20 Starbucks Secrets Your Barista Definitely Does Not Want You To Know


If you're a coffee lover, or a general human being, chances are you've enjoyed (or at least, had) a Starbucks beverage at least one point in your lifetime. Whether you're just, like, TOTALLY obsessed with Starbucks or like, y'know, not, there's no denying their coffee houses are EVERYWHERE and we are never, ever, ever going to escape them. If you do happen to be a Starbucks aficionado, however, then listen up!

If you're desperate for your barista to remember you, spend less on your drinks, or generally just keep from embarrassing yourself with the idea of a “secret menu”? (Hint, there ISN'T one.) every time you go to order a coffee, then this is the article for you. 

I've got some wild tricks and tips your barista probably does not want you to know about (and some they wish you DID!).

So just keep on scrolling and prepare to get your head around these 20 pieces of Starbucks info, which will hopefully make your next trip to Starbucks much, much easier for everyone – and even score you a free drink once in a while!


1. You Can Score Your Pup A Puppuccino!


That's right, just bring your pooch into your local Starbucks and ask for a 'Puppuccino' along with your order. Why? Because most baristas know to give you an espresso cup full of whipped cream for Rover to devour while you caffeinate yourself!

2. They Actually Over-Roast Their Coffee For A Reason.


Many coffee lovers won’t drink Starbucks because the beans taste burnt... and that’s because the coffee chain roasts their beans more than others. But why?

Well, they sell it as an Italian-style roast, but if you’ve ever been to Italy you know the coffee really doesn’t taste like that. Instead, some say they do it so you’ll want to upgrade to a sugary drink to cover the taste. Let's face it - Starbucks isn’t making the big bucks from black coffee – it needs you to get a venti frappuccino or cinnamon latte for a few dollars more.

3. They Employ The “Starbucks Effect”, Obviously.


You see, the company has spent literally millions creating a premium image that makes caffeine lovers feel like carrying around anything less than a Starbucks cup would make them look like dilettantes... (perish the thought!!).

Which is why people seem super happy to spend extra money on something they feel is “exclusive” and Starbucks (and every other company, to tell you the truth) knows that.

4. You Can Avoid Scalding Yourself With This Simple Trick!


Don’t really enjoy having steaming hot coffee on your hand first thing in the morning!?

Well then, just order your drinks at “kids’ temperature” – they’ll be handed over much cooler (140 degrees) than a regular drink (which is between 200-212 degrees) and you won’t have to wait until it cools off to start slurping... You're SUPER welcome!

5. Keep An Eye Out For The Black Apron!


You may or may not have noticed, but Starbucks employees wear green aprons. However - if you spot a person in a black apron behind the coffee bar, it means you’re in the presence of a “Coffee MASTER,” who has taken more courses and seminars than other employees.

6. You Can Actually Cut Your Latte Price In Half!

U.S. Air Force

We have Reddit user jadium to thank for this one! He told readers that there are indeed lots of ways to order drinks that can make them cheaper than the menu price.

For example, an iced venti latte is $4, whereas a “doppio” (which is two espresso shots) is $1.95. But if you ask for a cup of ice and two added shots you’ll be paying $1.20.

Then, you can head over to the condiment bar and add as much cold milk as you want to make it a latte.


7. You Can Usually "Pre-Game" Your Seasonal Drinks. Hurray!


You can look like a VIP for your Insta peeps (which is obviously SUPER important) by asking for holiday drinks a week or two early. A Reddit user said they’ll usually have all the ingredients in-store earlier.

But you’ll have to get lucky and be nice to your barista if you want them to do you that special favor... which may be hard for some of you out there.

8. Some Locations Really DON'T Want You Lounging

Wikimedia Commons

Think about it - if every customer sat around for an hour sipping on a cup of coffee and using free Wi-fi, EVERY Starbucks in the world would exceed its fire code in a matter of minutes.

Especially in high-traffic areas where the customer turnover needs to be high to keep business flowing, Starbucks (and other eateries) use different furniture designed to keep you from getting too comfortable.

If you see a Starbucks on a popular corner in a big city, you may notice that there are very few tables and chairs at all.

That is actually ALL on purpose. They want you to get in, get your drink, and then move along so the next customer can pony up their dough. Yee haw!

9. Skip The Venti If You’re Only In It For The Espresso


Reddit user _neon_ told readers that the only difference between a grande and venti espresso-based drink is the amount of milk and syrup involved... I know, who would have thought it!?

