Up until last week, 30-year-old Matt Watson was an anonymous coffee shop employee known to many only as "Bitter Barista."
Through his same-named blog, Watson would bash customers at All City Coffee in Seattle for such things as ordering decaf ("If you remind me four times that you've ordered decaf, guess what you won't be getting") and mentioning their gluten allergy ("What a coincidence! You have a gluten allergy, and I don't care that you have a gluten allergy!").
But with the notoriety his site has gained in recent weeks came his ultimate unmasking and subsequent termination.
In their outing of Watson, Sprudge bloggers Zachary Carlsen and Jordan Michelman take issue with the vitriol Watson calls satire.
"There's a lot of anger in this blog, and while we love the well-worn barista cliché, it should be the stuff of mild parody, not an all-out assault on whomever walks through the door of your cafe," they wrote.
Watson maintains that he "had a good personal relationship with 95 percent of customers," and was merely targeting "he 5 percent who I guess make our job more difficult."
After the Sprudge expose, Watson shot off an email to his boss, whom he repeatedly criticized and insulted on his blog, telling him the brouhaha was "isn't bad press, it's actually really good press."
Levy replied by firing Watson.
"He was writing about his boss during business hours," Levy told the Seattle Times. "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, meanwhile, has already moved on. He say a Bitter Barista coffee table book is in the works, and claims job offers from other coffee shops have been pouring in.
[screengrab via KIRO-TV]