City Cast

An Etiquette Guide to Pittsburgh Coffee Shops

Francesca Dabecco
Francesca Dabecco
Posted on October 17
Hot or cold, lattes always pair well with cookies. (Francesca Dabecco / City Cast Pittsburgh)

Hot or cold, lattes always pair well with cookies. (Francesca Dabecco / City Cast Pittsburgh)

In honor of Pittsburgh Coffee Week, local barista Clarisa Espinoza-Delgado joined the City Cast Pittsburgh podcast to share etiquette for ordering, tipping, and sipping around town.

Keep Your Order Simple

When Espinoza-Delgado was 18, she had someone order a “200-degree, skim, no-foam latte.” It’s impossible. Don’t be that guy. She says it's okay to have a complicated order, as long as you’re polite.

“If you recognize there's a line behind you, maybe it's not the most appropriate time to go into full detail, but at the end of the day, baristas want to make sure your order is right.”

Tip Often, Smile Always

Not everyone has money to tip on $5 coffees; baristas get it. But a good rule of thumb is a dollar per drink — something comparable to how you’d tip at a bar.

“Especially if you're going to these places regularly, so long as you're nice, polite, and hitting that tip jar every once in a while, I think that's perfect.”

Offer Up Your Seat

Coffee shops are a third place where we work and catch up, but how long is too long to park yourself in a bustling cafe? Espinoza-Delgado says it’s situational.

“Don't do your 9-5 at the coffee shop, but if you got some work to do for a couple hours, that's no problem. Maybe one or two drinks… If you see someone looking for a table, you can invite them to sit.”

Spread The Love

Editor’s addition!

It’s great to be a regular, but we have a robust blend of coffee shops all over Pittsburgh to try.

Check out this incredible list by coffee enthusiast Zach Lucas. He shared his ABCs of Pittsburgh coffee, including a local shop for every letter of the alphabet.

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