okay, i know that all baristas have their own ways of doing things.
however, i would like to think that serving shots that are not properly extracted is not one of those nuances of barista style.
if a shot pulls like espresso-colored water, it ain't worth serving.
if a shot pulls drop by drop, it ain't worth serving.
i know there's variance with the amount of water pulled through the grounds, and every shot won't be an ideal 25 seconds, and i'm perfectly okay with paying for espresso in the 22-27 second range. but i'm not okay with paying for a 12 second or 15 second or 18 second shot.
apparently, though, the barista at a lexington, ky coffee shop (that is one of the top names in the lexington cafe scene, no less) did not understand that an 14 second (yes, i timed it) shot is not worth serving. and when i asked her politely "um...that double seemed a lot fast. would you mind pulling another please?" she at first looked like she didn't know what i was talking about, and then a little offended.
this shouldn't be the case. when i'm working behind the bar, and a person comes in and knows what a good shot is and what a bad shot is, and i serve them a bad shot (which hopefully i will never be so inattentive to do) i want them to recognize it, politely call me on it, and accept an apology and an drink they're happy with.