12 Things Your Local Coffee Shop Barista Is Really Thinking

12 Things Your Local Coffee Shop Barista Is Really Thinking

Time to spill the tea. Or rather, the coffee.

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Being in the service industry is an interesting experience to put it simply. People in the service industry have some of the best life skills you could have because we have to deal with a variety of situations and a wide range of people on a daily basis. I have worked at a coffee shop for almost 3 years and I have some pretty wild stories, a lot good and bad. I'd have to say with no limitations, that if you have not worked in the service industry (especially food or drink) you have absolutely no idea how hard it can be.

1. Please Just Acknowledge That I'm A Human

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There's nothing worse than having customers who won't make eye contact with you, say hello, thank you, etc. It concerns me how there are people out there who'll completely ignore my, "Good morning, how are you doing today?" to just ramble out what they want to order. Like, do I even exist?

2. Don't Question What I Know, I Work Here

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I understand that there are a lot of incompetent workers out there who really don't know what they are talking about, but when I am the manager on duty at my coffee shop and a customer questions if I'm really telling them the truth about not selling doughnuts, it makes me want to disappear into the floor. Please don't ask me twice about a simple question since, you know, I work here.

3. Please, Please, Please Speak Up. Please.

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I must be really good at my job, because I get so many people who are barely making a sound and I can still figure out what they are ordering. How hard is it to actually talk at a normal sound level, I'll never know.

4. Your Total Isn't Going To Be The Same Price As The Menu, Tax Exists.

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To all the people out there who say, "But it says that drink is $4.39, why is it $5.20?". Tax honey, tax.

5. Don't Start Eating A Granola Bar You Haven't Paid For Yet

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There's nothing more gross than having a hot sweaty runner come in, open a granola bar in line, start eating it, and then having them hand you their unwrapped chewed on piece of food. Just be patient and wait please.

6. Iced And Blended

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I actually would love to know how so many people don't know the difference between an iced drink and a blended drink; it's in the name. "So is a blended drink just crushed up ice?" no Susan, your blended drink is made in the blender, therefore everything is blended together. Thank you, next.

7. Dark, White, And Milk Chocolate

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We have 3 choices of chocolate that people can get in their drinks where I work. For the first time last year I got a customer who asked me what the difference between them all is, and ever since that day I get asked so much more frequently. It concerns me that people feel the need to ask me that question, because frankly I don't know how to answer it without making the customer feel stupid.

8. Grabbing A Drink That Isn't Yours

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When I call out a large iced milk chocolate mocha for Amy and a guy named Tom who ordered a medium black coffee comes up to grab it, why? It's an awkward situation, to say the least. I have to go, "Did you order a large iced milk chocolate mocha?" followed by a, "No, I ordered a medium black coffee." then why do you think it's yours?

9. Coming Behind The Counter

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At the coffee shop, we have a long counter and bar area with an opening at the end for people who work there to get in. Here's my number one tip for customers around the world: Stop walking behind the counter and grabbing things when you don't work there. Why do people think it's okay to do? I'll never know. Please just ask if you need something and I will get it for you.

10. If We Close At Seven, We Are Closed

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Please don't come in at 6:59pm with your bag of food from another place, sit down, and start eating.

11. Please Tip Your Coins, It Matters

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I won't get into all the dirty details about tipping, but if you order something and pay with cash and have only coins handed back, please tip them. Some people think that it's rude to just put coins in the tip jar even if it's a couple pennies, but your coins matter! I bring all my tip coins to the bank every month or two months and I can get anywhere from $30-80.

12. Don't Tell Me To Smile More, It's Creepy

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I have had a lot of older, male customers tell me to smile more, and they try to be cute about it but they aren't. I do my job very well, in which I always smile and act polite to customers. But I might be having a harder day, therefor a weaker smile. It's not your position to tell me to smile more.

Baristas are the ones that are giving you the boost in your day to keep moving. Without us, you would be hungry and exhausted. We are people just like you and serving coffee is our job, so please respect us, and we will do the same back!

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12 Starbucks Iced Drinks You NEED In Your Life This Summer

Must-try beverages brought to you by your local barista.
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Be kind to your baristas, they can make you some pretty great drinks. With the temperature rising and the days getting longer, it's approaching the time to find your summer staple to keep you cool (and caffeinated) over the next few months.

Starbucks offers a wide variety of cold beverages that really hit the spot during the summer months, from espresso drinks to fraps, smoothies, teas and refreshers. As a Starbucks barista, I've had the opportunity to taste most drinks on the menu and receive feedback from customers on the do's and don'ts of cold beverages.

While this is not an exhaustive list, I pulled together some of my favorites to give you, the "Ultimate Starbucks Iced Beverage Bucket List for 2017" that you MUST try this season:

1. Pink Drink

Three words: Basic white girl. If you want a photogenic drink that tastes like a Starburst and makes baristas happy, the Pink Drink is for you. It's a pretty simple beverage... this Strawberry Acai Refresher combined with Coconutmilk is sure to satisfy your hipster needs.

