Whether you’re a coffee addict or would prefer to drink a cup of tea, you probably find yourself at a Starbucks at least a few times each month. (Or maybe it’s a couple times a week — or even daily. We won’t judge.) Starbucks has introduced a variety of overrated drinks that will offend your taste buds or set you up for a sugar-induced crash. But it’s not just the drinks that have many baristas rolling their eyes.
In fact, many of us annoy our local Starbucks baristas with orders that are obnoxious or just plain outrageous. Want to know whether your order is likely to make a barista roll their eyes? Check out 17 of the most obnoxious things you can order at your local Starbucks.
1. Any drink with a dozen ingredients or additions
Munchies reports American Starbucks customers seem to have no problem rattling off cumbersome orders. One barista complains about a customer ordering a “Quad venti half caf breve no foam with whip two splenda stirred skinny three pump peppermint mocha.”
Another barista has a regular who orders a “Venti 1 pump caramel, 1 pump white mocha, 2 scoops vanilla bean powder, extra ice frappuchino [sic] with 2 shots poured over the top (apagotto [sic] style) with caramel drizzle under and on top of the whipped cream, double cupped.”
British Starbucks patrons, meanwhile, are too embarrassed to ask for a “fussy” order — an attitude more baristas probably wish they’d see stateside.
2. A drink that takes forever to make
Many drinks Starbucks customers customize — and a few that make it onto the official menu — take forever to make. And those drinks typically become ones baristas despise. Starbucks baristas reportedly hated the unicorn frappuccino in part because it’s so complicated to make.
As Business Insider explained, “In general, frappuccinos tend to be some of the more time-intensive drinks to make at Starbucks. Unicorn frappuccinos involve squeezing blue drizzle along the insides of cups, and sprinkling several types of powder on top of whipped cream. It can create quite the mess.”
3. Any drink with a dozen (or dozens of) pumps of syrup
You can ask your barista to add pumps of syrup to any drink. But no barista is going to be happy if you ask for 10 pumps of one syrup, eight pumps of another, and a half-pump of a third syrup. Adding all of that syrup takes extra time. And it probably tires out your barista’s arm, especially if you’re like this customer, who ordered 10 pumps of syrup and 25 “pumps” of caramel sauce. But more importantly, the barista is probably wondering how you can stomach so much sugar.
4. A drink you order just to feel high-maintenance
Starbucks baristas dislike complicated orders because they take forever to make and require lots of extra steps. But perhaps even worse than a customer who’s just particular about their drink is the customer who’s ordering an overcomplicated beverage just to feel high-maintenance.
One Starbucks barista speculates, “I think for some people being high-maintenance is a badge of honor/source of pride. Like, they want to show you just how specific they can get because they know themselves (and, I guess, this industry?) so well. It’s a luxury to be able to spend that much time deciding how foofy you want this coffee drink to be.”
5. Any drink you ask for out of order
Believe it or not, there’s a correct way to order your drink. And Starbucks baristas hate it when you stray from that order and slow them down. Delish advises, “Try to do it in this order: Hot or iced; size of drink; decaf?; number of shots; syrup? — how much?; type of milk; anything else? (like extra caramel, you diva?); then, last of all, your drink.”
It might not be that bad to say everything out of order if your drink is pretty simple. But if you’re making a lot of customization and substitutions? Stick to the script.
6. A drink you insist on calling ‘small,’ ‘medium,’ or ‘large’
Don’t pretend you aren’t at Starbucks all the time. It’s not that hard to remember what Starbucks calls its drink sizes. Need a refresher? A short has 8 ounces, a tall has 12, and a grande has 16. Plus, a hot venti is 20 ounces, while a cold venti is 24 ounces. And if you really go crazy, a cold trenta is 31 ounces. Just use the correct terms, and avoid confusing (or annoying) your barista.
7. Any drink that requires 2 stickers
Munchies reports what might be the “most ridiculous Starbucks order of all time” began as a Grande Vanilla Bean Creme Frappuccino in a venti cup. (More on that move in a second.) But the order went on so long that it had to be printed on two stickers. The special requests “ranged from a variety of dairy and non-dairy milks, extra caramel drizzle, coconut flakes and Greek yogurt to bananas, strawberries, protein powder, and a very specific 34-degree serving temperature.”
Other customers have supposedly ordered drinks that required four stickers. Don’t do that to your barista.
