the methlylene chloride compound, which takes the caffeine with it. The beans reabsorb their flavor when reintroduced to the bath. This is called the indirect method, as the coffee beans never directly come in contact with the methlylene chloride.”

Have you ever seen anyone ask for their coffee at 114 degrees?

Even if it is legit, the woman was still an asshole.


  1. Pants

    Yes, the 114 degree coffee woman is a total bitch.

  2. The Retropolitan

    She’s 114 degrees of bitch.

  3. Painterbeachgirl

    I’m going to starbucks as soon as I can and going to ask for that and see what they do/say/scream

  4. teahouseblossom

    That is pretty high-maintenance of her.

  5. Caryn

    I ask for my filet o fish at 648 Kelvin, but that’s beside the point. The real concerning issue is this: I just got home and did a Google search … really Neil, is this what it’s come to?

  6. ACG

    if you need anything that precise, then do it at home where you have control over all the factors… and your control freak ocd won’t annoy the living crap outta everyone else.

  7. Alex

    That kind of attitude is exactly why I don’t miss Los Angeles! Every time I think of moving back I am reminded of such prevalent attitudes by the multitudes of snooty, annoying women. ick!

  8. ACG

    there was a photo of an alpaca on this post just a few mins ago or am I imagining thing?
    do I smell toast?

  9. Neil

    Yes, he’s gone. I’m very cranky with my posts today.

  10. Bre

    114? Really? Numbers like that irk me, like… why not add one extra degree and make it a much nicer number?

    I thought I was fussy, but even I’m not that bad – I wonder if she even knows the difference between the methods, or just wants to give the appearance that she does?

  11. JoAnne

    Wow, I am actually glad I don’t drink coffee!

  12. ms. sizzle

    i love what retropolitan said. that’s perfect.

  13. Tara

    I worked in coffee shops for 15 years and unfortunately, she isn’t all that unusual. When I lived in San Francisco, there was a woman who came in every day and demanded that only I make her coffee and serve her before everyone who was already in line. It turned out she was Burt Parks'(the old Miss America pageant host guy) daughter. I guess that’s where some of those entitlement issues came from.

  14. modigli

    I’ve never heard of that magic # taking the caffeine away. (And anyway, why the hell order coffee if it’s NOT gonna have caffeine?!)

    I can say that, as a barista at Starbucks for 2 months, I had plenty of self-absorbed assholes who liked ordering their coffee drinks at certain temps. Usually it was either 140 or 160 degrees. The extreme hot (180 degrees), which actually scalds the milk, was ordered a lot, too.


    The only thing I could figure as to why ppl did this was because A) they had a false sense of importance. Or B) they thought that their drink would be more “handcrafted” – maybe more odds of starting with fresh milk, instead of a re-heat of already steamed milk. (which starbucks only lets you do once – AT MOST – anyway.)

    Again – whatever.

  15. Lynn

    Um … nope. Can’t say I’ve ever seen that. And I’ve seen a lot of strange things.

  16. modigli

    PS. I just realized you were talking about regular brewed coffee.

    Isn’t that method you described actually the swiss water method of decaffeinating the beans before they go to market? I don’t think the 114 degree water would actually take the caffeine away during the brewing process. Would it?!

  17. ChickyBabe

    No, I haven’t. And I’m tempted to say in jest “Only in America!” 😛

    But seriously, if it takes the caffeine away, what’s her point of demanding her coffee fix right now?!?!

  18. Janet

    People can be very personal about their coffee. I once said that a coffee order says a lot about a person.

    She’s a moron.

    Have I mentioned that I make coffee for $6 an hour? Tip the baristas fellas. It’s quite a stint considering that I have had to learn three languages just to hang onto the job.

  19. rachh

    I’ve been making cappuccinos and lattes for years, never heard of it.
    ‘Bet she hasn’t been laid for a looooooong time’ is all I can say

  20. Fitèna

    No Caffeine in it? Whats the point? Legit or not. ad manners are not pardonable. She’s 114 degrees of rebitch.

  21. Rabbit

    Well, clearly she didn’t need the caffeine.

    Hey, I’m your blog crush of the day! This is the happiest moment of my whole life! Neil, you are now officially my favoritest blogger ever.

