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How do you diplomatically double check it's decaf?

(24 Posts)
Elastigrrrl Fri 28-Mar-14 04:56:56

Why am I wide awake at 4:49 AM? Because the lady at the coffee shop (who is perfectly nice) clearly gave me a normal latte last night instead of decaf, even after I hinted a reminder as she was pouring it. Yes, I am pretty sensitive to caffeine so quite normal for it to still be in my system by now.

I don't want to be the cow who checks the baristas are doing their job, but would rather avoid unwittingly ingesting caffeine (don't mind the occasional coffee, but not at night, and would like to know what I am getting into IYSWIM). Has anyone else come up with a nice way of ensuring this? Yes, I could just forgo my decaf latte too, but with everything else one has to it the only way?

Elastigrrrl Fri 28-Mar-14 04:57:36

PS thank you in advance.

lucidlady Fri 28-Mar-14 05:01:05

Don't hint - ask directly - is this decaf!

TanteRose Fri 28-Mar-14 05:02:55

so you ordered a decaf latte and she gave you caffeinated?

you should have sent it back

or just "Is that definitely decaf? its just that I'm pregnant and can't have caffeine?"
you don't need to be diplomatic or bitchy - just firm and business like.

AnythingNotEverything Fri 28-Mar-14 05:14:48

Don't hint, check. With a smile, but always check. You just want what you ordered. If they brought you tea instead of coffee you'd return it, right?

I assume you're limiting caffeine for your baby's safety? You aren't being an arse by checking.

lyns31 Fri 28-Mar-14 05:15:19

Yeah, firm and business like is the way to go really as it's best for them too as keeping orders clear makes their job easier. Not sure how yoy check after the fact if they're not inclined to be honest though.

jaykay987 Fri 28-Mar-14 06:07:12

I also stalk the barrister. I know in Starbucks and Costa where the decaf is kept - so I watch and see if they do the right thing. If not, I just confirm "is this decaf?" Though the majority do tend to fib, so I prefer it when I see them do it!

Pre pregnancy I did the same with diet coke / coke. So clearly I'm a control freak! I just find watching them easier that asking every time and makes me more confident I'm getting what I ordered :-)

GiraffesAndButterflies Fri 28-Mar-14 06:13:23

Blimey that's so English. grin Just ask. Unless you're being sarcastic or shouting at them I seriously doubt they'll take offence. And if you find they lie about it, time to vote with your feet.

PinkPepper Fri 28-Mar-14 06:49:27

In most costas decaff will come through a red group handle (the bit they attach on the coffee machine) they'll use a pod inside it.

Don't be scared to ask nicely, unfortunately we are human and in busy times I've not been told a drinks decaff by the till person. I will never presume decaff regardless of pregnant customer or anything so make sure you do say. If I think I've got an order wrong I will check with customer obviously.

The decaff in costa does taste very like normal I was surprised how good it was.

theborrower Fri 28-Mar-14 07:28:49

I think insomnia is pretty common in pregnancy though, could it just be that? I sometimes find it difficult to get back to sleep after I've been for my middle of the night wee.

Or did you have chocolate in the afternoon?

whiteblossom Fri 28-Mar-14 07:39:21

I asked my local costa for a decaff, I mentioned decaff three times and at the end I quadruple checked and was was told wasn't hence going back and saying "it tastes quite strong, just want to check again its decaff" to which she said yes...then came over with a new latte which WAS decaff as she want sure!!. I don't think they listen. Im in there all the time though so they know Im not being funny. But you should get what you asked/paid for!

Don't be afraid to ask, its their job to get it right- no point you lying awake at night!

squizita Fri 28-Mar-14 08:37:24

* "Is that definitely decaf? its just that I'm pregnant and can't have caffeine?"*

The only issue with this is it isn't actually true is it? And the little 18 year old might next time stick her beak in on another pregnant woman having her 'allowance' of caffeine and say something rude (which does happen) or judge.

Be honest, say "I'm pregnant, so I can only have a small amount of caffeine and drink decaff in the afternoon." smile Or "I have sleep problems unless I have decaff in the afternoon".

I wouldn't even be subtle. If they gave the wrong thing, it's not what was paid for, ask for a new one!

squizita Fri 28-Mar-14 08:38:55 the example of the 18 year old as an older employee would be more worldly about such things, but teens of a just-independent age often have a know-everything phase!

Elastigrrrl Fri 28-Mar-14 09:23:15

Great advice as always, ladies. I'll be a bit more firm and clear about double-checking next time (yes, I had asked for decaf, the hint came when it looked like she had pulled it from the usual place but I wasn't sure).

I'm pretty sure it was caffeinated (not just pregnancy-insomnibrain) because of the way I felt all evening. Thankfully DH eventually stumbled out of bed to help me get back to sleep.

"Blimey that's so English" - quite a compliment after getting my citizenship about a year ago! Cheers smile

MerryInthechelseahotel Fri 28-Mar-14 09:32:56

I've been the same in the past when I have had asked for decaf and have obviously received ordinary coffee. I can't tell the difference in taste just can't sleep afterwards.

Spaghettinetti Fri 28-Mar-14 09:47:51

It is a worry...because it's often a different person who makes the coffee to the one that the order is placed with, i do a 'it is decaf, isn't it?'; usually they just smile and say yes. When I order a fancy skinny decaf with bells and whistles, I say 'the main thing is that it's decaf' and give a big smile.

OnlyLovers Fri 28-Mar-14 09:54:33

"Blimey that's so English" - quite a compliment after getting my citizenship about a year ago!

Congrats, OP: you're OFFICIALLY more English than the English. grin

And I agree with others –no need to hint, just say something firmly but pleasantly. I'd mention it when you next go in – again, not unpleasantly, just 'Could you be extra-careful that you make me a decaff –last time I'm pretty sure it wasn't as I was awake for ages' or something. Odds on they'll just apologise rather than taking the huff, and hopefully remember it and be more careful in future.

Elastigrrrl Fri 28-Mar-14 16:46:34

I'll try those approaches. You're right, nothing wrong with being direct but cheery! "Ha ha, pregnant lady needs her sleep!...THAT IS DECAF, RIGHT?! (overly chipper grin)"

GiraffesAndButterflies Fri 28-Mar-14 19:25:41

"Blimey that's so English" - quite a compliment after getting my citizenship about a year ago! Cheers

grin grin

For bonus points, preface the decaf query with 'sorry, can I just ask...' You'll look like you've been here forever!

aroha77 Fri 28-Mar-14 22:37:08

I have the same trouble with gluten free things - have had to get over my Englishness and just ask, ask and re-ask!!

moomin35 Mon 31-Mar-14 09:45:27


Horispondle Mon 31-Mar-14 10:08:40

This has happened to me before even when I've asked two or three times are you sure it's decaf! I now would only have a coffee at a time where it wouldn't be an absolute nightmare if it wasn't decaf, ie I only drink coffee in the morning decaf or not!

PinkPepper Mon 31-Mar-14 12:06:10

makes me sad coffee shop workers would lie sad I never would regardless of the reason someone wanted decaff.

I have had people before insist a drink wasn't decaff when I absolutely 100% knew I'd put the decaff shot in and nothing else. But even then I'd make it again anyway to save argument.

mistlethrush Mon 31-Mar-14 12:09:36

I've asked for a black coffee, with no milk before and ended up with one with milk - which I've not noticed until I have driven away - very irritating.

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