I might be a coffee snob. Not in the snooty ‘I only drink single origin beans’ way, but more like I always order a cappuccino and I know just how I like it. There was a time I wasn’t very particular and any old sugary nonsense would do, but living in Melbourne changed that.

Random baristaBack when I was new to Melbourne I innocently (or naively) wandered into a random cafe. It was an independent cafe strewn with hipsters, typical in many respects to the kind of cafe one might expect in this, the ‘world’s most livable city.’ I asked the tattooed and bearded barista for a “mocha I suppose,” then enquired as to what kind of syrups he had. Hazelnut? Cinnamon perhaps? “I like something cinnamony,” I said.

He looked at me in the same way that independent record store clerks used to look at customers who asked for something mainstream. His smile was drenched in disdain and disgust giving a hint to the mockery I was about to be subjected to. In silence he made a theatrical look around the counter, the coffee machine, and out past me into the cafe, then as he wiped his hands on a cloth he said, “Sorry mate, I didn’t realize we’d turned into a fucking Starbucks.”

It was obvious he was having some fun at my expense. He then turned to the menu on the board behind him and he leant across the counter and asked me if I had ever tasted coffee before, or just “something cinnamony.”

“Let’s try this,” he said continuing his theatrical manner and sweeping his extended arm toward the drinks menu on the board. “How about you choose an actual coffee. My advice would be to pick a drink then make that your order so that you can develop a taste for coffee rather than ‘something cinnamony.’ You could have a flat white, latte, cappuccino, or even a mocha, if you really must.”

I’ll confess, I hadn’t taken much notice of the coffee I drank before, as long as it was ‘something cinnamony.’ So I looked at the board then said more in a questioning tone rather than that of an order, “I’ll have a cappuccino?”

“Good choice, a solid choice,” he said as he flung the cloth over his shoulder and sprang from his slouched position. With his back to me he began making my drink and continued talking to me. “I’m sorry for being a dick mate, but come on, you’re not a giggly teenage girl anymore, right.” And right he was, my giggly teenage girl years were behind me! Right then and there in that Melbourne cafe I had thrown them off and become a cappuccino drinking man of the world, even if I had no real idea what a cappuccino actually was.

So I’m not sure that my choice of coffee drink says anything deeply scientific about me, but Seattle-based coffee-lover and coffee-related infographicist (is that even a thing or did I just make that up?), Ryoko Iwata, suggests that it might. Her infographic pegs me as an obsessive, controlling, and creative type of person who gets bored with unimaginative people. According to her, those traits are perhaps redeemed by the fact that, as a cappuccino drinker, I am also honest and someone who chooses excellent friends.

Curiously Iwata makes no mention of the obsessive controlling aspects of the typical cappuccino drinker in a later infographic on her website entitled ‘What your date’s coffee order reveals.’ In that graphic I’m seen as a loving and caring person who puts a lot of work into my relationship.

I’ll plead the fifth on this subject for fear of incriminating myself or inviting the protests of disgruntled ex-girlfriends who might turn the comments into an embarrassing show down. But I’m curious, what does your coffee order reveal about you?

What does your coffee order say about you?

Ryoko Iwata’s I love coffee infographics
What your date’s coffee order reveals
What your coffee order says about you
What does your cup of tea say about you?