2. Iced White Mocha

This sinfully sweet iced espresso drink is not only one of the most popular beverages on the menu, but sure to wake you up at any time of day. Jazz it up by asking for half white chocolate, half mocha sauce, topped with a mocha drizzle, and you've got yourself an Iced Tuxedo Mocha!

3. Doubleshot on Ice

If nothing else, this quick pick-me-up looks classy while giving you the energy boost you need to get through the day. With two shots of espresso, a bit of milk and classic syrup, this drink is easy to enjoy in little time... it's like a caffeine I.V.!

4. Iced Caramel Machiatto

Surprise, surprise... Caramel Machiattos are actually made with vanilla syrup. Nonetheless, these espresso-topped beverages are absolutely delicious at any time of year, but summer calls for ice! Want to change things up? Ask your barista to make it with half vanilla syrup, half toffee nut syrup to make an Iced Salted Caramel Machiatto!

5. Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher

A sister to the Pink Drink, the Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher is a fruit juice-blackberry combo that makes for a pretty chilled beverage to enjoy on the go. The caffeine content is minimal, making it a great option for any time of day.


6. Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew

Cold Brew is basically Starbucks' version of a smoother-tasting iced coffee with more caffeine. The Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew is a standard drink topped with vanilla-flavored heavy cream to create a sweet taste and a marbled appearance in the beverage. Want something with flavor, but not in the mood for vanilla? Try the Toasted Coconut Cold Brew!


7. Mango Black Tea Lemonade

The Mango Black Tea Lemonade is one of the most popular drinks on the menu. Iced Teavana tea mixed with mango syrup and lemonade makes for the perfect combination

8. Iced Chai Tea Latte

Iced Chais - sound so sophisticated, yet so simple to make. If you order this drink, there is a 10/10 chance that your barista will love you for it. Milk mixed with a sweet and spicy chai syrup makes for a classy drink that can be enjoyed at any time of day.


9. Iced Cinnamon Almondmilk Machiatto

The identifying characteristic that makes a macchiato, well, a macchiato is that the espresso shots are poured on top of the milk and flavoring. Starbucks' Iced Cinnamon Almondmilk Machiatto is a combination of cinnamon dolce syrup and almondmilk topped with espresso shots, a caramel drizzle and a cinnamon dolce topping to create a delicious dairy-free option in the macchiato family.

10. Sunset Refresher

This secret menu drink is fairly simple to make with a cool lime base, lemonade, lime slices, and ice topped with black tea. When finished, the drink will have an ombré appearance that makes it totally picture-worthy!

11. Iced Caffè Americano

Calling all espresso lovers: Americanos are a Starbucks signature. The drink itself is pretty simple - espresso and water topped with ice, but if you're feeling particularly adventurous, you can mix things up with a flavored syrup. This drink is sure to wake you right up, no matter the time of day.

12. Strawberry Lemonade

Want something cold but not feeling coffee or a frap? Frozen Strawberry Lemonade is definitely worth a try! While this drink is not on the menu, most baristas are happy to make it upon request. Just ask for a combination of strawberry flavoring, lemonade, and ice blended together for a slushie-like beverage!

Cover Image Credit: FoodBeast

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6 Ways To Find The Perfect Starbucks Drink Even If You Don’t Like Coffee, Trust Me, I'm A Barista

I've seen both the no nonsense regular and hesitant novice, but I'm sure I can find the drink for you.

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Whether coffee is your favorite beverage on the planet or it's a gun-to-your-head not going to happen, I know the ins and outs of the Starbucks menu and I can find something that will satisfy your taste buds. Likewise, if Starbucks is a daily stop or a necessary evil, I've got you covered whether it's hot and sunny or rainy and gross. There's a few tips and trips I know on how to navigate the menu based on your taste and mood, and even if you think I don't have something for you, I probably do.

I have been a Starbucks barista since January 2018, and I have the unique opportunity of serving Starbucks coffee inside the Walt Disney World Resort. Being both an Orlando resident and coffee lover myself, more often than not I can connect with guests based on our love for the roasted bean. Starbucks gets a lot of flack for being overpriced and overcomplicated, but there are quite a few ways to get the most bang for your buck, and you'll like what's on the end of that straw too.

1. An Americano is NOT for the faint-of-heart.

Expectation:

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Some guests come into my store with not a clue what they want to order, and if they're too scared to sound clueless, they might be inclined to order an Americano. It's the first thing listed under espresso beverages, and because it's sometimes (mistakenly) advertised as a sweet drink topped with whipped cream, it may seem like a safe choice.

WRONG. An Americano is comprised of espresso shots and water. Starbucks offers it either hot or iced, as they do with all espresso beverages, but it is not for those looking for something sweet with a splash of coffee. I've seen them modified up the yin-yang with Vanilla and Hazelnut and soymilk and 4 Splendas, but without a little TLC, a plain Americano is an acquired taste.

If you want to give it a try, go for it, but even as a lover of black coffee, the Americano is still too far down the bitter road for me.

