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'I'm a Starbucks employee – here's what customers don't know about the coffee chain'


The Starbucks worker took to Reddit to lift the lid on the lesser-known facts of the coffee giant after noticing things that commonly “confused” customers.

Writing in a thread on the popular forum, the user who goes by the name ImaginativeStrings explained that they didn’t like how “limited and opaque” its printed menus can be.

They said: “I see a lot of people confused about specifics of Starbucks drinks or not understanding things about what they order… I figured I’d try to clear a little up.”

One of the first things they revealed about the American coffeehouse was that “there’s more than what’s on the menu”.

However, this doesn’t mean there’s a secret menu that so many people claim to know about.

The Starbucks worker said: “The secret menu and TikTok drinks aren’t anything we’re trained on. Some of the more common ones, like a cotton candy frap, the baristas might know but never rely on that.

“Instead, have the recipe pulled up. As a side note, many of those drinks also rely on seasonal ingredients, so maybe have a backup choice ready.”

The Reddit user noted, however, that people can order drinks that don’t technically exist on the advertised menu, stating: “Starbucks relies on being part of people’s routine, which means they expect people to know what they want and keep ordering what they’ve always ordered.

“Our options are extensive, so they don’t want to print off every single one on our posters.”

In fact, according to the barista, only a small portion of its wide range of Frappuccinos is listed or featured on most menus.

They advised customers to simply ask the server if they’re looking for something specific, whether it be a particular drink or just a flavour profile.

When it comes to ordering any kind of drink, the Starbucks employee explained that some aren’t what they seem. Among the secrets revealed by the barista was that its iced teas are “unsweetened by default” and the Blonde roast “has more caffeine” than its darker counterparts.

They said: “This is true whether it’s drip coffee or espresso shots. Blonde coffees are roasted less, which gives them a less strong coffee taste, but also leaves them with more caffeine. Many people assume darker roasts are more caffeinated, but that’s not the case.”

Another tip shared by the coffee expert was that Starbucks Espresso Frapuccinos “always come with one shot”, regardless of the size.

This means that customers hoping to double-up on their caffeine dose will have to ask, and pay, for an extra shot rather than simply ordering a larger drink.

Starbucks lovers can get free refills though with one simple tip. The employee said: “Refills on hot coffee, iced coffee, cold brew, and hot or iced teas cost 50 cents. If you have the app, however, refills are free. It’s great for longer stays now that cafes are beginning to open up again.”

Much like the filter coffee refills, Starbucks Card members and app users can take advantage of a free refill – but have a little more leeway in choice. At participating stores, customers can get free refills of brewed coffee, including hot, iced or Cold Brew, or tea, also hot or iced.

These refills must be during the same store visit. While non-members may not be able to get a free drink in this way, they can purchase a refill at a reduced price.

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