Five Things You Should Know Before Ordering At Starbucks (From An Actual Barista)
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Five Things You Should Know Before Ordering At Starbucks (From An Actual Barista)


If you have any kind of money while walking around campus, you’re probably thinking that a drink sounds really good right now. A Starbucks drink, that is.

So, being the tired college student that you are, you make a trip to the closest Starbucks location. Because you want a drink, because of the weather. Because it’s too hot, or too cold outside. Or because it’s snowing, or because it just stopped snowing. And you probably want Starbucks because there are seasons, which means seasonal drinks. Maybe you’re going to Starbucks because you’re a white girl. Who knows what reasoning brought you to the magical land of coffee.

But, before you waltz up to the register to tell your barista (probably me) exactly what you are drinking, there are some Starbucks etiquette rules that you should know about.

1)    Don’t talk on your phone while you’re ordering. You come off as rude and inconsiderate to the barista. And if you’re trying to order a drink while telling your mom that classes are going great, chances are that you’re distracted while ordering. This means that you are more likely to mess up telling them exactly what you’d like to drink, so then you can be upset if they made your drink wrong, and the barista takes up more of your day then we intend to. Please just mute your phone call before ordering, or step out of line if you can’t.

2)    There is no ‘secret menu’ at Starbucks. tarbucks drinks are customizable; that’s why there are so many little boxes on the cups. People are encouraged to try new drinks! That’s how we ‘invent’ them. But unless you have the recipe for the secret drink, the baristas won’t know how to make it for you, because there are millions of different drink combinations out there that they don’t know about yet. And not all of the baristas behind the bar know exactly how to make a Butterbeer Frappuccino, because that’s a fictional beverage.

3)    If you glance at the menu, our iced, blended beverage is called a ‘Frappuccino’. “Ron: Wingardium leviosa!” “Hermione: Stop, stop stop! You're going to take someone's eye out. Besides, you're saying it wrong. It's Levi-OOO-sa, not Levio-SA.”

But seriously, how does Harry Potter play into Starbucks? HP shows us that correct pronunciation is key. We are not McDonald’s, so the drink is not a ‘frap’ or a ‘frappe’. (It is a frappuccino because Starbucks got the trademark on that word back in 1995.) Please don’t be lazy with your wording in attempts of acting like a hipster, or your barista will internally sigh at you.

4)    Tall is small! In case you didn’t know this by now, Starbucks drinks have a very unique sizing system. For hot drinks, from smallest to largest, it goes short, tall, grande, and venti. For the iced drinks, also from smallest to largest, it goes tall, grande, venti, and trenta. And if you can’t remember all of that, don’t be afraid to ask! Your baristas are there to point you in the right direction and assist you as much as they can.

5)    Be patient. This is a message that I try to preach to as many Starbucks goers as I can. The baristas know that the lines can get to be rather long at points, which can eat at one’s patience. But please don’t be short with the baristas when asked a variety of questions about your drink. They ask the questions in order to insure that your drink is made 100% correctly. Although Starbucks is categorized as a fast food establishment, your drink is not going to come out instantaneously. The baristas actually put time, care, and detail into every drink they make. So please be patient as they try to give you the best experience possible.

These are just some key things to keep in mind when you come into Starbucks, and it is okay if you don’t always remember them! Your baristas are human beings too, and they appreciate it when you treat them with respect when you come in. As long as you are nice, they will be nice back! And who knows? A little kindness goes a long way in a barista’s day, and they could have a great way of showing you that they care about you too. 

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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