8. A drink you want in a larger cup
Some baristas don’t mind if you order a grande drink in a venti cup if, for instance, you want extra ice or need room for a lot of cream. But you should never order a drink in a larger cup hoping you’ll get a bigger drink for free. (Don’t be cheap, and don’t try to game the system.)
And if you’re ordering your drink in a larger cup to request more whipped cream, you might want to think carefully about the amount of sugar you’re consuming. However, some baristas say they’d rather you order your drink in a larger cup than dump some out to have enough room for all the cream and sugar you want to add.
9. Any secret menu drink you don’t know how to make
Most baristas will gladly oblige if you want to order something off the unofficial “secret menu.” But you have to know the ingredients that go into the drink you want. Baristas aren’t trained to make drinks on the secret menu. That’s because each of those drinks was concocted not by Starbucks, but by someone who asked a barista to combine existing ingredients in a different way.
Your barista can make a secret menu drink for you. You just need to be able to explain what goes into it. Even better? Have the recipe at the ready to make things as easy as possible for the barista.
10. A secret menu drink with a gross name
Some Starbucks baristas get annoyed by secret menu drinks. But usually those drinks are only a nuisance if you order them at extremely busy times of the day or if you don’t know what ingredients go into the beverage. The other major way a secret menu drink will annoy your barista? If the drink has a gross name, which you insist on using when you order.
A great example is the questionable concoction Starbucks customers call “baby vomit.” With more than 15 special requests and ingredients, it’s no wonder the drink reportedly actually does smell like baby vomit. Try to be considerate. Don’t gross out your Starbucks barista.
11. Anything ‘double-blended’
According to Delish, Starbucks baristas hate when customers order a “double-blended” frappucino. The idea is double blending will give you a smoother frappucino. But, as Delish explains, “What you’re really getting is an extra-watery milkshake.” Blending takes time, and most stores only have two blenders. So a double-blended frappucino guarantees you a long wait and an annoyed barista.
12. A drink that seems undrinkable
Another kind of order that will definitely make Starbucks baristas shake their heads? A drink that seems completely undrinkable, thanks to excessive additions and overzealous flavor combinations. This customer, for instance, wanted caramel syrup, peppermint syrup, vanilla syrup, mocha drizzle, praline topping, butterscotch, and cascara syrup all in the same drink. One commenter on the Reddit thread asked, “Do they take that and just make drinks at home? I don’t see how someone could consume that drink as is.”
13. Any nonfat drink you want with extra foam
Delish reports for Starbucks baristas, “Nothing is worse than making a nonfat, extra-foamy cappuccino.” Unfortunately, nonfat milk yields “horrible foam.” That’s just the way nonfat milk works. And your barista can’t change the laws of physics for you, no matter how politely you order or how well you tip. If you want a lot of foam, don’t order nonfat milk.
14. A latte you order without foam
On the other hand, some customers want no foam instead of extra foam. When you order a drink, such as a latte, with no foam, the barista actually has to scoop the foam off by hand. Save them the extra work, and realize foam is actually a good thing. And don’t even try to order a cappuccino with no foam. The foam is actually integral to the recipe, which uses half milk and half foam. So you can’t actually make a real cappuccino with no foam.
15. An ‘expresso’ or anything else you can’t pronounce
If you’re going to bother to order a drink, you should probably know how to pronounce it. Many Starbucks baristas complain about one of the most common mispronunciations: people order an “expresso” when they want an espresso. Almost everything is written out on the menu for you to see. If you’re going to order a drink — particularly if you order it regularly — make sure you know how to pronounce it. That way, baristas aren’t secretly rolling their eyes at you.
16. A drink for which you specify the exact temperature
Starbucks baristas repeatedly complain about customers who order their hot drinks at specific temperatures. (Some customers even do it with cold drinks, too.) We have a couple of questions for anyone who actually does this. Can you really tell the difference if your drink is 5 degrees off? How did you determine this ideal temperature? Is it really worth the barista’s time to make your drink extra hot? Just think about it.
17. An order with multiple complicated drinks
Both Starbucks baristas and fellow Starbucks customers roll their eyes when somebody orders five, 10, or 15 drinks at a time — and most of them are complicated beverages. We get it. Sometimes you really do need to pick up coffee for the entire office. But you should always be considerate. Instead of holding up the drive-thru line for 15 minutes, just park your car, and go inside the store. Trust us. Everyone involved will be grateful.