The 2 Starbucks Drinks You Really Shouldn't Mobile Order

While ordering your Starbucks drink through the mobile app can save you precious minutes on a busy day, this method isn't ideal for certain drinks. Any cold foam or shaken espresso drinks are much better off being ordered in-person and picked up immediately. But why?

As far as cold foam is concerned, it's all about temperature and texture. The foam is created by frothing milk, and, as you can imagine, those bubbles aren't going to last forever. Sitting out on the counter at Starbucks, that foam might last only 15-20 minutes –- and that's under the best-case scenario, i.e. using cold foam to top a cold drink. A warm drink, on the other hand, will melt cold foam almost immediately.

Shaken espresso drinks are a similar story. These drinks are made by shaking espresso and ice together for a satisfyingly frothy finish. The froth will collapse with time, leaving you with less-than-perfect espresso, so you don't want to order this drink ahead of time if you can avoid it. These two categories of foamy drinks are also not the only Starbucks items that do not mesh well with mobile ordering.

Don't use mobile ordering for these Starbucks drinks, either

Although the two aforementioned Starbucks drinks are the most likely to fall flat when mobile-ordered, the same principles apply to countless other beverages. For instance, customized drinks may be difficult, if not impossible, to order through the Starbucks app. What's more, Starbucks updated its app in 2019 to restrict certain modifications –- namely customers being able to add more than 12 pumps of a given syrup or sauce.

Likewise, the app can be difficult to navigate if you're looking to try a secret menu item. You may not know which ingredients go into a particular drink, or you may wish to inquire about substitutions. In other words, if you have questions about what you're ordering, you're better off ordering in person.

Either way, don't expect your barista to know customized or secret menu drinks by name, and at the very least, you should know the base drink they build upon. From there, ordering custom drinks in person will be easy as pie.

Avoid Starbucks mobile ordering if you have food allergies

Again, as handy as mobile ordering can be, it's not always the best option, let alone the safest. In fact, when it comes to placing an order as someone with food allergies, your best bet is to order in-person. The Starbucks app lists ingredient information, but does not provide a designated space for customers to note allergies.

As such, the easiest way to make allergies known to baristas is by ordering in person and politely asking if they can use a clean pitcher, blender, or shaker to prepare your drink. You can also stick to ordering iced drinks, which are typically made in an individual cup, as opposed to made in a communal blender. At the end of the day, however, Starbucks cannot guarantee your drink hasn't been subjected to cross-contamination by allergens, and it's up to you to determine whether or not your favorite flavored latte is worth the risk.