So, if you order the larger one thinking you’ll get an extra shot, you’re wrong. You’re just getting more sugar.

They said: “This is true of most standard Starbucks beverages. You can always ask for an additional shot in any beverage size.”

10. Use That Starbucks App If You Want To Know What’s REALLY In Your Drink


Many people custom order their drinks, especially these days, but using the Starbucks app is a good way to know what a drink is actually made of without having to ask.

11. They Write Their Prices In A Specific Way


All of their drink prices end in 0 or 5 (before tax) and there’s actually a reason for that. When prices go up, customers tend not to notice if it ends in one of those numbers. How diabolical!

The problem is, you may notice if the final amount comes to a new number that doesn’t end in a 0 or 5 after tax, but by then you’ve got a line in front of and behind you and it’s harder to back out. They've got you by the cups!

12. If You Absolutely Need To Order Decaf, Order It Drip Style (Trust Me)


A Reddit user who actually used to be a barista admitted that plenty of employees accidentally hit the wrong button when getting a decaf coffee, simply out of habit, which kinda makes sense. 

But if you order a decaf drip, you can’t go wrong since that comes out of a separate pitcher!

13. Need A Stronger Coffee? Then Make An Odd Request!


The brew that is used for iced coffee is MUCH stronger than the regular stuff since it’s going to be watered down as soon as that ice melts, obviously. So that means you can technically ask for a steamed iced coffee and get the strongest version they offer. And, of course, you can get it without the ice.

14. They Are The Ultimate FOMO Masters.


Lots and LOTS of companies prey on your fear of missing out (or FOMO) when it comes to getting exclusive goods (thanks, society!). That’s why they have so many “limited edition” and seasonal drinks.

Need to Instagram your annual pumpkin spice latte? They rely on that need – and they love to switch things up just a bit (even using special holiday cups) so you have to constantly come in and see what you’re missing or risk being SHUNNED forever.

15. RUDE People Get Decaf - Like They Deserve To.


Known to baristas (and Reddit users) everywhere, the cruelest trick a Starbucks barista can play on you is to sub out your regular coffee for decaf. You’re certainly NOT going to know if you order something with a lot of bells and whistles.

It’s pretty much a favorite passive-aggressive trick of cafe employees everywhere who feel they’re being treated rudely. So I recommend you ALWAYS be nice to your barista.

16. Your Iced Coffee Is NOT Keto-Friendly.


A Reddit user did dieters everywhere a real solid when they revealed that iced coffees and iced teas are automatically sweetened using a simple syrup. So if you don’t want a pump of syrup in your iced coffee, you must say so up front.

17. Sorry But... NONE Of The Food Is Fresh.


Let’s face it, we don’t go to Starbucks for its "fine cuisine", but you’re absolutely kidding yourself if you think those croissants were made on site. All Starbucks food is reheated frozen food. Yeah.. enjoy that. 

18. EVERYONE Thinks You’re A Jerk When You Dump Your Coffee In The Trash.


Ok, so, granted, you might not be able to finish your drink. However, you also need to imagine changing a trash bag half full of liquid... cause it ain't pretty, nor is it easy.

In addition, you’re likely to drip some on the floor when you tip it in, so you’re making twice the mess as everyone else. Congrats, you're an a*shole. 

19. The “Secret Menu” Is Really Just A Marketing Hype... Suprise Suprise.


There’s a reason everybody knows about the so-called “secret menu.” And that's because it’s NOT actually a secret. Like at all.

Reddit user Raskov75 said, “Former Barista here. There is no secret menu. Those drinks are just special orders.”

Baristas also get (rightfully) annoyed when people order off this “menu,” especially when it’s busy, because those drinks often require extra steps and break up the normal flow of work.

20. Do NOT Try To Order “Secret” Items By Name.


Since, like I literally just said, there are no (I repeat, NO) secret items, that means anything you see on Instagram or some super-“secret” website is just a fake drink name. Yep, FAKE.

Thus, a barista isn’t going to know what you mean by some influencer’s lingo, so you need to know the ingredients. And remember how annoying it is when you custom order a drink while business is booming! If you’re going to ask a barista to do extra work, at least have your info ready. PLEASE.


Did you learn anything handy you can't wait to try out next time you visit your local Starbucks? Are there any other handy tricks you know which I could add to this list? Or do you absolutely despise Starbucks and everything it stands for in the world of coffee? Let me know in the comments! And don't forget to share this with all your coffee-lovin' friends and family too! AAx