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Seattle barista fired over bitter blog that rips customers, boss

One man thinks serving coffee is a real grind.

A Seattle coffee shop fired a barista who started a blog about the daily tribulations of his job.

Matt Watson, 30, was fired from All City Coffee after his anonymous two-week-old BitterBarista.com blog gained popularity -- up to a couple of thousand hits per day-- and was later identified by a competing coffee blog.

The New Jersey native, with a bachelor's degree in philosophy and aspirations to be a hip hop artist, made no mention of All City Coffee, or his real name for that matter, but the operators of Sprudge.com, the competing blog, put it together after Watson said what he was doing in his Spekulation tweets, The Seattle Times reported.

Sprudge.com outed Watson on Thursday: "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."

Watson's posts were aimed at what he calls the 5 percent of customers who can annoy workers. The remarks did not appear vicious, but resembled more the reaction of a disgruntled teenager.

One post read, “If you remind me four times that you've ordered decaf, guess what you won't be getting ... " Another post read, "I would remember your usual drink if you were a more memorable person."

He even poked fun at his boss, writing, "I like to use a lot of big words when I tweet, that way if my boss ever finds my twitter account, he won't understand any of it."

Watson said his blog was satire and that he had a good relationship with most customers and his boss, Seth Levy.

Watson said baristas are "probably an artist, overqualified people with pretty much college education across the board."

He said he worked at All City Coffee to make ends meet while pursuing a career as a hip hop artist under the moniker "Spekulation." On his site, Watson has released several songs in which he raps.

According to the Times, Watson emailed Levy saying, "This isn't bad press, it's actually really good press ... especially given your customer base and the type of neighborhood that Georgetown has become ... I'm just saying ... it could turn out to be a fun something that gives the place a little spike in publicity."

Levy didn't quite see it that way.

"He was writing about his boss during business hours," Levy told the newspaper. "I represent the business, the customers and the staff. I can't endorse what he was saying, whether humorous or not. It puts me in a difficult position, where if I don't respond that means I endorse what he's saying."

Watson hopes to put together a Bitter Barista coffee-table book.

Click for more from The Seattle Times

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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