Snark’s Labor Lost: The Bitter Barista, Unmasked

Update (2/13/2013): If you’ve followed a link to this feature, please consult our latest post on the matter. To view a cavalcade of violent threats and unfortunate punctuation, check out this compendium of hate mail. 

The Bitter Barista blog has hit the internet in a big way in recent days, leading to all manner of attention, retweets, Facebook posts and what-have-you from the online specialty coffee community. This blog exercises the trope of the cigarette smoking, jaded, ironic service industry Twitter user, but it does so in highly offensive and shocking ways. To the Bitter Barista, your milk substitution choices are Hilter-esque, your requests for flavoring akin to puppy rape.

There’s a lot of anger in this blog, and while we love the well-worn barista cliche, it should be the stuff of mild parody, not an all-out assault on whomever walks through the door of your cafe. Blog work like this probably shouldn’t be encouraged, which is why blogs like Bitter Barista (and that recent XO Jane article, and all that Village Voice tripe) need to be shown the cold light of day. Workplace frustrations are fine, but they should be vented over margaritas after work, not on your Twitter account mid-shift. 

Who is Bitter Barista? Where does Bitter Barista work? Is his cafe really that terrible? Are his customers really that awful? We uncovered the answers and the answers are shocking.

Sprudge.com can confirm that the Bitter Barista is Matt “Spek” Watson, also known as Spekulation, a Seattle-based hip hop artist and barista at All City Coffee in the Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle, serving coffee roasted by Caffe Vita.

bitter-barista

Matt Watson, Bitter Barista

Are his tweets/Facebook status updates/and simultaneous blog entries nonfiction? Are they meant to be satire? Or does this guy actually despise the industry he represents from behind the counter? All City Coffee is a respectable Georgetown institution, garnering a solid four star rating (out of 83 reviews) on Yelp.com.

Warning to anyone ordering modifications or milk alternatives at this cafe: you might not get what you asked for and you will be judged severely.

“You can say “2% milk” all damn day. You’re getting whole milk.”

“If you’ve ever ordered an americano with steamed soy milk, you’re pretty much on par with Hitler in my book.”

“Every time someone orders an extra-hot-no-foam latte, an angel rapes a puppy.”

As you can see, Mr. Watson’s zingers are of the Spencer’s Gifts t-shirt variety. He’s like some kind of fusion of Daria Morgendorfer, Dylan Klebold, and that poor bastard behind the bar at Central Perk.

Here’s some more quotables from Bitter Barista:

“Someone just said I should be ‘ashamed’ that my boss raised prices. If I had any shame I wouldn’t be working this f*cking job.”

“My boss watches the cameras at the cafe. But he’d save time if he just followed my twitter to see that I’m not working.”

“What my boss doesn’t understand is that, while my attitude makes for some terrible customer service, it makes for some great internet.”

Matt Watson plans on turning Bitter Barista into a coffee table book, which will fit in nicely with Things I Want To Punch In The Face By Jennifer WorickF*ck! I’m In My Twenties By Emma Koenig, and I Hate Everyone By Matthew Dibenedetti, all available in the clearance bin at Urban Outfitters.

Welcome to 2013, where snark sells, worn out cliches are viral gold, and everyone gets a book deal.

Update (2/9/2013)

Kiro TV confirms that Matt Watson is no longer employed at All City Coffee. To clear the air, our investigation in discovering the identity of Bitter Barista took two steps:

spek-search

On January 30, Mr. Watson tweeted about BitterBarista and his place of employment in two individual tweets from his personal Twitter account:

Screen Shot 2013-02-09 at 4.44.54 PM Screen Shot 2013-02-10 at 6.00.51 PM

Sprudge.com called All City Coffee to confirm Mr. Watson’s employment while researching this feature and spoke directly to Mr. Watson, and Mr. Watson only. At no point has Sprudge.com been in contact with All City Coffee’s management or ownership. The decision to terminate Mr. Watson’s position was the decision of the employer.

Due to an unusually high number of death threats, we are now requiring valid e-mail addresses on all comments.

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  21. nameSteste says

    Do you see? You are dumb. Those comments are hilarious, sometimes a tad brash but its not like hes spitting in someones face when they want a soy latte. To re iterate, you are dumb. Work service industry for ten years and get shit on by customers, then talk to me. That shit is barista humor. Its the details in the comments that make it funny, the two percent milk when all you carry is whole and skim, the americano with steamed milk, just because you dont get the humor doesnt mean you need to get somebody fired. Dummy. You are obviously desperate for material.

  22. says

    Lighten up… that blog is pretty damn funny. Many people hate their jobs and think all kinds of things – so what? Is that a crime? Grow some thicker skin. No one likes a wet blanket.

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  24. says

    I just found bitterbarrista and then this article. Way to get him fired and have his customers feel bad and perhaps cost the coffee shop customers… I’m not even a barrista and I’ve found myself say things like that to stupid/asshole customers and even myself. If you don’t like it, just stop being that customer. FFS.