2. You can't go wrong with a Frappuccino.

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Working at Disney, especially in Florida, I've seen thousands of people come in red-faced and bleary-eyed, looking for a shot of caffeine encased in ice. If you're a fan of coffee mixed with sugar, all of the coffee-based Frappuccinos are a good place to start. In the case where you don't like any of the options listed on the menu, ask your barista for a coffee frappuccino and add a syrup. Syrups stocked year-round include Vanilla, Caramel, Toffee Nut, Hazelnut, Peppermint, Cinnamon Dolce, Raspberry, and Classic. See if one of those meets your sweet-tooth needs.

If coffee isn't your thing, I'm a little hurt, but I won't judge. If you'd like to go the coffee-free route, you can ask for any of the Frappuccinos listed as creme-based, or ask for a Syrup Frappuccino (that's where they make the coffee-based ones but without the coffee). I explain to guests that those Frappuccinos are more like milkshakes than anything. A crowd favorite at my store is the Serious Strawberry Frappuccino (seriously, it's like a strawberry milkshake).

Also, if it applies to you, all Frappuccinos are available with nondairy milk as well (Starbucks stocks almond milk, soy milk, and coconut milk), but if you have an allergy it is YOUR responsibility to inform your barista. And please do.

Another trick for ordering Frapps: they ALL come with whipped cream, by standard, EXCEPT for the Espresso Frappuccino, the Coffee Frappuccino, or a nondairy Frappuccino. If you don't want whip on top, please keep that in mind because the barista is going to swirl it on unless you tell them not to.

3. The Blended Strawberry Lemonade is a hidden treasure.

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I'm going to sound like an advertisement for a second, but if it's mid-June and your stomach curdles at the thought of milk in the heat, give the Blended Strawberry Lemonade a go. With the new concentrated Lemonade and the Strawberry puree, you'll wish you were on the beach. My go-to drink order at a restaurant is a Strawberry Lemonade, usually made for me at the bar, and when I discovered this drink at Starbucks I melted of happiness.

Give it a go this summer, or if you're a Florida native like me, next week.

4. If you're edging towards coffee lover, the White Mocha is a good balance.

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The White Mocha comes either iced, hot, or as a Frappuccino, and depending on your preference, you can choose accordingly. Personally, I'll order a hot White Mocha even if it's sweltering outside because I no longer fancy iced coffee. That being said, one of the most popular espresso beverages that come through our queue on a daily basis is an iced White Mocha.

Obviously, it can be modified with either more or fewer shots of espresso (depending on the size you get), and even if you're not dairy-free, I suggest giving it a try with soymilk. Starbucks' soymilk is flavored with vanilla, and it complements the sweetness of the sauce while counteracting the bitterness of the espresso.

5. The Medicine Ball Tea is not a thing anymore, I'm sorry. Try the Citrus Defender!

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The Medicine Ball Tea went viral a couple years ago when celebrities all over were calling it a cold buster. Dubbed by Starbucks as the Honey Citrus Mint tea, it featured the Peach TranquiliTEA (whoops, excuse my pun). Unfortunately, Starbucks doesn't carry that tea bag any longer (at least not to my knowledge) and therefore we can't make the Medicine Ball.

But don't fret! In its place, we have the Citrus Defender Tea. It comes with the Defense tea bags (which are a combination of herbal and white teas), honey packets, and steamed lemonade. I've heard great things about this tea, and if you're looking for a good drink for a cold or rainy day, this is the non-coffee way to go.

6. Give the seasonal drinks a whirl.

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Starbucks gets a lot of flack for hyping up their seasonal or promotional beverages, but let's be honest: they're beautiful. Personally, I'd rather spend money on something I'm going to enjoy looking at and ingesting, so Starbucks is the perfect intersection for me.

The most recent promo is the Cinnamon Shortbread, available iced, hot, or Frappuccino. That being said, you better believe I'm waiting anxiously for the next release.

In the meantime, I try weird concoctions with seasonal items. For example, the Cinnamon Shortbread features the Brown Butter sauce (which is thick as all get out). That means I'm getting it hot, so it's nice and melted, but I'll probably mix it with some White Mocha and Blonde Espresso. It's about getting crafty, that's how you'll find the perfect drink for you.

With that, don't go falling in love with promotional items, they're only here for so long. Get your fill, and start your search for the next creative fix.

Now I know that Starbucks can seem mainstream, or basic, or overcommercialized, but I think I know a way to get around what you see on social media. Talk to your barista. Tell them what you're looking for, and what are your likes and dislikes. The other night I came home with a smile on my face because I'd bonded with a guest over our love for the bizarre combination of White Mocha sauce and Raspberry syrup.

The people behind the counter almost always have a favorite item on the menu, and chances are they're happy to share it with you. So if you're a coffee addict, a new player on the field, a staunch abstainer, or even a barista yourself, I encourage you to explore your options next time you step into a Starbucks. You may just find the right brew for you.

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