The Coffee Bean Refuses to Serve Man Making Racist Comments to Muslim Woman

Update: 7:15 p.m. ET — Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf commented Monday on an incident in which a man was denied service at a California location of the chain after the man was seen making comments many perceived to be racist and Islamophobic.

"The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® is fully committed to ensuring the wellness and safety of its customers, team members and business," the company wrote in a statement provided to Newsweek. "We have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to discrimination of any kind, and have the right to refuse service to any person who makes customers or team members feel endangered in any way."

Original story:

Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf is receiving praise this week after a man was denied service for making comments many perceived to be racist and Islamophobic. 

The unidentified man was mocking a Muslim woman for wearing her niqab in a California location of the coffee chain, SFGate.com reported on Sunday. Video of the incident was posted online by journalist CJ Werleman

"I said is this Halloween or something," the man is heard saying.

"Why did you say that?" the woman responds. The man later says, "Because I want to." The woman asks if there's something wrong with her and if the man knows she's Muslim. 

"Yeah, I do," he is heard saying. "What's your problem with that?" the woman replies. "I don't like it, how's that?" he said.

When asked why he doesn't like Muslims, the unidentified man responds, "I don't like that because I don't like your religion. It says to kill me and I don't want to be killed by you. How's that?" 

"Are you scared of me? Have you read the Quran?" she said.

"Yes, I've read enough of it to know. Yes, that's right." he said.

coffee bean The Coffee Bean beverages are served at John Varvatos Boutique on April 17, 2016 in West Hollywood, California. Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for John Varvatos

From there the woman asked the man if he was a Christian—he said he was—and brought up a passage in the Bible she said advocated for killing non-believers.

"I don't want to have any kind of conversation with idiots," the man responded.

"You are committing hate speech," the woman said. 

Then, in the video posted by Werleman, a man off-screen can be heard yelling, "Get out of here! Get out of here, f-----g racist!"

"F--k you, shut the f--k up," the unidentified man responded. 

From there, the video cut to the man who made the anti-Muslim comments being denied service. He asked who the manager of the store was and a woman behind the register identifies herself as the supervisor on duty. Asked why he was being denied service, the manager replied, "Because he is disrupting a public place and being very racist."

The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Several people praised the employees online, comparing the chain favorably to Starbucks, which recently had a Philadelphia location make headlines after two black men were arrested as they briefly waited for a business associate without ordering drinks.

Join the Discussion