  25. says

    I don’t like the people who order 5 part drinks or are assholes to servers because they can get away with it.

    Everyone bitches about their job a bit. But this is more than just venting and ranting about our jobs which we all do.

    This guy is just another generic narcissistic antisocial asshole barista. If you hate you job that much, and hate your customers who pay your salary, grow the balls to get another one where you don’t have to deal with people.

    One reason people drink at starbucks is not because they have better caffeine, or a better atmosphere, it’s that they (usually not always) have more polite employees, vs the independent coffee shop where you have more of the

    “I have an arts degree and am too assholish/bitchy/lacking social skills to get a job in my field, overcome my dysthymia and will radiate my impotence and frustration at
    my job on my customers with my passive aggressive self loathing nature instead of self reflecting and changing my self and developing more emotional intelligence to get a better job” type person.

    type people. I’d love to spend more money at the independent coffee shop than a big chain. But if I do, I’m more likely to deal with this kind of asshole male or female, so I try & avoid them.

    And this guy WANTED to be exposed so he can pimp the press for coverage to sell his book. No one who wants to be anonymous blogger outs himself on own twitter account.

    You guys didn’t out him you did a simple google search

  26. says

    The Snark’s labor is lost… On me. These snarky comments are like little kids throwing tantrums. Wow. Sprudge, I think that it is obvious you have brought to light some deep issues. This vitriolic comment board is in perfect sinc with what is at the same time being pawned off as satire. These threats, rediculous accusations, childish come backs, propitious claims that Sprudge had an ax to grind or a jealousy to fulfill; well… It’s just plain lunacy!! Don’t you people have something better to do with you time? If Sprudge is so worthless and so meaningless, without voice, obscur and lame, why are you so offended? Seems potent to me. Seems like if this was the site that brought national attention to the blog that there is some clout here.

    I understand the frustration of your friend (or cousin, brother, uncle, son, self… Whatever relation he is to you) having lost his job. Getting fired is unfortunate. But, everyone knew who you were. I don’t think that after posting such deeply anti-customer “satire” and stuff against your boss and shop, you would have lasted much longer, Sprudge or no Sprudge.

    For all you winey commenters… Put your energy toward something positive please. This is not making the world a better place. Go walk a dog or plant a tree. Something… Quit being snarky babies. If you want to support your friend, maybe help him polish his name and get a new job, instead of dragging it down further with your juvinile anonomous rants.

    Real people in the industry have grown to respect Sprudge more and more. My respect is intact.

  27. says

    I can’t say that what the Bitter Barista was doing at work was good work habit, but Sprunge being petty is right. If you look at the Bitter Barista blog, you can see a large and growing number of readers. I think Sprunge got a little scared here. That’s just bad Sprunge. BAD Sprunge. No biscotti for you! In other news, Sprunge finds all its sources have dried up since they are afraid they might also lose their jobs after sharing their opinions on life as well.

  28. says

    for every person who had an allergic reaction after not getting what they asked for at this coffee shop, thank you sprudge for outing this jerk.

  29. says

    Really bewildering response from you guys. Clearly you are on the other side of this. This kid had a blog –anonymous–that really spoke to what many many people in retail, especially baristas, were feeling. Why interfere? What harm was he doing to you? To anyone?

    • says

      Do you see? You are dumb. Those comments are hilarious, sometimes a tad brash but its not like hes spitting in someones face when they want a soy latte. To re iterate, you are dumb. Work service industry for ten years and get shit on by customers, then talk to me. That shit is barista humor. Its the details in the comments that make it funny, the two percent milk when all you carry is whole and skim, the americano with steamed milk, just because you dont get the humor doesnt mean you need to get somebody fired. Dummy. You are obviously desperate for material.

    • says

      btw didnt mean to post that as a response to your comment. I concur with you, as is clear, as to why upon reading your post i wanted to comment after which realizing blahblah.

  30. says

    There are no 1st Amendment violations here. After BitterBarista was connected to City Coffee, they had every right to fire him – it reflects poorly on their brand and can justifiable turn away customers.

    But it only reflected on them AFTER they were connected. Sprudge.com clearly doesn’t understand how the Internet or humor works. When someone makes a post on the Internet, there is a certain amount of hyperbole that is expected – everyone else seemed to get the joke, and it presented a humorous look at what it’s like to work at a coffee shop.

    Nobody was offended. Nobody took it seriously. Nobody was harmed. Oh, wait – except for the one guy who lost his job thanks to the efforts of an irrelevant blog that has an irrational vendetta against an anonymous blogger. He was harmed.

