What is a “normal” coffee anyway?

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What is a “normal” coffee anyway?

Customer: “Hi. Can I have a coffee please?”

Zane: “Sure. What type of coffee would you like?”

Customer: “Fghhzghsghjkkkkkhhhhh???” (The phonetic for television static)

Zane: “What do you normally order?”

Customer: “A normal coffee.”


So today’s rant is about trying to find out what a “normal” coffee is (or is supposed to be). From my experience, customers who generally ask for a “normal” coffee usually end up ordering an Americano or a filter coffee. A few have mentioned or decided to go with our flat white but not enough (in my perspective)[1. Disclaimer: I am not referring to espresso-based drinks as the finish line for coffee drinks; I love all methods of brewing good coffee. ].

Is “normal” the type of coffee you “normally” order? This could work in a cafe where you are a regular I suppose[2. Only a hand-full of people know mine, largely because I hardly ever drink coffee outside of work (however, besides myself, well done to Cuth (ex-Origin now Bean There), Jeremy (ex-Origin now EspressoLab and ???) and the barista boys at Common Ground) ].

Thoughts? What do you or your customers regard as a “normal” coffee?



  1. Ben E. says:

    When I think of “normal coffee” requested by someone who’s used to big chain coffee, I think of brewed coffee served black. Probably the darkest roast I could serve.

    If *I* was asking for “normal coffee,” I’d expect the barista’s choice of a single origin or perhaps blend brewed fresh with their choice of brewing technique as best fits the coffee.

  2. Deidre says:

    Hi Ben, I have turned to asking for a ‘normal coffee’ as a last resort. I have returned back from the UK after 8 years where asking the smallest coffe stand at the train staion for an americano was immediatley understood and brewed up with gusto and haste so as to not cause me to be late for the next train. I now find myself sitting and waiting for my ‘normal coffee’ at street side cafe’s serving coffee. Asking for an americano at most places is received with a blank stare. Not at your place I am sure. I will be over there asap!!

  3. Leon says:

    A normal coffee means ‘nothing fancy’, something similar to what you make at home but better quality.

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