Coffee Cravings: Can you ask for decaf?

by EPI Staff on May 21, 2010

Q: At a dinner party, if the hostess offers coffee, can you ask for decaf?

A: It’s not a great idea to come out and ask for it, because the hostess might not have any decaf and you don’t want to embarrass her. But you can certainly respond to “Would you like coffee?” with a question of your own: “Is it decaf?” Because so many people prefer to skip caffeine at night, it may well be. If, however, your hostess says, “No, it’s regular,” and doesn’t offer to make a pot of decaf, then just say, “No, thank you,” and leave it at that.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Marge Hayward May 23, 2010 at 5:08 am

I wrote a letter to you about this, but my question must not have been clear enough because the reply did not answer my query.
When entertaining dinner guests in your home, I’ve never seen anyone take away dinner plates from those who are finished while another person is still eating. How does this rule apply in arestaurant? Should waiters take away plates from someone who is done, leaving the other person or person(s) to finish their dinner alone while everyone else sits with no plate in front of them. I’ve heard that wait staff should not remove any plates until everyone is finished eating. Other people tell me that they just want to get the finished plate out from under their face. But, isn’t that rude to the person or persons still eating?

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Devora May 24, 2010 at 5:27 am

Yup, rude. Servers should wait until everyone is done. If a diner requests the plate be removed, OK. If not, server waits.

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