  31. says

    For shame. The Bitter Barista certainly does sound obnoxious and petty, but getting him fired is far, far scummier. Getting paid to do what you want must be nice, SPRUDGE, but not everyone has that luxury. Don’t hide behind “Well, it wasn’t that hard to uncover his identity, and it’s the shop that decided to fire him, not us.” At least have the balls to admit that you published this trash knowing full well what the logical outcome would be. For the record, I’m not a friend of Matt’s, but I do know Jordan. Sad to see how little regard the author of this article has for people with less fortunate employment (not anymore!) than himself.

  32. says

    I guess that you are the jack-offs that are responsible for firing this person who had every right to make his comments. Next time you decide that you want to out an anonymous blogger for the hell of it, think twice. Don’t be surprised if this guy decides to sue you.

  33. says

    No one said that outing him was difficult. Instead, the prevailing (and correct) sentiment here is that outing him was an unnecessary dick move.

    If you didn’t like his humor, you could have ignored the site. If you felt it was too popular to ignore given your area of coverage, then — wild-ass idea here — try writing pieces that run counter to his narrative and that, by their sheer brilliance, make his posts look small and petty.

    But that requires real effort, talent, and insight.

  34. says

    I have to agree with the sentiment here.
    He had every right to express himself in a FUNNY way.
    I love that I had never heard of it but I HAD heard of the bitter barista….people LIKE YOU are the reason we are bitter.
    God, you are the biggest douches out there and any coffee shops asscociated with you have lost points in my book.

  35. says

    I just wanted to share the disappointment in your recent actions. The reason why you outed Bitter Barista is as bleak as old espresso. It was not up to you nor your duty to out somebody just because you think it “misrepresent” the coffee world. As an ex-Barista I can tell you that his comments were humorous and poignant; albeit not politically correct from your point of view. Your stand in all this is facetious and I am glad to see that even though you cost somebody’s job and you show an amazing lack of remorse, his website will remain. I have never looked at this website, but I will be sure to post around your lack of conscience and ethics and childish actions. Cheers.

  36. says

    Tempest in a teacup, maybe? First, Matt didn’t seem terribly concerned about hiding his identity or losing his job. He was poking fun, and basically asking to be outed with the ‘gee i hope my boss never sees this’ posts, as well as the easily cross-referenced tweets. He told the world what he was doing when he tweeted it, sillies. He was begging for attention, and shouldn’t be shocked that he got it.

    Second, the timing of this “outing” was perhaps a silver lining for Matt. He was clearly running out of good material – look at how many repeat themes there were – and one doesn’t get a coffee-table book published without just a little controversy and publicity, methinks. I’m sure he’ll do great as a rapper though, given the lyrical beat-downs he dropped on his unsuspecting customers.

  37. says

    I think you’re jealous of the guy’s sense of humor and the amount of web traffic he generates to his site. Why else would you reveal his identity? Maybe one day you’ll be as funny as he is.

  38. says

    I woudn’t want this guy to make me coffee, or anything – I wouldn’t go near the coffee shop, or any place he is working at – I would fire him at the spot. I would not hire him. He is stupid, arrogant and disrespectful.

  39. says

    Outing someone for writing satire and costing someone their job, you ignorant pieces of shit. I hope the same thing happens to you for this piece of shit website I’d never heard of before this story.

  40. says

    How dispicable that you would take someone down over a blog where they were expressing their frustrations in a healthy way. My god, you seriously think that no one else has ever had these thoughts while at work. That no one has ever wanted to say something snarky to a customer who treats them like crap.
    I applauded this site, it was hilarious and you had to go out of your way to take it down….maybe because this site was getting too much attention… but we may never know what your true intentions were.

    So if you wanted to label yourselves as the biggest douches…you have won!!

  41. says

    Thank you for this. Sarcasm is one thing, hateful talk about the customers etc is another. I was a barista for six years. Sometimes you’ve got to vent, but this juvenile fellow makes all the respectable hardworking baristas out there look like misanthropic slackers.

  42. says

    wait. you guys are a coffee blog? but you don’t take into account the effect your actions have on the people behind the counter?
    as in like…you’re the assholes that spek was venting about?
    large caramel macchiato coming right up ya’ll

  43. Still no apology? says

    Also, it looks like you based your “research” on the fact that he “liked” something on facebook…. that’s pretty weird. Doesn’t seem like a whole lot of research to me.

  44. says

    Really? You guys can update your article to try to cover your own ass, but don’t have the decency to issue an apology to this man? That’s pretty despicable. You really don’t see how you were in the wrong? You targeted this man, who is among MANY in the culture, which you claim to be a part of, who voices his previously anonymous opinion. The fact that you targeted him, called his work, and then HUNG UP on him before identifying yourself, shows the integrity that you have as a writer. That’s right, you’re NOT a journalist, because a journalist would have asked for comment, or…I don’t know, at least told the man who you’re about to “expose” about the article that’s being written. Nope, nothing like that from you. Because you guys clearly have no morals. It’s pretty clear that your intentions were to get him fired. What else were you trying to do here?

