Customers rush to support Barista engaged in twitter row with TV presenter over latte temperature
Customers have flocked to defend Barista Toby Frere, from Seventh Seal, Dorchester after Columnist Carole Malone tweeted to her 35.6k followers that she felt 'patronised' after asking for a latte at Seventh Seal, Dorchester, to be served 'extra hot' - a request that was turned down by owner Toby Frere.
As reported in the Dorset Echo:Ms Malone tweeted: 'Just been into a coffee shop called Seventh Seal and asked the man behind the counter to make my latte extra hot. He refused and told me I have to have it the way he wants to serve it because he thinks it’s better. #patronised.'
While most agreed that the customer is always right, some leapt to Mr Frere's defence and criticised Malone.
Mr Frere said: "I offered to heat the cup and explained why we don't heat milk over a certain temperature. She took it really badly and said it was patronising because she knows how she likes her drinks. She said she was going to tweet about it but at that point, I didn't know who she was and I thought that was the end of it."
The tweet attracted a large number of responses, including that of Sculpture by the Lakes creator, Simon Gudgeon who replied: 'He is the best barista in Dorset and won’t compromise his standards to serve a coffee that is imperfect.'
Mr Frere said: "Lucky, our customers have been very supportive and agree with what we do here, but it could be detrimental for someone with her profile to publicly criticise a local business like that."
Seventh Seal, based at Brewery Square, describes itself as a 'home for coffee enthusiasts' and says it works with the 'best roasters from all over the world.' This, says Mr Frere, is why he refused Ms Malone's milk request.
"When milk is heated it starts to release its natural sugars and up until a certain point these sugars are at their sweetest. When milk is heated beyond this the natural sugars start to die off and then the milk will start to turn nutty and bitter," he explained.
"When milk is such a large part of a latte, we would only want it to complement the espresso we have made as the base and therefore would only want to heat the milk to the temperature where it is at its sweetest.
"The coffee we use is packed full of flavours that people might not expect which is why all of these parts have to work together.
"We're trying to showcase the best product and the best flavours. We're never going to please everyone but we're proud of what we do."
When talking to Beverage Business World, Toby Frere said, “In all of this, one thing that is important is to think about whether people see the industry as something more than a stopgap on the way to a ‘proper’ job. For lots of us we dedicate our lives to hospitality in all its forms.”