It’s not easy being a Starbucks barista. I constantly feel bad for the innocent baristas who are stuck in the crosshairs of the political drama du jour when they’re just trying to make your coffee-based beverages. And making Starbucks drinks is not as straightforward as it may seem, with the endless stream of store patrons each placing some pretty obnoxious Starbucks orders. I include myself in this group, and I’m sorry. In the last year alone, I’ve ordered a whole rainbow of Starbucks drinks, a so-called “Puppuccino” for my friend’s cocker spaniel that I had to explain was just an espresso cup of whipped cream, and a 17-ingredient drink that’s literally called “Baby Vomit” on the internet because it looks so gross.

But rather than laugh at me or tell me that my order is the dumbest thing in the world—even if I can admit that it kind of is ridiculous—each Starbucks barista has greeted these challenging orders with a smile, sometimes even a friendly giggle, and has made the drinks perfectly. You have to respect that kind of humor and ability to get the job done in the face of adversity and grumpy, not-yet-caffeinated customers.

So when Starbucks asked me if I wanted to pop behind the counter, throw on a green apron, and learn how to make their new Starbucks macchiato drinks for spring, along with the classic Starbucks caramel macchiato, I couldn’t say no. I love espresso, and I love Starbucks baristas, those gems of humans who put up with me and the rest of mankind and keep us all caffeinated.

Q: Do I have what it takes to be a Starbucks barista in the heart of New York City? I went to the Times Square Starbucks to learn how to make the new Coconut Milk Mocha Macchiato and the Iced Cinnamon Almond Milk Macchiato to find out, once and for all.