  45. Benji Jones says

    Sweet update. You’ve only confirmed the fact that you are witless douchebags with nothing better to do than spend your time “investigating” a way to soil a satirical comedian. Because, as everybody knows, satire never got a good laugh.

    …oh wait.

  46. says

    Thanks…you guys really take sarcasm to the next level. I really enjoy Bitter Barista. Coming from a person who has seen this man run shit as a barista, as well as knowing what so many ridiculous customers are like, meh. Get over it Portland!! Grow a pair. :)!

  47. says

    I sure as hell hope that everyone in the service industry has Matt’s attitude. If they were smiling through their daily activities and being shat on by customers, I’d be really worried about their sense of self-worth.

    I ABSOLUTELY expect someone to spit in my beverage if I’m a dick… this is exactly why I try to be nice to them! I’ve seen some of the most entitled, asses-for-a-mouth individuals treat people in the service industry like they are lower than the gum on their pompous shoes. It’s absolutely uncalled for an inhumane, so anyone who is *not* taking out their frustrations in one way (such as a blog) or another (like spitting in their drinks) must have so much pent up anger.

    I think you’re cruel to cause this poor fellow to lose his job, especially going as far as to STALK him at his work place?? Jesus, I would have called the cops on you IMMEDIATELY. You deserve to lose your “job” – I’m sure a lot of your so-called sponsors are re-thinking your credibility as a “journalist”. This site is about as credible as the notion of “legitimate rape”.

    • says

      he’ll be lucky if no one calls the cops on him after they figure out they got sick the same day he did shit to their drink. if i ever got sick/allergic after leaving that place, i’d be combing his blog/twitter for evidence that he put an ingredient in my drink after i asked him not to.

      if i gave a kid peanuts that i knew had a peanut allergy, i’d be arrested and so should he.

  48. says

    I love that everybody’s referring to Sprudge as “unrecognized.” By everybody I mean cranky barista and his supposed supporters, who I assume are him at the computer with too much time on his hands.

  49. says

    What no one has mentioned yet, which really seems to take the cake is that Matt says the Sprudge writers actually CALLED HIS WORK TO GET HIM FIRED.

    WTF guys? Really? I work at one of your sponsored coffee shops and you better be sure that I’ve been telling all my Co-workers/Managers about the kind of D-bags you are. But we all read this site, so everyone already knew about this! You better believe you’ve lost a lot of fans, even if they don’t all post.

  50. says

    Weak sauce. You should go Spludge yourself and think about the crap you put out on this here inter web highway. Karma can be a real sour tasting cup of shut the f up. Have fun with your sad selves.

  51. says

    Here’s the deal. You are a representative of your employer wherever you go. I have worked in and managed cafes, I would have made the same decision that AllCity made. AllCity and sprudge did not I fringe upon or remove his rights in accordance with the 1st Amendment. Instead, AllCity simply just said that they would not allow anything that could be seen as offensive, no matter if it is in fact satire, to be associated with their business. That is their decision to make, and they have a right to it.

    Matt, I suggest you figure out who your friends are. Because this is how you get outed to a journalist. Either you told one of your friends that you were the person behind the blog, and they outed you…or you were arrogant and cocky, and were telling far too many people about your blog and how popular it was getting. This is your own doing. Be a man and claim responsibility for your actions, instead of blaming someone else.

    • says

      No one is arguing whether he should have been fired or not. We are saying it is despicable for someone who doesn’t even know him to go out of their way and personally attack him for no good reason!

      You have every right to feel that way about that type of humor but you have absolutely no right to turn it into an attack on a SPECIFIC PERSON. It is beyond rude and what YOU did is way worse than him tweeting some jokes.

      I really think you owe him an apology.

  52. says

    You’re an extremely arrogant person. You’re pretending that you know something about Matt from the twitter posts/blog entries which are meant to be satirical. This makes you dangerous, you’re aggrandizing your power, reach and opinion here. I wouldn’t be surprised if you choke kittens in your spare time to make yourself feel like more of a man.

    I know Matt, as I’m sure many people posting here do, and we have a much better idea about the wonderful, fun-loving person he is. We do not appreciate you insulting his persona and character for absolutely no reason. I find it pathetic that this is what you spend your time doing.

    I suggest you issue an apology. What happens on the internet should always be taken with a grain of salt (including your dimwitted article and Matt’s comedic posts) but the sick thing is that you made this bleed into Matt’s real life. I want to believe that there is hope for mankind, so it would be nice if you proved that you had one iota of remorse for this.

  53. says

    This is ridiculous.

    How much free time do you people have that you tracked down this poor guy who was posting anonymously on the internet? Have you never needed to vent? Seems to me like anonymous ranting on the internet is a pretty safe/healthy outlet for stress and frustration. But according to you it’s on par with homicide so we should definitely take you seriously….yeah, okay.

