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Starbucks: A Guide to Drink Orders

Mar 3, 2008
Coffee shop orders, especially those at Starbucks, can be daunting. However, this is a challenge you should try to overcome. If you already have a beverage you love, why not customize it even more to your own tastes, creating your own personal favorite beverage!

Here are some basic steps and tips to get you started.

***Decide what you want before your turn in line. Many Starbucks baristas can make an entire drink in the time it takes to decide a drink AFTER the customer is at the register.***

1) Hot or Iced-

hot is default. If you want a cold beverage, the first word you say should be "iced."

2) Choose a size-

-Short 8oz.

-Tall 12oz.

-Grande 16oz.

-Venti 20oz. (24oz. iced)

3) Name the beverage-

-Coffee(specify bold/mild/decaf, and if you'd like room for cream)

-Tea(name desired type)

-Latte(espresso with steamed milk; can become any number of beverages with different syrups and kinds of milk; mocha, white mocha, etc.)

-Americano(espresso with hot water)

-Espresso Macchiato(espresso with dallop of foam on top)

-Cafe Au Lait/Misto(brewed coffee with steamed milk)

-Frappuccino(blended ice beverage made with creme or coffee base; flavors and toppings vary)

-Cappuccino(espresso with foamed milk)

-Espresso Con Panna(espresso with whipped cream on top)

-Hot chocolate

-Caramel apple ciders(steamed apple juice with caramel and cinnamon)

-Juice Blends(blended ice beverages made with different blends of flavored teas and pureed fruits)

-Lemonade

-Assorted others that are self-explanatory

4) Number of shots/amount of caffeine-

If the beverage is espresso based, you may want to try experimenting outside the recipe standards, which is one shot for shorts and talls, and two shots for grande and venti. Iced venti drinks get three shots. Ordering less or more espresso in your drinks can dramatically alter their taste in all sorts of ways. Don't be afraid of less or more. Don't forget that every Starbucks drink made with caffeine comes in a decaf variety that tastes just as delicious.

5) Choose the type of milk/creamer-

-2% is the standard

-Skinny/non-fat

-Soy

-Half & half(called "breve" when steamed; smooth, rich, and delicious, but more fattening than other options)

-Organic

-Whole(if desired, be sure to ask your barista if their store still carries whole milk)

6) Any other add-on directions-

-Extra hot
-Room for cream
-Double-cupped
-No foam
-No whipped cream
-Etc.

That does it for your drink order! Here are some examples of what happens when steps 1-6 are put into practice:

-Triple-short vanilla latte.
-Quad-grande non-fat three-pump breve mocha.
-Double-tall cappuccino extra-dry.
-Triple-grande sugar-free vanilla latte with whip.
-Iced single-venti mocha, no whip.

Here are some other tips for your next trip to Starbucks:

-Remain off of your mobile phone.

-Be alert, as people will grab any random drink that is shouted out. Keep your receipt just in case you need to get your drink made over. Again, stay alert, because more than one person may have the same drink as you.

-If you want to try something you're not sure about, ask if you can sample it.

-If you want just brewed coffee or a tea, come inside instead of just waiting in line at the drive-thru, because it's already made waiting to be poured, and the person who takes your money will generally give you the coffee or tea themselves, ahead of others.

-Staying there? They will serve your beverages in real cups and glasses instead of paper if you ask. Just say, "For Here" when ordering.

Also, anytime you're curious, or just want to understand more, or have any questions whatsoever, make sure to ASK YOUR BARISTA. As long as it's not really busy, they will explain things to you. They're always happy to give samples, advice on delicious drinks, and the correct ways to order them. A Starbucks barista is not the cashier at the local McDonalds, and they will treat you as a regular person, not just a customer.
About the Author
Jeremy Baldwin is a writer for Xomba. Read more at Xomba
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