06/26/2012 08:29 am ET Updated Jun 26, 2012

Espresso-Over-Ice Controversy At Chinatown Coffee Company Angers Customer

WASHINGTON -- In a coffeeshop, do customers have a right to bad taste?

That's been a hot topic of discussion in the nation's capital this week after a barista refused to make an espresso-over-ice drink for a customer who ordered one.

From Prince of Petworth, which published a play-by-play rundown of the incident at Chinatown Coffee Co.:

Him: “We don’t do that because it will ruin it. We make the best espresso in the city and putting it over ice will shock it.”

Me: [long pause] “Really?”

Him: “Aww… did I just ruin your day?”

Me: “So you can’t make this drink?”

Him: “No.”

It's certainly not the first time espresso-over-ice has sparked a fiery debate online in the nation's capital.

Back in 2008, then-D.C. resident Jeff Simmermon, tried to order the drink at the Clarendon location of the now-closed Murky Coffee, where a barista expressed hesitation in making it. Simmermon took to his blog and documented the incident for the whole world to see.

I interrupted. “You’re goddamned right you can’t stop me,” I said. “I happen to have a personal policy that prohibits me from indulging stupid bullshit like this — and another personal policy of doing what I want with the products I pay for.” Then I looked him right in his big wide eyes and poured the espresso onto the ice.

His rant went viral and thrusted the fiery debate into the national spotlight.

Murky Coffee detailed additional house rules in an open letter to Simmermon:

No modifications to the Classic Cappuccino. No questions will be answered about the $5 Hot Chocolate (during the months we offer it). No espresso in a to-go cup. No espresso over ice. These are our policies. We have our reasons, and we're happy to share them.

As The Washington Post wrote of the "bitter" incident: "Who knew a cup of coffee could create such a tempest in a teapot?"

What do you think?