    However it is very clear to SWIM that the people responsible for tracking him down and getting him fired have not had much (any?) experience dealing with the public long term. On that note, doesn’t rendering someone unemployed rank higher on the atrocity scale than ranting about your job?

    Congrats guys, be proud of yourselves here. Another stunning example of the human race.

    Cheers.

  54. says

    Great job at showing the online community how to be a giganto-dick!
    Matt has hit satire and service industry grumpiness perfectly on the head with BittterBarista, and your tactless attack on him is nothing more then that drunk heckler at a stand up comedy show. Yes, we all hear you; yes, you’re an idiot; and yes, we all hope you’re hit by a car on the way out.

    P.S. good luck ever getting a good cup of coffee again.

  55. says

    Good for you unmasking this toad.

    “As you can see, Mr. Watson’s zingers are of the Spencer’s Gifts t-shirt variety.”

    Well said. This guy isn’t even funny, or original. He deserves none of the attention he’s gotten, and hopefully will fade back into whatever white middle-class obscurity he came from.

    No great loss, either to the coffee shop or humanity.

  56. says

    HUMOR- Noun
    The quality of being amusing or comic, esp. as expressed in literature or speech.

    EXPLOITING- Use (a situation or person) in an unfair or selfish way: “the company was exploiting a legal loophole”.

    JEALOUS- Adjective
    Feeling or showing envy of someone or their achievements and advantages.

    This site and these journalists are absolutely rediculous, SHAME on you. Matt is the most intelligent, passionate, honest, and FAIR person I know. How dare you exploit Matt for his humor and making others laugh and enjoy themselves! You guys are just a bunch of jealous assholes who need to bully others to cover up for your own lack of intelligents and hypocritical nature.

  57. nameLiam neeson says

    Coffee is such a goddamn boring thing to dedicate your free time to blogging about that they didn’t have any choice but to start harassing people that do it better than them.

    Oh, no, actually they could have just kept their asshole mouths shut and done anything else.

    Reprehensible.

  58. says

    Looks like you managed to make him famous. Great job! Maybe something good of this will come to you too. Considering your slimeball journalism methods, I see a job offer from Fox News in your near future, asshole

  59. says

    This article is no more than your site’s attempt to enforce your own standards of morality on a person who had found a creative, anonymous,amusing and entirely harmless way to vent the same frustrations shared by nearly every service worker in the business.

    Congratulations. You’re officially worse than Yelp!

  60. says

    WOWWW you are such prudes. This blog was clearly written in humor and you obviously have zero concept of what it’s honestly like to work in the service industry and deal with the general public every day. I enjoyed this blog so much because I say dumb stuff like that to my coworkers all the time! I’m not homicidal, but it’s a frustrating line of work.

    I’ll buy his book. Especially now since you’ve cut his paycheck.

  61. Grow up says

    Oh and the blog isn’t that funny. It so-so and just sounds like someone who hates their job and needs to vent about it. Not a coffee book worthy topic.

    • says

      You’re not funny. And I think this article actually helped him get more publicity. I wouldn’t say a book deal is out of reach. And you clearly have no sense of humor.

    • says

      You’ve obviously never worked in a coffee shop…or any retail position for that matter. Otherwise you’d think it was at least a little funny. Everyone who’s ever worked in a customer service job(especially a coffee shop) will have thought at least one time something on the Bitter Barista blog. Anyone who says differently is in deep denial and lying to themselves.

      • says

        Your assumption is dead wrong. I’ve worked over 10 years in retail/customer service and have hated some places I’ve worked but as long as they are giving me a paycheck I wouldn’t publicly post anything negative about them or their customers, even anonymously because I know it could backfire. I think its fucking horrible te Sprudge writer outed him. It was pointless and sad that someone lost their job over it but it happened an the bitter barista will hopefully find another job.

  62. says

    To the Bitter Barista, Most cafe owners are aware that the role barista was not their employee’s dream job but if they take the chance on hiring you & give you a paycheck, the least you could do is respect them or quit! As an employee, you represent that company. Nothing is safe on the internet and your venting (on the job) was stupidity on your part. I’m glad All City made the decision to let a cocky, bitter barista go because you obviously think they are worthy to have you there and didn’t enjoy working their based on your blog. Why should they keep you? Get over yourself. I ‘m sure there are plenty of baristas who would like that job.

    To the writer of this article: Shame on you for outing this guy. This was truly a pointless article that did nothing but cause dumb drama for the guy and the coffee shop he worked for.

    I can’t believe people would boycot a great coffee shop. It’s a business and he wasn’t hired to spend his time blogging NEGATIVELY about it & the clientele. Your friend has bad work ethics, don’t take your disappointment out on the coffee shop.

