See also: nom de ca·fé.
NPR's Michele Norris recently interviewed Shefali Kulkarni, a Starbucks patron who goes by the coffee name "Sheila":
Shefali Kulkarni is the name of my next guest. But at Starbucks, she's known as Sheila. You see, Sheila is her fake coffee name, and by that, I mean, the name she gives the barista at Starbucks when she orders her coffee and waits for someone to call her name when it's ready.
Kulkarni, who blogged for the Village Voice about her coffee name, told NPR about the origins of her alias:
It was about five months ago. I was in line at Starbucks and they asked for my name. And spelling Shefali just took forever, and I think at one point somebody in the line - in the back of the line was saying, hurry up, like, let's go. And it's when it dawned on me. I'm like, you know what? Forget this. I'm just going to use a fake name. I can't take this anymore. So, next time I ordered coffee, first thing that came to mind was Sheila.
...I just assumed I was the only one, but - I was at Starbucks maybe a month ago and I noticed that all the coffee drinks on the barista table, they definitely had all these American names like Tom and Sue and Joe, and I noticed the people that were waiting for the drinks didn't really - I mean, maybe this is totally racial profiling.
The Urban Dictionary offers the following definition its entry for :
A coffee name is given to the barristo/barrista when you order your coffee drink - you need a coffee name if your name is difficult to pronounce, or if your name is unusual. A coffee name expedites your order.
And, oddly enough, there's even a website, mycoffeenames.com, the "Hot or Not" of coffee names, where people can upload and rate cups inscribed with their preferred coffee names.Image: "gülce's breakfast: stolen identity" (flickr/Matt Hintsa).