Sometimes I really, really love stuff that goes down on the Internet. The fact that the offline event that inspired the situation I'm about to relate occurred a few minutes from my apartment in DC makes it even better.
Two days ago Jeff Simmermon of And I Am Not Lying published a blog post detailing a recent trip to Murky Coffee in Arlington, VA. The gist of the post is that he requested an iced espresso only to be told by the barista, “Hey man. What you’re about to do … that’s really, really Not Okay.” Apparently Murky Coffee has a rather strong policy about not serving any drinks that will dilute the integrity of coffee in general. So Simmermon ordered an espresso with a side of ice. He sticks around for some more shennanagans, and hilarity ensues - I encourage you to read his entire post.
So, the real poop started to fly when Simmermon's post, in which he states that the only way he'll return to Murky Coffee is if "I’m carrying matches and a can of kerosene," got picked up far and wide, by blogs like BoingBoing and The Consumerist. Apparently Murky Coffee has taken issue with their good name being besmirched and posted an open letter to Jeff on their Web site. You can read it all below, but I encourage you to skip to the last line in which the proprieter defends his estbalishment's policy and threatens to punch Simmermon "in his dick" if he returns. Classic. I guess in the world of local coffee establishments any press is good press - I know that I'll be checking this place out.
Dear Jeff Simmermon,
So as you've seen, there's a little blog-thing going around today on BoingBoing and Metafilter about some sort of incident at the shop this past weekend.
(Original blog post here. Also blogged here and here.)
I suppose some sort of two-cents is warranted here.
Okay, we don't do espresso over ice. Why? Number one, because we don't do it. Number two, because we don't do it. Mostly for quality reasons. Also, because more than half the time, it's abused (Google "ghetto latte").
We have some policies at murky coffee. No sleeping in the shop. If you're asleep, you'll be tapped on the shoulder and asked not to sleep in the shop. We've had to ban a customer because of his chronic napping.
No modifications to the Classic Cappuccino. No questions will be answered about the $5 Hot Chocolate (during the months we offer it). No espresso in a to-go cup. No espresso over ice. These are our policies. We have our reasons, and we're happy to share them.
To others reading this I will say that if you don't like the policies, I respectfully recommend that you find some other place that will give you what you want, or select something that we can offer you. David, the barista in question, is respectful, passionate, and cares about making good coffee, and he cares about murky's policies. Nobody's perfect, and maybe David could have chosen different words or a slightly different tack in responding to Jeff Simmermon's request. But that's life. At murky, we try to treat people with common courtesy, and expect the same from our customers. Not in response or in turn, but because that's how people are supposed to treat each other. We're not supposed to go through life looking for reasons to get pissed off. Life's too short for that sort of thing.
To Mr. Simmermon, you overplayed your hand with your vulgar tip-schtick. While I certainly won't bemoan you your right to free-speech, I have to respond to you in your own dialect: F*@k you, Jeff Simmermon. Considering your public threat of arson, you'll understand when I say that if you ever show your face at my shop, I'll punch you in your dick.
Owner, murky coffee