7 Ways to Identify a Pretentious Cafe

Disclaimer: I wrote this after couple cans of beer, its meant to be a tongue in cheek post, so you can take this pretty lightly.  By no means am I trying to diss any establishments, cafes or restaurants and if you need me to take down this post/diss me for my opinions…I will not hesitate to give you the finger.  So why not just sip on your watered down latte and take your head out of your ass and stop wearing it like a hat.

Now, I am sure many of you, if not all of you, have realised that a plethora cafes that have opened up within the last…3 years perhaps?  Many came, many stayed. Some were good and then turned bad like Christina Aguilera’s career (you know she isn’t as good now as she was circa What a Girl Want days.)

So I’ve made some observations and have came to a conclusion on some similar characteristics that these pretentious cafes share:


(Image Credit: http://jakesa-jks.blogspot.sg/)

1. They have addresses that you probably never heard of.

Lor Ampas, Tyrwhitt Road, Lorong Kilat.

Nuff’ said.


2. They usually have your grandmother’s furniture.

Either they are all purchasing from a syndicate who steals from 80 year old grannies or there are some opportunistic retailers who, too, saw this pretentious cafe trend.  Which in any case translates to those obnoxiously priced brunch sets.


(Image Credit: fatboo.com)

3. They have glasswares  that looked like the ones you saw last night at Zouk.

Cuppucino – rock glass (Less milk, more foam)
Latte – rock glass (More milk, less foam)
Iced Beverages – Taller rock glass or tumbler Certain cafes serve water in the same kind of plastic pitchers clubs give you for their “jugs”.  Yes, I am aware that there are latte glasses that looks like rock glasses.


4.  They serve poached eggs on some bread with a splatter of Hollandaise Sauce.

Now, I didn’t say Eggs Benedict.  Because a true Eggs Benny is served on English Muffins with streaky bacon.  Don’t understand why they are calling a pair of poached eggs on bread with Hollandaise Sauce an Eggs Benedict.  Its like serving you Bak Chor Mee (Minced Meat Noodle) made with chicken meat and telling you it’s Bak Chor Mee. Its just not the same.

BTW, there are 14 different variations of Eggs Benedict, click here to find out more. =]


5.  They have a strong patronage of people who looked like they use Tumblr and vintage filters excessively.

…and they most likely own a Polaroid Camera too…you know as if Instagram is too mainstream for them.


6. They don’t have daily brewed coffee.

Now, this is a true differentiating characteristic between a pretentious cafe and a true coffee house.  A coffee house have, in stock, various blend of beans (e.g. Costa Rican, Sumatran, Ethiopian, Geisha) and serves both brewed coffee and espresso based drinks.  The trained baristas in these coffee houses can easily tell you the characteristics, tasting notes and aroma of each of these coffee or at the very least tell you that the coffee is a light brew or a dark brew.  These baristas will NOT hesitate to redo your coffee…on their own accord.

A pretentious cafe have only one type of bean, serves only espresso based drinks and relies heavily on pretty latte art.  More often than not, your coffee is too hot, burnt and watered down.  Asking the chap to redo your coffee will only grant you a disdained look.

But having said that, it is not necessary or mandatory for a cafe to stock up on various types of beans or even serve brewed coffee for that matter. All a good cafe needs is a blend of good beans and a barista who knows his/her shit.


7. The staff wears black top.

Its a safe color to wear.  The silhouette it creates flatter almost all body types.  Plus the color will be a neutral match to the decor and the interior design as well.

A collared top denotes a slight sense of prep to accentuate the pretentiousness while a round-neck tee probably mean they don’t quite care.  The boss-man is usually in a button down shirt or a polo-tee of a different color.




6 thoughts on “7 Ways to Identify a Pretentious Cafe

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