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Here’s the situation: you’re standing in line at a quaint local coffee shop with a bunch of your way-cooler-than-you friends who are all established coffee drinkers and you are still trying to figure out where coffee comes from. So, to keep your status as a crunchy, granola, dirt-snorting, hippie, you must perform adequately, if not exceptionally, at the ordering table.

How do you do this? Simple, you must recite a polished incantation comprising various viscous liquids, energizing additives, and meaningless volumes to the witch behind the counter, who will weigh your spell and decide your fate. Err… tell the barista your order and pray it makes sense.

To aid in this most arduous task, here is a simple breakdown of the objectively best way to order your coffee. This method of ordering will not only make you look incredibly learned in all things coffee but will make every barista you encounter instantly love you due to how insanely efficient it is.

Here is the formula:

Size, Temperature, (Flavor), Drink Type, (Milk type), (With Cream), (With Whipcream).

This is the order you should always use when requesting a beverage due to the general habit of coffee conjurors to write your order on the drink cup itself. By using this method the barista can choose the correct vessel to write the necessary specifications on. If you instead say drink type, flavor, temperature, and size last you’ll probably need to repeat yourself a few times since a barista can’t write down someone’s order until they know what cup they need to write on.

For some real-world examples, if I wanted something warm and sweet for a fall day I would saunter up to the counter and say, “May I have a 16oz, hot, Chai Latte, with oat milk.” If you would like to add your own je ne sais quoi you could swap out the “May I have…” for “Bonjour toi cochon sale…” They’re universally interchangeable phrases.

Though, since coffee is such a vast and untamable beast, there are many drink/word-choice variations that stray from the well known drink ordering path. So, as your coffee skills advance what needs to be remembered is to say your drink size and temperature first. Everything else can be spoken in any order as long as those two come at the forefront. Do this, and those baggy-jean wearing, thrift flip, somewhat psychotic (if only psychedelic) friends of yours will always accept you as their own.

Or they won’t.