    • nameJess says

      Matt never once said where he worked. It was ANONYMOUS! Until these douchebags decided to get in their high horse and “out” him. While it might not have been the best way to spend his time to tweet, the shop never looked dirty, things were running great, and customers were getting great coffee. I think that’s a pretty good work ethic. If this article didn’t happen no one would have ever known who the Bitter Barista was. So maybe take your “bad work ethic” bullshit somewhere else. Ad if people want to boycott All City for treating their privately owned company like a Starbucks, then they will.

  63. says

    I will go out of my way to drink coffee wherever this guy gets a new job at. Whoever wrote this article obviously has never worked in the service industry.

  64. says

    Mission accomplished. I just got fired. I wanna thank you for taking what was a creative and anonymous way for me to vent my work frustrations, and turning into the loss of my livelihood.

    I sincerely appreciate you calling me work yesterday too. That was a classy move, and investigative journalism at its finest.

    Stay classy, guys.

  65. says

    Bitter Barista is satire…and you cost him his job. Matt is a stellar individual and part of a great music scene in Seattle…but of course your investigative journalism didn’t even scrape past the blog you so quickly blasted. Great work. You guys are embarrassing.

    • says

      All City had a choice. They could have stood behind their employee, used his infamy to their advantage and in the process, been champions of First Amendment rights. Instead, they went by way of Applebee’s. Corporate, uninspired and obnoxious. The boycott is ON. As for the Llewellyn and the rest of the assholes at Sprudge….karma is a powerful thing. I hope your payback is slow and painful.

  66. you people are all terrible says

    he obviously isn’t a stellar barista, because he feels a vengeful, simmering contempt for so may of his customers. customer service isn’t usually meant to provoke a bilious rage.

    there’s a scary, underlying comfort and ease with various acts of violence throughout matt’s writing – animal abuse, poisoning, bodily harm, all of which you can find referenced on his site. go read “Columbine” by Dave Cullen – matt’s writing really does echo the pre-massacre ramblings of Klebold and Harris. study their early writing. just substitute “soy milk” for “jocks” and “steamwand” for “Doom levels”…Sprudge made that comparison for a reason. it wasn’t meant to be shocking, i don’t think – it was meant to be apt, and it has merit.

    ultimately his place of business has the right to know if one of their employees is belittling customers publicly behind their backs, writing shitty anti-work tweets while on the clock, and putting the business’s reputation in danger. and now they do.

    • nameKaty says

      You are out of your fucking mind, asshole. You don’t know anything about this man and you clearly don’t get satire.

    • says

      Are some of his jokes in poor taste? Yup.
      Is the writer with her/his right to write this piece? Yup.
      Do the employers have a “right” to know? Sure.
      Should he have been fired for this? Maybe.

      Even if you are an expert on the subject of psychology and not just some coffee shop intellectual whose read a book, I can tell you as a guy who has known Matt for years (he used to date my sister) that your assessment is wrong: he isn’t “pre-massacre.” Unless you know Matt personally or have been able to trace back into his web history to get a good sense of his character (this is what good writers and journalists do), then the comparison doesn’t have any merit AND makes this piece dishonest.

      A few other things that rubbed me the wrong way in no particular order:
      -At no point is it clear that anybody reach out to Matt for comment which is not only bad journalist practice, but complete douchebaggery.
      -The raw literalism and inelegant understanding of the personas which would be required to write a piece like this are compounded by the fact it’s a pseudonym itself.
      -The two dudes who run this site are from Oregon (yeah, I know they used to live in Seattle) which makes attacking (rightly or wrongly) a dude who they probably don’t know a little weird.
      -Matt/Spek claimed on Twitter that somebody connect to this website called his cafe to get him fired. I am pretty sure the NYT or, hell, even somebody at Gawker wouldn’t do that. I can’t know if this is true, but if it is then the person who did it should feels uncomfortable about their actions.
      - This piece reads mad, self-righteous, and jealous. This makes is feel more like a personal vendetta than some sort of for-the-good-of-the-citizens journalism. You don’t get both, you have to pick.

  67. says

    #Winning

    These comments are pure gold!!! Seems snark and sarcasm are only socially acceptable on twitter.

    This guy’s getting a book deal, you think anonymity is really on his mind?!?!?! Shit, I’m sure Sprudge is doing him a favor if he loses his job, he obviously hates it.

    So glad you commenters think that comparing someone to a guy that killed 13 people is completely unacceptable, yet comparing someone to a guy that masterminded the slaughter of millions is ok (and funny to boot). Really?

    Well, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe all these comments are sarcastic snark, in that case good work everyone!!! I’ve been laughing my ass off.

    Funny stuff everyone, lets keep it going.

  68. says

    Too bad. I have some good personal friends who know both individuals (Zachary/Jordan) running this site. I’m embarrassed for them..this is too far, and extremely un-fair play. Put a stellar baristas job in jeopardy…I have to imagine they have more class than that.

  69. says

    This is really upsetting.

