Hello! Welcome to the Lyon Street Coffeehouse and Drip-Bar. We’re serving a special coconut-infused matcha latte today. It’s not for me, but you look like you might like it.

Right off the bat, I’m going to advise you not to order the macchiato. Based on your JanSport backpack, I can tell that you have a child’s understanding of what coffee is. And I don’t trust your decision-making. The macchiatos listed on our menu are not the sort you’re expecting. The caramel-drizzled, oat-milk-imbued, hyper-customized Starbucks brand of macchiato? Yeah, I’m sure you know that kind. Well, ours aren’t like that.

We do traditional macchiatos here.

We make them with an espresso that’s almost confrontationally bitter, offset by just a church kiss of steamed milk on top. It’s gross. Nobody likes it, and the only people who ever order it are those who—like yourself, I have no shred of doubt—wandered in by mistake, expecting us to cater to their every frivolous coffee-related demand and their pedestrian understanding of alternative milks.

Well, this isn’t a Starbucks. We’re not even remotely Starbucks-adjacent—or Starbucks-perpendicular, for that matter. Let me be clear: we don’t have any kind of direct relational correlation with Starbucks (as in, there isn’t one on our block). We don’t have a drive-thru, we don’t have Wi-Fi, and we don’t have a passing grade from the health department. We don’t offer tall, grande, or venti sizes—or whatever they serve over there. I wouldn’t know.

We’re not a coffee company, or a coffee roaster, or, god forbid, a coffee shop—we’re a coffeehouse. It’s not the same. This actually used to be somebody’s house before the neighborhood was gentrified. We only managed to nab this place off the market after the individual living here could no longer afford rent and was unceremoniously evicted. We keep “house” in our name to pay homage to our roots, and we keep that individual locked in a glass cage in the basement.

Moreover, unlike Starbucks, our macchiato is served exclusively in a thimble-sized ceramic mug that you’d only ever find in one of two places: that cabinet at your grandma’s house inexplicably dedicated to collecting tiny ceramic things, and here, in your charming local coffeehouse-bistro-café-drip-bar.

We don’t do substitutions, we don’t do flavors or syrups, and we definitely don’t do milk that isn’t first aggressively wrung from the dry shell of a forest nut, squeezed from a legume, or coaxed out of a sprout. In fact, the only milk we’re currently offering is pea milk. In terms of taste, texture, and consistency, think: peas. It is not—and I can’t stress this enough—good.

Now, when I said, “We do traditional macchiatos here,” you nodded as if you understood what I was talking about. Couple of things: (1) Don’t just nod when someone tells you something; it’s a bad look. (2) I know you don’t know what a traditional macchiato is. I can see it written all over your dumb face. It’s something I’ve come to deeply resent about you since we began talking.

So, let me reiterate: people rarely order our macchiato on purpose.

We don’t offer them in to-go cups (the tiny ceramic mug is fundamental in experiencing the full fucked-up flavor profile), so you’ll have to stay here until you finish it. There’s nowhere to sit, so go stand in that corner and look like an idiot with your tiny mug. It’ll look so small and your hand will look so big. We’ll all laugh and point at you, and everyone will know you ordered it by mistake. You’ll feel like an outcast and you’ll be right. If you end up leaving with our little mug—our petite tasse de bébé, if you will—I will personally hunt you down with a relentless, disturbing vigor indicative of something deeper going on with me that I don’t want to get into right now. And I’ll enjoy every minute of it. I’ve openly despised you from the moment you set foot onto our penny-tiled floors.

The price of our macchiato? Astronomical. Buying one will put you in, like, a lot of debt. It will devastate you financially. You can work off said debt in the back, as a tiny dishwasher of tiny ceramics. Those mugs rarely get used (we exclusively serve our macchiatos in them and, like I said, no one orders those), but they do have a nasty proclivity to gather dust. We have a lot of dust in here—a lot.

Another thing: countless people are exploited to make this macchiato, myself included. The entire supply chain is one human rights violation after another. I’ll be sure this fact comes back to haunt you. I’ll hold it over your head, wield it, weaponize it, use it as blackmail, get you to do stuff for me. Don’t ask what kind of stuff. I don’t know yet.

This macchiato is for adults. It has adult consequences.

It also takes an adult palate to enjoy this “beverage.” Your palate must be refined—extraordinarily so. Not many possess a palate capable of enjoying our macchiato. Between you and me, I’m starting to wonder whether a palate of this nature even exists. Or whether it’s just a myth. Like Santa. Or fair-trade practices in the coffee industry. Just a fairy tale meant for children, self-proclaimed coffee connoisseurs, and other morally gray individuals.

Just to make myself abundantly clear: you shouldn’t order our macchiato, you don’t know what you’re talking about, and, in the eyes of your parents, you are a disappointment. So what can I get started for you?

Real quick, before you answer, if you’re even thinking about ordering an iced latte—that’s fine, but I hope you brought your own ice. You think we carry that shit? Get the hell out of here.