Jimmy Barista

Cash only.

Jim Rome
August 17, 2020 - 11:52 am
Jimmy Butler

USA Today


You’ve heard the saying that if something is too good to be true—it usually is. So a week ago when Miami Heat guard, Jimmy Butler casually dropped to ESPN that he’s been slinging coffee out of his bubble hotel room for 20-bucks-a-pop—there was no way something that awesome and hilarious could be true. 

Except—thanks to a photo from Meyers Leonard’s Twitter account and some top notch reporting from the Sun Sentinel—we now know that Jimmy Barista is a real thing. And it’s the bubble story I’ve been waiting on for weeks.

Truth is—the NBA in its entirety has done such a damn good job out in Orlando that all the bizarre and weird stories we thought we’d hear about snitch lines, and big time gambling on the golf course, and hotel room ragers haven’t come to fruition. At least none that we know about. In fact—the best bubble story didn’t even happen in the bubble. It happened at a strip club in Atlanta. 

So I’m beyond pumped that Jimmy Buckets went all entrepreneur with it and picked us all up. And gave us the bubble story we’ve all been waiting on since the Association pulled up at Disneyworld.

Because over the weekend, JB’s teammate, and jungle favorite Meyers Leonard tweeted a photo of a whiteboard hanging on the door of Butler’s hotel room and confirmed exactly what Jimmy had told ESPN; the dude is working a coffee side hustle. And working it hard. 

The whiteboard on the outside of his hotel room was less a whiteboard and more of a storefront. And it read;

“Big Face Coffee. Cash only. No I.O.U.’s.”

And then there was a list of nine different types of coffee that Jimmy Butler was prepared to make. And the pricing guide was as follows; 20 bucks for a small. 20 bucks for a medium. 20 bucks for a large.

The white board alone could carry this entire show. First off—the name of this dude’s hotel room coffee joint is called Big Face Coffee. Which is awesome—especially since a Google search doesn’t help us figure out why Jimmy Butler is calling himself Big Face. Is that some gloss we don’t know about? Does the dude have an abnormally large face? Is there someone in that room with a giant face who makes the coffee? I actually like not knowing. It only adds to the mystery.  I mean, sure, we have a BIG HEAD on our staff.  But who the hell is BIG FACE.  The barista? Or is Butler the barista.

But then there’s the fact that he isn’t taking I.O.U.’s. Which is smart business when you’re slinging product to friends. Because you know a bunch of his guys are gonna hit him with, “I’ll get you next time, Jim. I’m good for it.” But Jim isn’t playing that game. No cash? No coffee. In other words; Put that coffee down. Coffee's for paying customers only. 

Speaking of the cash—how about the pricing model? 20 bucks for a cup regardless of the size. Which begs the question; who the hell is ordering a small for 20 bones when you can get a large for the same price?

Obviously Jimmy is subscribing to the thought that time is money. And it takes the same time to brew a small cup as a large cup. So he’s gonna get paid regardless. And I love that thinking. 

I also love that he’s exploiting supply and demand. Because you might think 20 bucks is a steep price. And on the outside—it is. Philz Coffee and Intelligentisia can’t believe what Jimmy Barista is charging. 

But there’s a method to the madness. According to the Sun Sentinel, Butler said, “You can’t get coffee nowhere here. So I might bump it up to 30 bucks a cup. People here can afford. So nobody’s complaining.”

Damn straight. Might as well bump it up to a hundred bucks a cup. 

This is a man destined for a great second career. You may call it price gouging jamming your own during the pandemic: I call it BRILLIANT... There is no supply and there’s a huge demand. So Jimmy Java went on Amazon, ordered a bunch of gear including an espresso machine and a French press and opened his own coffee shop, in his hotel room, where he slings cups of 20 dollar joe to millionaires who can afford it—and can’t get it anywhere else. It’s utterly genius. It really is.

Now—when he says “you can’t get coffee nowhere here,”—that’s not exactly true. Every hotel room has a coffee machine. But if you’ve ever made coffee in a hotel room—you know you might as well mix some dirt and water together on the floor and slurp it off the carpet. Because hotel room coffee is disgusting. So while you can get coffee in every hotel room—you can’t get good coffee. Unless you go over to Jimmy’s spot. 

What’s equally amazing about this side hustle is that Jimmy Barista is offering nine different types of coffee. He does lattes, pour overs, cappuccinos, Americanos, espressos, mochas, and something he calls the Red Eye. 

I have no clue what’s in a Red Eye but I’m sure it’s straight paddles-to-the-heart. 

Fernando Rodney used to sip on a drink he called the Red Eye and it was half black coffee, half Red Bull. Which is about as close to liquid cocaine as it gets. So I wonder what’s in Jimmy’s Red Eye concoction. I’m sure it’s something similar.

Bottom line is—well, the bottom line. Jimmy Starbucks is more like Jimmy Warbucks. Dude is on a 33 million dollar deal this year alone and he’s selling the most expensive cup of coffee on the planet right now. And he’s got customers lined down the hallway. And he’s killing it. 

The Heat don’t start their playoff series against the Pacers till tomorrow. But the Jazz and the Nugs tip this morning. Here’s to hoping those squads swung by Big Face Coffee for their morning pick-me-up. And here’s to Heat Fan hoping Jimmy Barista has a policy about not serving to opponents. 

And if that’s the case—this Pacers team is gonna have to learn how to work that bootleg Keurig in their rooms.

Jimmy Barista if you need him. And it sounds like an entire league needs him. 

Just remember; No I.O.U.’s. Cash only.