Coffee drinkers in central London were thrown into panic today when a complicated order from a local office worker brought a Starbucks store to a standstill.
An order for six different coffees had so many individual requirements bemused staff buckled under the pressure and descended into name-calling and violence.
19-year-old Harry Netherton was halfway through his first day at a local office when his bosses asked him to do the daily coffee run. Speaking from a hospital bed in central London, Harry recounted the events nervously:
“I should have known there would be a problem when the list my boss gave me ran into three pages. It took me three or four minutes to read it out to the barista, who I could see was getting angry.
“I can’t remember everything, but I know that there was at least one coffee with skimmed, one with half skimmed and half semi-skimmed and one coffee with soya milk. The soya milk was with extra foam, half-decaf espresso, a shot of caramel syrup and extra hot. Or was that the semi-skimmed coffee?
“Anyway, everything started to turn nasty when I asked for mint syrup and two squirts of mocha instead of three in the half-decaf, extra hot, extra shot, skinny caffe mocha with half foam. The barista started to cry, and her boss started to shout.
“I can’t remember the first coffee mug hitting my head, as I was trying to defend myself against another irate barista who was pummelling me with a sweeping brush. The staff then started to turn on each other. There was ground coffee and hot milk up the walls at this point. It was a very frightening experience.”
Starbucks UK has confirmed that two of its baristas are receiving treatment for third-degree burns after the incident. The store manager underwent emergency surgery to remove a milk thermometer from her colon, and her condition is being reported as stable but critical.