    He’s using the internet in to publicize his reactions to the interactions that are brought before him. Like an artist does and should do. The fact that you are attempting to stifle his right to free expression is disgusting to me.

    The the fact that a group of people are teaming up against this guy is shameful. We should all be entitled to any opinion and outlook we choose. If you aren’t nice to the people you interact with and are then upset when they publish their reaction, I can’t see any logical grounds for being upset and would agree that they should hold you in low regard.

    This guy never called anyone out by name – he appears to always keep his quotes general, yet you attacked him personally by putting up his name and picture. And why? Because you don’t agree with his politics and views? You want everyone to follow the suite that find comfortable?

    This coffee shop is located in a part of Seattle that supposedly prides itself on being progressive and one that applauds creative device. I hope the business can maintain that view by keeping him employed.

    The fact that he works there now gives me reason TO GO to this coffee shop.

    I’m worried that your actions will scare management to call for his resignation. If that happens, you will be responsible for taking away someone’s voice, someone in the community that had their own opinion and view that was different than yours and so you decided to take actions to damage his livelihood.

    Your reactions are totally shameful, cowardly, upsetting and disgusting. You obviously have time and means to take actions against others – I wish you could point that energy towards doing something constructive and helpful rather than attempt to silence someone working at a coffee shop for having a different opinion.
    You could do much better for the community.

    Please start acting like an educated and informed adult.
    This is just embarrassing.

  70. says

    Not gonna hide behind a fake name or handle as the writer of this article did.

    Sprudge should issue a formal apology to Matt Watson and All City. Not because you’re offended by the brand of humor Bitter Barista employs, that’s subjective and you’re entitled to write your opinion in an open forum. Despite your sophomoric writing and obsession with headlines ripped from Inside Edition, your opposition to the Matt’s twitter personality is clear, and you have a right to that opinion.

    The problem with your blog post is that you’ve attacked an individual in a manor that stoops lower than what you think you’re taking a stand against. Comparing a Matt Watson to a killer – responsible for one of the most horrific events in American history – is beyond obscene. You passed judgement on an individual, 140 characters at a time, and publicly and vindictively called him out as a person as opposed to calling out the twitter personality which is all you really had access to. That type of blog work, as you so eloquently put it, should not be encouraged.

    Please issue an apology, and please stop taking the world so seriously :)

    - Chris Volckmann

  71. says

    Oh also, all the “success” you’re getting from views of this article is all false. You’re riding on the coat tails of someone you seem to hate so much. 7000 likes in 4 years vs. 2000 likes in 2 weeks. Ouch. That’s got to sting a bit.

  72. says

    You should be ashamed. I noticed that you deleted a bunch of comments on your FB page claiming that they were “violent”. Not true- at least not mine. It seems like you’re trying to paint Mr. Watson in such a bad light, as well as anyone who supports him. I’m wondering how you can consider yourself a “Journalist”?

    Might I add that you’re using a pseudonym, while ‘outing’ someone for having their own, hilarious, opinion?! I think I’ll join the others’ who will be contacting your sponsors to tell them I will no longer enjoy their products because of this vicious article, and your sad quest to get a GREAT barista fired.

  73. says

    You guys are so cowardly that you attacked someone, originally disabled comments on your website and now selectively deleted facebook comments and blocked users. Journalism at it’s finest, guys. Great work.

  74. says

    The best part of this is that the writer (Llewellyn) who immaturely exposed the identity of another writer (Watson), is himself using a pseudonym.

  75. says

    You can hate on the blog, write as many articles about it, but revealing the identity and where he works at was taking it way too far/unprofessional. This snobby coffee blog doing tabloid style journalism and being proud of it.

    You should start by removing this article and re writing it properly, like a bunch of adults and not young children. The guy is getting some followers, you know why? Because the stuff is funny and pretty creative. This blog should actually hire the guy because this place becomes more boring by the day.

    Do the right thing.

  76. says

    i’m sure that by simply publishing this article your unique visitors this month went up tenfold. the problem with that as a traffic model is that you’ve attracted a lot of people who both disagree with llewelyn and won’t be return visitors to your site. if you wanted to spark a conversation about bitterbarista.com you should’ve done it in a more respectful, classy way. this way sprudge would’ve benefited from the readership bitterbarista has and perhaps there would’ve been a way you could’ve worked together. as for me, i now think of your site (which i’d never heard of before this article) as an incendiary, rabble-rousing, angry blog…and i’ll never be buying @stumptown coffee or @Joe NYC coffee (or any others that sponsor you) again. i’ll be sure to let them know that too. bad move, y’all.

  77. says

    Wow. You’re a f*cking dick. You’ve taken something that was funny because of it’s impersonal nature and made it REALLY PERSONAL.

    I hope you lose your sense of taste.

    Wait, that appears to have already happened judging by your writing.

