Starbucks baristas are ready to be honest about your "secret menu" drink requests.
What is Starbucks’ secret menu? Well, it’s all but secret nowadays. This unofficial collection of drinks are often new recipes created by regular, everyday customers trying to make something more with Starbucks’ core ingredients. Just mutter the words, and you’ll have everyone telling you their favorite “TikTok Starbucks hack.”
But what does this mean for your local baristas, and what can you do to make ordering easier? Here’s what Starbucks baristas want you to know before ordering off the secret menu.
Why the Secret Menu Can Create Issues
Your Barista Won’t Always Know What You’re Talking About
My good friend Stephanie Ramirez worked as a Starbucks partner for many years, and she had her grievances with the secret menu. According to her, “It’s annoying when they call it by its secret menu name. It’s annoying when they don’t know what goes into the drinks. More than half the time when they see these trending videos, people tell them how to order it, and then when they go they just say they want ‘that one TikTok drink.’ We don’t know what you’re talking about. Tell us what is in it.”
Customers Only Know the Name of the Drink
“It’s not making the drink I have a problem with, it’s customers who just give me some random name of some random drink that I’ve never heard of and expects me to know how to make it. I don’t mind making secret menu drinks, as long as they actually give the recipe for the drink.” –u/Condomonium
Customers Aren’t Always Polite
“I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: if you are nice and ask me politely to make you something else, I’ll do it. Come back and get huffy with me about a drink you ordered and I’ll be sooooo mad. Even during happy hour, I will be the most pleasant person in the world if you say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’.” –u/kayser3207
People Become Upset with Baristas for Following Rules
“Partners don’t mind making it, but they also have to know if they’re trying to do a ‘hack’ for less. Sometimes these hacks don’t work, like when people order shots of espresso over ice and think it will come topped with milk. It’s not a latte, we aren’t allowed to top it off. Order a latte if you want that, [and] don’t get mad at the barista for doing their job to standards,” Stephanie mentioned when talking about customers trying to get pricier drinks for less.
Customers Get Upset When Ingredients Go Out of Stock
Regarding the recent shortage in drink ingredients, Stephanie said, “[Starbucks] expanded their menu and then had stores running out of items constantly which led to upset people.” If you’re ordering complicated, off-menu drinks, expect that the store might simply not be prepared with the ingredients for it.
How to Order Off the Secret Menu
Your local Starbucks baristas already have a lot to deal with, but you can make it easier. Know the exact recipe of the drink you’re aiming for—the name won’t always do the trick. Use the mobile app to create your drink so the barista can see exactly what you’re asking for, and try to avoid the drive-thru during rush hours like mornings or lunches.
And, of course, please don’t become upset when your Starbucks is out of certain ingredients or cannot make your drink. Being polite to food workers is important and incredibly easy. Follow these simple suggestions and soon, you’ll be enjoying your “secret menu” drink with no hassle at all!
My family loves this comforting chai tea latte recipe, especially on cold days instead of cocoa or when they're feeling under the weather. I simplified this chai tea recipe by using the filter basket of our coffeepot. It's delicious and great after dinner! —Julie Plummer, Sykesville, Maryland
Get Our Recipe for Chai Tea Latte
You can make Starbucks cranberry bliss bars any time you please with this step-by-step copycat recipe. It makes an entire pan of bars that taste just like the real deal. —Molly Allen, Hood River, Oregon
You can substitute Gruyere cheese for the Swiss and ham for the bacon, or add in small-cut veggies to these copycat Starbucks egg bites. I also like to bake these in small Mason jars for fun single-portion presentations. Serve with avocado slices and fresh fruit for a healthy breakfast. —Maria Morelli, West Kelowna, British Columbia
I love caramel frappuccinos from Starbucks, but they get too expensive. I now make my own, and they are just as good. If you blend the milk with all the other ingredients, it gets too foamy—instead stir it in with a spoon after all the ice is crushed. —Heather Egger, Davenport, Iowa
The flaky layers of laminated dough and a sweet, cheese filling in the center make this Danish a natural to pair with hot coffee or tea. It’s as delicious for breakfast as it is for a late-night snack. —Nancy Mock, Colchester, Vermont
On a busy morning, these freezer breakfast sandwiches save the day. A hearty combo of eggs, Canadian bacon and cheese will keep you fueled through lunchtime and beyond. —Christine Rukavena, Taste of Home Senior Editor
Cold brewing reduces the acidity of coffee, which enhances its natural sweetness and complex flavors. Even those who take hot coffee with sugar and cream might find themselves sipping cold brew plain. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
You can easily indulge in a coffeehouse-quality drink at home anytime. With whipped cream and a butterscotch drizzle, this mocha treat will perk up even the sleepiest person at the table. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
I created a copycat Starbucks gingerbread loaf that’s the perfect addition to my holiday baking. Served with a thick layer of frosting, it’s delicious with a cup of coffee. —Risa Lichtman, Portland, Oregon
When my sister introduced me to iced coffee, I wasn’t sure I’d like it. Not only did I love it, but I decided to start making my own iced coffee recipe. This easy version is a refreshing alternative to hot coffee. —Jenny Reece, Lowry, Minnesota
This quick bread is a family favorite, so I always try to have ripe bananas on hand for this recipe. I'm sure your family will love this tasty, nutty bread as much as mine does. —Susan Jones, La Grange Park, Illinois
I have always loved iced tea with lemon, and this irresistible thirst-quencher takes it one step further. The lemonade gives this refreshing drink a nice color, too. —Gail Buss, New Bern, North Carolina
I love serving this blueberry scone recipe to visiting friends and family. I always make sure a have a few in the freezer. Just pop a frozen scone in the microwave for 20 seconds or so. —Joan Francis, Spring Lake, New Jersey
My soothing white hot chocolate is a great warm-up after a wintry day spent sledding or ice skating. Or include it as a festive addition to brunch or an afternoon tea party. —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon
Having always wanted a career in writing, Melany couldn't have found a better place than Taste of Home to begin. When she's not scribbling in her notebook or working at her computer, she can be found experimenting with new recipes or relaxing with a book and her cats.