  22. Leah

    I agree that Retropolitan’s comment was succint and 114 degrees of perfect. I am therefore left bereft with nothing to say.

  23. Danny

    Anyone who has a request like that should not be allowed outside of her padded cell. It amazes me that this woman thinks that the barista (I feel a little sick whenever I use that word) is actually going to spend the time to check the temperature instead of just pretending to. But I’m still laughing at Tara’s comment and the idea that Bert Parks’ daughter (about a triple Z on the celebrity scale) has entitlement issues and expects special treatment.

  24. Neil

    Don’t ever say you don’t learn anything through reading blogs. As i further explored this subject of 114 degrees, I found out that this is apparently a magic number to some in food preparation.

    From the website of a vegan restaurant in Boulder, CO:

    “Karma Cuisine’s food is about 20 percent raw and 80 percent vegan or vegetarian. Raw food, a newer trend in food preparation, is vegan food that has not been heated above 114 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature at which enzymes begin to degrade. Johnstone explains that when food is kept under this temperature “the enzymes are still intact. And if you taste the food, you’ll know the difference; you’ll feel the difference.””

    If I ever start a boy band, I’m going to call it “114 Degrees.”

  25. Scarlet

    Isn’t 114 lukewarm? Gross! And it’s not like the barista was going to be sure to hit that magic number. (I know, I was one once.)

  26. Neil

    Now, YOU can be an asshole in your local Starbucks. Just print the following out and present it to your barista when ordering your cup of coffee.

    From Oregon State University:

    At what temperatures do consumers like to drink coffee?

    Three hundred consumers were required to mix a hot and a cooler coffee together until it was at a desired temperature for drinking. They added creamer and sweetener to taste. In a 2nd experiment, 108 consumers performed the same experiment with black coffee only, but repeated it using different coffee strengths. In all experiments, the chosen mean preferred temperature for drinking was around 60C (140F). Black coffee drinkers chose a slightly higher mean temperature than drinkers with added creamer, and they also chose a slightly lower mean temperature when the flavor was stronger. In all cases, consumers tended to choose, on average, temperatures for drinking coffee that were above the oral pain threshold and the burn damage threshold.

  27. Kevin

    I worked in a Starbucks and never once had someone ask me for that. Weird.

  28. Karl

    “Make sure it’s 114 degrees!”

    “Of course, madam. Would you like that with either the small or large complimentary loogie?”

  29. party girl

    No, I haven’t. Yes, she is.
    However, isn’t that typical CA behavior?

  30. Alison

    I nominate Retropolitan for best comment of the day.

    But really. I’m in a hurry and am obviously more important than you are, so serve ME my high-maintenance coffee NOW!

    Can you see my eyes rolling over here?

  31. chantel

    This must be my boss or the hungover bartender who shoves me out of the way every Saturday morning because he has to open the bar.

    Dude!! Not cool.

  32. Dustin

    I would have charged her admission to my spot in the line. Whats the price you ask? Only $114.

  33. sara lee

    I’d like to see her try that line cutting here in DC…we have so many people who think that they are important…you can guarantee someone else in line would have sent her ass to the back…myself included! 🙂

  34. cruisin-mom

    personally, I like my men at 114 degrees, but coffee? who cares.

  35. kristen

    An asshole and a loser. What I want to know, how does she know it’s 114 degrees?

  36. Lisa

    I live in Seattle, coffee capital of the world, and have NEVER seen behavior like that woman’s! And here people are so nice and non-confrontational, that I’m sure no one would have said anything. Manners manners manners.

  37. Virenda

    I am so not surprised. I live in Southern California and I LOVE my coffee so I’ve heard and seen a TON of these self-important arrogant people.

    114? Whatever. Coffee is SUPPOSED to be caffeineted. Period.

    I loved that you Googled it. That my friend is what Google is for.

  38. Manic Mom

    I always assume assholes are men.

  39. BBOCK

    There’s someone who needs her own coffee machine. I wasn’t aware that coffee places can adjust the heat on order. I would assume that any good coffee place probably sets their machines to automagically brew at the appropriate temperature to get the optimal results.

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