  78. says

    Hmm… Something tells me that the Bitter Barista guy didn’t start out with the intention of getting a book deal, but that it somehow makes you, an unrecognized amateur blog writer who people have never heard of, incredibly bitter. Maybe you should start a website called Bitter Blogger where you can anonymously judge people for anonymously judging people and then expose their identities in a bout of moral soapbox-ness… Oh wait. Also, enjoy the +1 site visit you just got from me because I’m never coming back to this site again… you can use the money you get from your advertisers from that to buy a sense of humor and take a writing class while you’re at it. You guys are everything that’s wrong with the giant personality disorder that is the Pacific Northwest. PS — Your Columbine reference is just disrespectful and disgusting.

  79. says

    yo yo y’all, I gotta squash all this beef bein’ said in my name…cos this ain’t me commenting, nah, it’s my peeps, my crew, my boys, but fuck all that, nawmean? I gotta put this beef to bed the only way i know how…i gotta rhyme y’all…much love to my man Macklemore, my homey Grinch, nawmsayin, the originators, nawmean? Much love…keep it movin’…

    They try and defeat me but I’m no quitter,
    yuppie muhfuckahs need a real quick hitter,
    yo I’m a barista, and I’m mad bitter
    GOTTA GIVE A SHOUT OUT TO MY HOMEYS ON TWITTER!!!!

    I never wanna totter, I always wanna teeter
    I hate makin’ coffee but I love a re-tweeter
    You soft like baba, I’m crisp like pita
    this is what can happen when you trained by Vita!

    So why y’all hatin’ on a brother named Spek?
    Y’all should wanna hire me and give me mad respect
    my rape jokes are funny and I come correct
    and I bet you got a neck you should protect.

  80. says

    I got called out by some guys called Sprudge!
    They try to get me to move, I won’t move I’ll budge!
    They’re website ain’t nothing but sludge,
    when I buy things from Pike Place Market I buy peppermint fudge.

  81. says

    Its people like you that make the world a worse place. Why go OUT OF YOUR WAY to badmouth this guy. He isn’t hurting anyone, and you don’t have to read it.

  82. says

    So many people are upset because this was a bizarre personal attack on a really good guy that just happens to have a penchant for snarky short verse humor. Those tweets aere obviously exaggerations but you took enough offense to expose someone’s identity, single out their place of employment and liken them to a columbine mass murderer.

    You guys could have written an intelligent article disparaging sass and satire, even though you personally engage in it regularly, but you choose to initiate a personal attack on a fellow barista.

    You are being insulting by pointing fingers at people that do the exact same thing you do on this site. And more importantly you’re being irresponsible.

  83. says

    Oh I get it, so your “Shit Baristas Say” is the bar to which comedy should be judged, but “Shit Baristas Think” is warrant for potential dismissal from one’s occupation.

    It’s satire, jerk. Maybe you should be fired from your job for NOT thinking it’s funny – would that be just as fair? Nice of you to leave a list of your sponsors next the comment box though, I’m sure they would love to see how funny you think you are.

  84. says

    This just sounds like you’re mad that someone is funnier than you. Get over it. Way to be the worst kind of tattle tale. This isn’t funny, and you’re not making the coffee industry any better. Sounds like you like fake smiles and a servant attitude at your coffee shops. I prefer sarcasm, and real people.

  85. says

    Wow. You really have your panties in a bunch….like “WAY UP IN IT” in a bunch. Mr. Watson is acerbic, funny and spot-on. (I’m guessing you’ve never worked in the service energy.) Your blog is a snooze, you know it and you can’t fucking stand it that a cranky baritsa is getting more buzz than you are. Maybe you should loosen those tightly clenched buttocks. Bitter Baritsa is bomb. All City should be glad he’s putting them on the map.

  86. says

    This guy has some crazy friends. Who else would stick up for this jerk? His site is only *kind of* funny, but in a pitiful, losing-at-life kind of way. That shred of humor doesn’t come close to redeeming how awful it is: it only gives fodder to a snarky press and hostile customers.

  87. says

    This is the worst type of douchebaggery. I mean, you weren’t even clever enough to disguise your jealousy and envy with anything worth reading. You must be a very, very sad person to feel the need to out someone simply expressing themselves in a humorous way. I suspect you have some real issues. I mean the kind that are buried deep…deep down inside, so deep that they manifest themselves in extreme displays of wanna be hipster douchebaggery such as this. #SUCKAFAToNE

  88. Strike Three says

    Maybe just jealosy. You guys can barely strape up 7,000 twitter followers since 2009 and he’s got 2000 likes in two weeks.

    It’s okay. It doesn’t make you any less of a man.

    …having a pretentious coffee blog does, though.

  89. nameSuperior Tech says

    I mean, you compared him to a Colombine shooter, just for making jokes. Harmless fucking jokes.

    And you are clearly trying to get him fired. Why? Stroke your ego? Get a woman to do that.

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