This is not an agitation to more frequent wiping off of counters, or flushing of portafilters. I do find both of those things worth doing, and doing often, but this isn't about that. This is about those times when there is a line, maybe people glancing around, looking a bit agitated. They are looking at you, and their eyes are saying seriously, could you be any fucking slower?
Always. You could always be slower, and you know it, and think it. You imagine spitefully putting caffeinated shots in the decaf, or using whole milk in the skim latte. You spin in your chair, petting your grossly obese cat, with an air of pomp and villainy. Yes, you think, that will show them.
But it won't, really, and you know it. So you do the things you normally do, maybe smiling, maybe not, depending on your usual disposition. I do, usually, and quip a bit while sometimes, for no real reason, standing on one leg while making drinks. Probably, this is best left as my gimmick, because really, it's not a very good one. But anyway, you make the drinks, and they're good. You still take the time to tamp carefully, to level and brush and all that jazz. And you can still pour pretty milk designs in crema, as if it's what proto-humans evolved such useful hands for. You do these things, not just because there is comfort in routine, or you because you fetishize latte art, but because it's actually not that hard.
Busy, like shit, happens, and you see it happening all around. There are people, maybe messes, maybe something worse, or not. In any case, there are things, lots of things, everywhere. But you look down, and see the vortex swirling in your pitcher of milk. It occurs to you that really, the eye of the storm is the safest place to be.