This applies mainly to company lunchroom coffee and the like, but also applies to any other case where the coffee is self-serve.

The rules of coffee etiquette are as follows:

  • Never take the last drop of coffee. This rule is first and foremost. I don't care if it IS "Good to the last drop". Don't do it. If you DO take the last drop of coffee it is your OBLIGATION to start the next pot brewing so that nobody is forced to make their own coffee AND wait for its goodness to be finished.
  • Always fill the sugar .. er.. thingie. You know, those glass sugar dispenser units? Leaving them empty is OBNOXIOUS. Just take the 1 minute to fill the darn thing and put it back.
  • Don't mix the beans. In fact, if possible, don't even use the same grinder for regular and decaf. If you MUST use the same grinder, be sure to either label the unground beans, or put them BACK in the bag so that the next person doesn't have to guess whether the coffee beans in the grinder are regular, or french roast, or hazelnut, or decaf. Guessing wrong could leave you a twitchy bastard (if you drink decaf), or asleep at your desk. (if you drink regular)
  • If you spill grounds ... clean them up! And don't make a pot of coffee if you spill grounds outside the filter. Nothing is nastier than a mouthful of grounds.
  • Use cold water to brew the coffee if you're using a machine. Make sure the finished coffee is put in an airpot or on a warm burner.
  • Thanks for listening to this rant. I felt the need because last week I WATCHED someone take the last of the french roast, turn and just leave, I filled the sugar thingie 5 or 6 times myself, and went in today with a hankering for caffeine only to find ALL caffeinated blends of coffee empty!

    this rant was brought to you by the letter 3 and the number C

    In addition, the following rules apply when using an espresso machine:

    • Clean the steam nozzle before and after you steam milk. Icky milky stuff smells bad, tastes sour, and is bad for your health. Clean the nozzle with (preferrably hot) water, then run steam through it for a few seconds.
    • Wash the milk pitcher well, and put it in the freezer after you're done. Milk tastes better when frothed in a cold vessel, and freezing temperatures also prevent the milk residue from evolving into alive green ooze.
    • Put the milk back in the fridge immediately after use. Because of people who sometimes forget about this rule, it may be helpful to smell the milk before pouring.
    • Clean up after yourself! Empty coffee cups, empty milk cartons, sugar, milk, spilled coffee, coffee grounds- all of them have to go.
    Thanks for listening to my rant, too. At work, someone even taped a "clean me" sticker to the milk steamer- and it is silently ignored.

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